What survived the “Winter Palace in miniature”
It is called the “chest of drawers” and the “Winter Palace in miniature”. This building is actually the only “representative” of the architectural style of Rastrelli’s Baroque in the center of Moscow. And it so happened that this particular house keeps the memory of many great people of Russia. At different times and for various reasons, Pushkin, Stanislavsky, Mendeleev and other famous personalities found themselves in it.
The building, located on Pokrov Street, was built in the 18th century by order of Count Matthew Apraksin. Interestingly, there is no exact information about its architect – there are only a number of assumptions. Since the building is very similar to the St. Petersburg works of Rastrelli, and especially the famous Winter Palace, his authorship is attributed to someone who worked in exactly this style. For example, it could be one of the students of the great architect or Rastrelli himself.
There is also a version that the house could be designed by Dmitry Ukhtomsky, who, during the reign of Elizabeth, was the main architect of Moscow and presented many beautiful buildings to the capital. By the way, he signed a plan for the yard with future buildings on this plot on Pokrovka.
Massive platbands and stucco works, large columns, curved shapes, rounded corners, a magnificently decorated front part, outbuildings connected to the main building with arches and passages — all this looks very much in Petersburg. The curved lines of the facade alternate with flat and convex surfaces.
The building is characterized by an abundance of baroque elements and rich decor. In general, from an architectural point of view, this is a real mini-palace.
Six years after construction, in 1772, Apraksin sold the estate to Prince Dmitry Trubetskoy, great-grandfather of Leo Tolstoy. By this time, the fashion for such a style of buildings began to decline, and the townspeople began to call this “dresser” as a joke. And the truth is: if you look at it from the side, it is a bit like a huge old chest of drawers. This nickname could also be related to the fact that Trubetskoy attached a second floor to the outbuildings located on the sides, and built another building along the distant border of his huge section in which the stable was located. Thus turned out a closed courtyard.
Well and the inhabitants of the estate and their descendants, in other words, the entire younger branch of this famous family, contemporaries nicknamed “Trubetskoy-Komod.”
Who has ever been here!
About famous people and related events, the memory of which is kept by the Moscow “Winter Palace in miniature”, is worth saying separately.
Firstly, in this house, Count Nikolai Tolstoy made an offer to Princess Maria Volkonskaya. As you know, the great writer Leo Tolstoy was subsequently born in this marriage.
Secondly, when the Trubetskoy for a long time left for their estate near Moscow, they handed over their “dresser” to lodgers, and during the period 1849-50 Dmitry Mendeleev lived in their house.
And also, according to the recollections of Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin’s sister, in her childhood, she and her brother were taken to the Trubetskoy estate to dance classes. And as an adult, the great poet often visited this house to visit Trubetskoy.
In 1861, the widow of Yuri Trubetskoy, the last owner, sold the building. Since then, the men’s gymnasium began to work in the dresser. And this period is again associated with a number of historical figures. At various times, the physicist and the founder of aerodynamics N. Zhukovsky, the philosopher V. Soloviev, the legendary director K. Stanislavsky, the writer A. Remizov and other great people studied at the gymnasium.
The gymnasium worked in these walls until 1917. After the revolution, the Bolsheviks closed the school as unnecessary, and the house church.