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Kiev Sights | Castle of Richard the Lionheart
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Ukraine Kiev Sights - Castle of Richard the Lionheart
Castle of Richard the Lionheart appeared on Andrew Descent in 1902-1904. Industrialist Dmitry Orlov bought pot of land from the icon painter Anton Malenko. Soon after commissioned by Dmitry Orlov the new building was erected in the style of Gothic.

Originally the castle was built as profitable house - in the early XX century Kiev was experiencing a period of rapid urban development: one-story wooden buildings torn down and replaced by high-rise buildings with spacious apartments that are rented out. Dmitry Orlov decided to invest in this highly profitable business but fate decreed otherwise.

Industrialist Dmitry Orlov in 1908 was in a critical situation and mortgaged the castle for 36 years for 87 000 rubles and took a row to build Amur Railway. But in 1911 he was killed at the time of delivery of the money for the workers. Dmitry Orlov died and at the head of affairs stood his wife - Lydia Orlova. To everyone's surprise Lydia Orlova who had five kids finished the construction of the castle and then sold the castle to pay off all debts. The first owner of the castle was Prince Urusov who according to legend had lost it by playing cards with rector of St. Andrew Church but soon won at cards the castle back.

Since 1912 Castle of Richard Lionheart is also called "Castle of Ghosts". In Kiev spread rumors that in the castle on Andrew Descent settled evil spirits. Rumors have been caused by sounds in the furnace and ventilation ducts which occurred just when wind picks up. Kiev inhabitants were literally paralyzed by fear.

Soon came the reasons of emergence of howling sounds. One of the tenants of the house number 15 was a professor of Kiev Theological Academy a historian Stepan Golubev. Once tired of mournful howl in ventilation pipes Stepan Golubev reached into the chimney and found egg shell. That was the reason for the hearing unpleasant sounds: the air pass through the small holes in egg shell and that played the role of the resonator. Perhaps Lydia Orlova not paid the builders so they "thanked" her by leaving in the chimney and ventilation hollow objects such as bottles, eggshells and other things that howls at the castle on a windy day.

The original castle had no name and the name of Castle of Richard the Lionheart came only in 1967 by a famous writer Viktor Nekrasov. In same year in the eighth issue of the literary magazine "New World" he published the essay "Turbiny House" about house number 15 located on Andrew descent.

As it turned out the castle was named after the real Richard - Mr Yurevich - a brilliant storyteller and inventor who lived in Castle of Richard the Lionheart for over 60 years. He was the oldest tenant of the house living there since 1922. Viktor Nekrasov first met him in 1966 and they became two friends. Richard told stories from the life of the inhabitants of the castle to the writer. Jokingly Viktor Nekrasov called his friend "Richard the Lionheart". Gradually this name passed on the castle entirely.

The latest surprise of Castle of Richard the Lionheart was during the reconstruction in 1983 - out of the apartment which lived City Council workers could not take out incredibly heavy bath. Later it turned out that in the wall close to the bath was hiding-place with treasure of Russian Empire gold coins.

In 1983 residents of Castle of Richard the Lionheart were resettled and began the reconstruction which lasts to this day. For 29 years Castle of Richard the Lionheart stay without residents and stand empty.

You could visit Kiev Sights - Castle of Richard the Lionheart with Tour "Kiev Sights"

Pavel Korsun | Ukraine tours travel guide

Pavel Korsun
Tour Guide
Ukraine tours and Kiev tours

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