House of Chimeras


Many of the 'chimeras' that adorn the awning of Kyiv's weirdest building are depictions of architect Władysław Horodecki's hunting trophies – antelope, rhinos (!!), crocodiles, etc. He kept many prototypes inside – in the stuffed form. The house and the street on which it's located are closed off, but the Museum of History of Kyiv (vul Bohdana Khmelnytskoho 7) arranges group tours on some Saturdays (75uah per person). Otherwise you can stand on pl Ivana Franka to ogle it from afar.

Built at the start of the 20th century, this was Horodecki's private house but is now owned by the presidential administration across the street. The 'chimeras' were meant not only to decorate, but also to advertise the revolutionary building material – concrete, of which Horodecki was a huge fan. Many locals say that the house is best admired at night, when spooky creatures seem ready to come alive and jump down from the roof.

To join a tour, go to room 412 of the Museum of History of Kyiv and put your name on the list. A few tour companies can get you on the museum's list, but they charge 400uah to 500uah to do so. If you do enter, about the first thing you'll see is a fireplace shaped as an octopus.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kyiv attractions

1. Chocolate House

0.16 MILES

This distinctive neo-Renaissance mansion in Kyiv's wealthy Lypky district, built in 1901, is notable for its lavish interiors. There's a small sculpture…

2. National Art Museum

0.32 MILES

In a historic neoclassical building designed by Władysław Horodecki, this long-running museum has a wide-ranging collection of Ukrainian paintings…

3. Khreshchatyk

0.33 MILES

Kyiv's main drag is named after a river, which these days runs underneath, enclosed in an underground pipe. Getting gussied up and strolling Khreshchatyk…

4. PinchukArtCentre

0.38 MILES

The rotating exhibits at this world-class gallery feature elite names in the world of European contemporary art and design, all financed by billionaire…

5. Former Lenin Statue

0.43 MILES

At the terminus of vul Tarasa Shevchenka once stood Kyiv's last Lenin statue, famously pulled down and smashed to bits by Euromaidan protesters in late…

6. Maidan Nezalezhnosti

0.46 MILES

Be it celebration or revolution, whenever Ukrainians want to get together – and they often do – 'Maidan' is the nation's meeting point. The square saw pro…

8. Water Museum

0.55 MILES

The Dutch funded the launch of this museum inside a 1980s water pump, but it now operates independently. On the obligatory 45-minute tour (in English by…