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Poltava Sights | House of Province Zemstvo | Museum of Local Lore
Individual and group tours to Poltava

Ukraine Poltava Sights | House of Province Zemstvo | Museum of Local Lore
In Poltava at the end of XIX century old House of Province Zemstvo (Local Authority) become cramped. Therefore at the end of 1902 it was ordered to architect Alexander Shirshov the project of new House of Province Zemstvo in French Renaissance style. Architect Alexander Shirshov started the project but soon left it.

Then from Kiev was invited academician of architecture Vladimir Nikolayev. In 1903 workers dismantled the old House of Province Zemstvo, dug a pit for the foundation and complete the wall to the level of the first floor. But in the early summer of 1903 construction was suspended. In June 1903 in newspaper "Poltava Herald" a correspondent advised to make the facade of House of Province Zemstvo in Ukrainian style.

Fortunately Poltava Province Zemstvo leaders were interested in the idea. The idea of Ukrainian style of new House of Province Zemstvo belonged to artist Athanasius Slasten. The head of Construction Committee by publishing letter in the newspaper "Poltava Herald" proposed to Athanasius Slasten bring his project on 23rd of June 1903 to the meeting of the commission which will consider project of facade of new House of Province Zemstvo.

Artist Athanasius Slasten appeals to 30-year-old architect Vasily Krichevsky for the help. In the short time the achitect created a sketch design of the facade and provided his project to the commission in Poltava. Besides him considering seven more projects. After three hours of discuss of projects appointed voting: 8 votes were in favor of the project in Ukrainian style and only two against it!

The project of new House of Province Zemstvo showed that the roof had to be high as in the classic Ukrainian homes and covered by green-blue glazed tiles. For exterior walls it was needed a special bricks with colorful patterns. In the Russian Empire did not issue any such tiles or bricks. To solve the problem helped ceramist Peter Vaulin who worked as a teacher in Mirgorod Art and Design School. Under his leadership in Opishnya was produced 24 458 glazed tiles for interiors, 15 glazed coats of arms of Poltava districts as well as 12 panels. Masters of Tile Factory in Mali Budishcha made 70 000 tiles. Former pupils of Mirgorod Art and Design School in Opishnya cast 39 000 tiles in white, blue and green colors for the porch, vestibule and hall for general meetings.

House of Province Zemstvo in Poltava was consecrated on 14th of October 1908. On the third floor of it put an ethnographic exhibition of local lore and in 1920 the building was officially opened as Central Museum of Proletarian Poltava .

Until 1941 the museum has a rich exposition - its funds totaled 117 900 exhibits. German troops sacked the collection and managed to save about 20 000 exhibits only.

On 21st of September 1943 forty German soldiers broke into the museum and doused hall by gasoline and set on fire. During the day of 21st of September and the night of 22nd of September burned the second and third floors. The next morning another group of Germans doused cellars by gasoline and set fire. The temperature was so high that granite walls of the foundation were cracked.

House of Province Zemstvo in Poltava was renewed and restored for almost twenty years. At the same time there were made some changes in the design of the facades and interiors. The roof of House of Province Zemstvo was originally covered with blue-green glazed tiles but in Soviet times it was of red color.

In our time Poltava Museum of Local Lore contains a unique collection of antiques, folk art and everyday life in which not only the local stuff but also the different parts of the ancient world: Egypt, India, Japan, China, and Indonesia. The real pride of the museum is collection of antiques of ancient Zaporizhzhya cossacks. Poltava Museum of Local Lore has now about 300 000 exhibits.

You could visit Ukraine Poltava Sights | House of Province Zemstvo | Museum of Local Lore with Ukraine Tour East Ring

Pavel Korsun | Ukraine tours travel guide

Pavel Korsun
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Ukraine tours and Kiev tours

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