Palace with golden rooms: Interesting things at the Demidov Manor

August 30

The Department of Cultural Heritage has approved the Subject of Protection for the former town manor of the Demidovs. Surveyors have determined the historical and artistic value of the facades, the interior of the main building, two outhouses, as well as the fence of the architectural ensemble. It now has the status of a federal cultural site and is protected by the state and currently the Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography are housed there.

The Classicist manor was commissioned by the retired Brigadier General, Ivan Demidov, a member of the famous dynasty of Urals industrialists, in the late 18th century. The plans were drawn up by famous architect, Matvey Kazakov. In 1861, the property went to the Konstantinovsky Surveying Institute. In the late 19th century, the main building was repeatedly reconstructed, but its façade remained almost as it had been conceived by Kazakov.

One good example of this is the main façade of the three-storey mansion that’s graced with a hexastyle with a triangular pediment. The ground floor is finished with rectangular rustication. The central windows on the first floor are adorned with triangular sandriks on consoles as well as moulded medallions and bosses.

The Subject of Protection for the manor was determined and approved after extensive research. The document covers its location and all the valuable features of the mansion and the outbuildings that make up their original appearance, such as the facades, the arrangement of the windows and the doors, and the interior. The interior design of the main building is of particular importance.

“The mansion’s main treasures are its Blue Room, Crimson Room, and Emerald Room. They are also called golden rooms because their carved walls, doors and windows are covered with gold leaf.  Added to this is rich stuccowork décor and painted plafonds. The walls of the rooms have damask coverings – thick decorative fabrics with an intricate woven design. Floors in the rooms have sealed laminated parquet. Interestingly, the interior design for the golden rooms was also thought-out by the architect, Matvey Kazakov.  It is thanks to their luxuriant interior that this 18th -century mansion is called the Demidov palace,” Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage Alexei Yemelyanov explained.

Also, the Subject of Protection includes 18th and 19th century furniture, such as armchairs, banquettes, setees, desks, wooden tables and benches, cupboards for teaching aids, bookcases, chandeliers, lamps and wall lanterns.

Experts have also confirmed the architectural and artistic value of the fence with a gate dating back to the late 18th-early 19th century. The list of its valuable features includes gate pylons, white-stone columns with vases and the grill.

Alexei Yemelyanov added that the Subject of Protection must be taken into consideration in any renovation project.

Matvey Kazakov (1738–1812), was a prominent Moscow architect, one of the originators of the Classicist style in Russian architecture, and a major representative of the Russian pseudo-Gothic. He helped with the construction plans for Tsaritsyno palace and garden complex in collaboration with Vasily Bazhenov. Moscow has numerous extant buildings based on his designs, including the Petrine En Route Imperial Palace (40 Leningradsky Prospekt), the Governor General’s Mansion, now the Moscow Town Hall (13 Tverskaya Street), the Senate in the Moscow Kremlin, and the Novo-Yekaterininskaya Hospital (15 Strastnoy Boulevard).

The preservation and restoration of architectural monuments in Moscow is a priority for the Department of Cultural Heritage. Many monuments have been given a new lease of life, being adjusted for modern use. At the same time, they help to keep the historical look of the capital.  Since 2011, the city has done up over 1,400 cultural heritage sites, including 203 in 2019 alone.


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