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Institute for Noble Maidens in Kiev

In 1838-1842 in Kiev the building of the Institute for Noble Maidens (or the Emperor’s upbringing community for noble maidens) was constructed by the project of Vincent Beretti.

Institute for Noble Maidens in Kiev

The project was developed by the architect under a strong impression of a legend that said that the female pelican destroys her children’s ribs out of insane maternal love, and the male pelican, who brought the food, heals the children with the blood from his own chest. We know that from the frieze that depicts a pelican feeding his children. The building was built in the style of Russian classicism. The front part of the building is decorated with a semi-circular rotunda, which is surrounded by Corinthian columns that are linked, in turn with the cast-iron balcony fence. Risolits at the facade of the building also function as window frames. The side facades are featuring entrances and exits, which makes them more functional. The rear facade has a more simplified view.

The old image of the institute

We know that Emperor Nicholas I paid frequent visits to the Institute. The Emperor had a creative personality, so he came to the Institute to admire the beautiful view from the dining hall. The picturesque image of the old Kiev mesmerized the Emperor so much that he could spend hours just looking out of the window.

The Institute was a closed-type institution that admitted young female members of high society, as well as the nobility, merchants and officer's daughters. For 6 years the ladies were taught the etiquette, hospitality, singing, cooking history. A lot of attention was also paid to crafts, dancing and the study of God's law. Moreover, the students studied a simplified course of mathematics and physics.

Another view on the institute

In 1917 after the Bolsheviks came to power in Kiev, the Institute was closed. From 1934 to 1941 the building was occupied by the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. During the war the building was repeatedly bombed and finally burned down, but shortly after that under the assistance from the group of architects led by A. Zavarov, it was reconstructed. After that the building hosted the October culture palace. Since 1991 the building is occupied by the International centre for culture and arts, and in the front you can find the Ukrainian Avenue of stars.

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