The historical district of Kiev called Lipki started to be built up in the middle of the XIX century. Soon after that that district acquired the prestigious status, and then rich and noble people started buying property there. One of the most significant building is the house that until recently used to host the Ministry of foreign affairs of Ukraine. It was constructed in 1911-1913 for the court counselor Nikolay Kovalevsky. He purchased a piece of land for his future mansion from the family of sugar manufacturer Lazarus Brodsky.
The house was designed by an architect Pavel Alyoshin. He managed to fit not only a mansion, but also some additional buildings on a relatively small piece of land. Since it was a corner piece of land, the mansion turned out to be shaped as letter L, which was a fortunate decision. The architect tried to follow every desire of the hosts as he effectively used every corner of the mansion. There is a library, a boudoir, a billiard room and some halls in the first floor. The owner was especially proud of a room shaped as a train’s carriage. This idea probably came from the fact that Kovalevsky met his future wife on a train. Some suppose that in the past the room used to be equipped with special swinging mechanisms which imitate the swaying of the carriage. However, during the renovation there was no sign of such mechanism. Besides the household 2-storied house, there were also stables, a garage, a carriage department and a garden with a fountain and a decorative turret.
Underneath the mansion there is another shed for storing coal and an icehouse. The mansion was built to resemble medieval castles in Romanian style. The architect, who had a bit of self-irony, memorized his own image in a high relief shaped like a cat. Impressive marble stairs will take you to the second floor, where are children's rooms, a bedroom, a classroom, and a dining room. The rooms of the second floor look modest compared to the first floor, but even so you can still see the exquisite taste of the owner. The ground floor was given to the service personnel and technical services, and the attic was used as a smokehouse and dryers.
During the years of Soviet Union the house was rented by different facilities, but the façade and the interior of the house remained unaltered.
In the early XXI century the Kovalevsky House was renovated to make it look most authentic.
Address of Kovalevsky House in Kiev: P. Orlyka street, 1/15.