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The mystery of the mirror of Dracula, which hides the most mysterious mansion of St. Petersburg

In the working quarter, located in the south-western part of Vasilyevsky Island in St. Petersburg, there is a mysterious house. He was lost in the industrial zone among the factories and warehouses, and few of the tourists, and even Petersburgers themselves, know about its existence.

From peasants to industrial millionaires
In the middle of the 19th century, Nikolai Matveyevich (Mokeevich), a native of the Tver province, Brusnitsyn moved to Moscow and set up his own business. At first it was a small workshop for leather dressing, but gradually the business grew and eventually Bruznitsyna became a wealthy and respected merchant family in the city. Nikolay Brusnitsyn, a merchant of the 1st guild, left his legacy a modern factory for six hundred jobs and millions earned on the leather business.

As generous benefactors, the brothers Brusnitsy kept the poorhouse and dormitory, providing financial assistance to the families of their workers. It is known that at the time of the October events of 1917 about 200 children and old people lived here.

On Vasilyevsky Island, Brusnitsyna owned areas on the Tanning and Oblique lines. At the junction of these two lines was located the building of the XVIII century, which Nikolay Brusnitsyn bought and slightly modified, adding, in particular, an extension from the west side. After the death of his father, Brusnitsyny even more remade the building, ordering the work of the St. Petersburg architect Anatoly Kovsharov. Choosing a style, he stopped at eclecticism, enlisting the approval of the owners.

The second floor was higher, in addition, the building had a front entrance staircase, a greenhouse, and the facades had changed. There was a cornice with dentils, as well as an interesting gable, semicircular bay windows and many other new elements. The building itself in form began to resemble a flat letter “W”, and each brother in this mansion had its own wing. By the way, the original entrance doors from the Leather line are still preserved.

Inside, the building was also richly decorated and looked chic. In the living room there was a huge oak table with 60 (!) Chairs – here the whole large family dined with guests.

Chic interior
The building had a pompous billiard room, and a smoking room (hookah), made in the fashionable for the time Moorish style, and a spacious dance hall, designed in the style of the rooms of Louis XV. The stucco patterns of the hall depict mythical heroes, plants, flowers, musical instruments.

For the interior is characterized by an abundance of carved ornaments. By the way, wooden lamb heads that adorn the dining room doors, in mythology symbolize trade.

Carved lamb heads symbolize success in trade. /Photo:.mishanita.ru

Carved lamb heads symbolize success in trade. /Photo:.mishanita.ru
Now there are guided tours in the building. Visitors invariably admire the architect’s imagination and details of the refined interior decoration, which have been preserved since the time of the first owners – for example, elegant stucco molding on the ceiling (albeit later covered with paint) and a huge chandelier. Marble window sill and marble fireplace in the dance hall also survived from merchant times.

White (dance) hall. /Photo:sibmama.ru

White (dance) hall. /Photo:sibmama.ru
Marble fireplace in the dance hall. /Photo: liveinternet.ru

Marble fireplace in the dance hall. /Photo: liveinternet.ru
Painted shell, like all other details, delights tourists. / Photo: lenarudenko.lj.com

Painted shell, like all other details, delights tourists. / Photo: lenarudenko.lj.com
Troubled times
After the revolution, the new authorities pounded the main entrance near the building, and the monogram of a merchant family located on the facade was shot down, hoisting another monogram in its place — a sickle and a hammer.

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