Building of the Kronshtadt Hotel in Minsk

Minsk

Architecture, Industrial buildings

This is really a unique architectural building which is situated in Gorodskoy Val Street and stayed almost intact over the years being the decoration of the central part of the capital and attractive to numerous tourists. It`s on the list of the most recommended guided tours In Minsk.

Not merely the hotel

The building itself was constructed in 1913; however it hardly came close to resembling any hotel. As a matter of fact since the day of establishment there were only six rooms located in the central part of the building. All the rest space was occupied by the landowning community of mutual insurance.

Earl Karol Chapskiy authorized the building of this great monumental construction. Back then that very area of the city belonged to him. Another prominent citizen took part in the project. It was an architect Henry Gai who contributed to the foundation of must see places of interest of the capital and regional centers, such as Uminsky House and Red Church.

The building itself is an example of neo-classicism with the elements of the modernist style. Symmetry with correct shapes and contours prove the neo-classical features while decorative elements in the form of columns, garlands, balconies, pilasters and other components are characteristic of the modernist style.

The building has got one more name-the Zhdanovich House. Nowadays it`s occupied by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In spite of this fact it`s very appealing to city dwellers and guests of the capital.

Demeter with children

This is the name of the sculpture whose reconstructed version can be seen today above the central part of the building. According to some proofs Stanislav Gaidukevich is the author of this work of art.

 It is noteworthy that for its time that was a rather innovative idea to decorate the municipal building of public importance with such impressive element. The depiction of Greek Goddess is the symbol of fertility and wealth.

The sculpture had been decorating the façade of «The Kronstadt» hotel throughout several decades until the Soviets came to power. Afterwards various government institutions were situated here who didn`t like the symbol of fertility located on the corner of the building.  Then in 1953 the sculpture was dismantled, hidden and buried in one of the buildings until recent time. When Demeter was at last found, it appeared to be so damaged that no reconstruction could be avoided.

The talented Belarusian sculptors Pavel Tsybulya and Alexander Dranets have renewed the work of art. They created the original maximum precisely and since 2004 Demeter with children has been decorating the famous building again.

It is remarkable that nowadays «The Kronstadt» Hotel is considered to be literally the only pre-war construction at this site of Independence Avenue that miraculously survived during the war years.  It`s a place of interest not only for common tourists but for modern historians and architects as well being the embodiment of all the pieces of art and distinguished sample of beauty, simplicity and harmony.

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