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Secrets of the mansion of millionaires Kolobovs

Kolobovsky House is a little-known but incredibly beautiful architectural landmark of St. Petersburg. As contemporaries noted, such a magnificent building was bound to stand in plain sight in the center of the city, however, alas, it was lost in a back alley, so that not every citizen knew about its existence. And now this green building-palace, alas, cannot be called very famous, despite the colorfulness of its architecture and the interesting fate of its famous owners.

The house resembled a palace
The apartment house of the merchants Kolobovs, located at the intersection of Lenin Street and Pushkarsky Lane, was erected in 1910 according to the design of the talented architect Sergey (Tsalek) Ginger. The building is made in the style of eclecticism and neo-baroque, which in itself speaks of the originality and independence of the tastes of its owners – after all, at that time modern was in fashion. Famous Petersburg millionaire merchants Nikolai and Fyodor Kolobovy acted as customers.

Initially, it was intended to build buildings of different heights here, however, given the peculiarities of the local architecture, the owners obtained permission from the city authorities to make all the buildings five-story.

By the way, there is an assumption that the decoration of the facade in the style of Rastrelli’s decor was not chosen by chance, and in connection with the Baroque church located next door to the St. Matthias Church, this resulted in a single ensemble.

The intricate layout, the unusual triangular courtyard from the side of the alley and the pretentious kurdoner from the side of Lenin Street, the bay windows supported by the Atlantean figures, the caryatids on the loggias – all this can not but admire the fantasy of customers and the architect.

The whole Petersburg attracted attention to the new house with the original corner tower, and in 1912 this project was even recognized as the best in the competition of urban facades.

It all started with an old barge …
The merchants of Kolobov are unique people. At the beginning of the last century, they were incredibly rich, with four dozen (!) Apartment houses in St. Petersburg. And this is not counting their main family business – a sawmill in the Malaya Nevka.

A particularly interesting person was Fedor Nikolaevich Kolobov. He was an honorary citizen of St. Petersburg, the elder of a church parish and a merchant of the 1st guild, he had an imperious and firm character – such that only one of his strict views was enough for others to obey without question. Together with his elderly mother and younger brother Nikolai, who at that time was still a teenager, he came to Petersburg from the Ryazan province in the 1880s. Here Kolobov bought a sawmill for the money raised from the sale of an old barge, or rather, firewood, for which it was previously dismantled. It was from this seemingly risky investment that their future empire began to develop, which later made the brothers millionaires.

Fedor Kolobov was a famous philanthropist in St. Petersburg. During the First World War he organized the Union of parishioners in the territory of the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Koltovsky Church to help soldiers and their families, led by his spouse Anastasia. Here they worked as volunteers and his daughters.

In 1908–1914, entire Kolobiv neighborhoods of tenement houses were built in the city on the Neva. The brothers also had their own private mansion on the Malaya Nevka embankment, on the first floor of which the administration of their sawmill was located. Opposite this building, merchants, being avid book lovers, built their own library. Nikolai Kolobov collected rare, old books and manuscripts (for example, his rarities included copies of Dead Souls and Journeys from St. Petersburg to Moscow). The earliest of his collected publications dated to the fifteenth century.

Patriotism and humility
After the revolution, Fyodor did not go abroad, but entered stoically – he transferred all his tenement houses to the Soviet authorities and remained in the city himself. The large plant of the Kolobovs was also nationalized. The new authorities, in turn, unceremoniously evicted the merchant from his mansion, and his last days richest once resident of St. Petersburg…

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