House of Chimeras

Notable Building in Kyiv

Image by Pavlo Fedykovych Lonely Planet

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.