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“Choco house”

The Chocolate House
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Architectural Monuments of Pechersk District...
Ranked #123 of 537 things to do in Kiev
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Reviewed February 18, 2012

Cool design, very original, but nothing special. old city

Thank TaxiUA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 4, 2012

Its a beautiful building but unfortunatelly in a very bad condition

Thank KNVKiev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2011

This attraction lost its brackets when got listed. It should read The “Chocolate” House. A century ago, brown colour dominating in the mansion’s exterior as well as the architectural elements of its façade resembling a bar of chocolate had inspired Kyivans to call it “The Chocolate House”. The nick survived and eventually turned into the house’s own name. 

You won’t miss this corner building standing out at the crossroad of Orlyka and Shovkovychna Streets. Its rusticated façade has always slightly echoed Palazzo Pitti in Florence to me. It’s situated very close to The House with Chimeras, so if you are already in the area and have some time to spare, do drop in here!

Originally a private mansion of Semen Mogilyovtsev, a Kyiv timber-man and a merchant belonging to the top guild, this House in the Venetian Renaissance style was constructed in the elite Lypky district back in 1899-1901 as a reception hall with a ball room. In the Soviet times, it hosted the Central Civil Registry Office, but soon became too small for the growing bureaucratic structure that moved to the new premises. After ages of oblivion and depression followed by years of excursive reconstruction, in 1985 the “Chocolate” House had finally become a branch of the Kyiv Museum of Russian Art and was given to the Youth Art Gallery.

However, those are not the paintings by kids that I recommend visiting this house for (although few of them could even fit in PinchukArtCentre collection perfectly).

Brilliant Kyiv architect Vladimir Nikolaev, designer of the House, obtained carte blanche from the owner and implemented the wildest dreams of a designer of those days. Each room of the House is decorated in its own style, representing few major art periods, styles and trends: Byzantine, Renaissance, Baroque, Modern, also Moorish, Neo-Russian, Japanese... And it is precisely for this eclectic, on the edge of either kitsch or class, unique interior that I encourage you to attend this mansion. It might also stand for a partial compensation if you fail to visit Gorodetski House (With Chimeras).   

Although the reconstruction is not accomplished, and some parts of the House (say, the ceiling above the main staircase) are half-ruined, few halls on the second floor are open to public.

I found White, Neo-Russian and Art Nouveau Halls the most impressive. The Moorish hall was also interesting, but lit too badly to see it properly. Japanese room has never been restored. 

Sadly, there is almost no original furniture left, except for the large Venetian mirror in the White Hall and some elements of décor. I was charmed by the crafted wooden window sill in the Neo-Russian hall, wooden panels in the Byzantinesque hall and stained-glass panel as well as fabulous ceiling imitating Sarah Bernardt’s poster by Alfons Mucha in the Art Nouveau Hall. All doors in the House are also genuine: note that each side is decorated in the style of the room they open to.

The House is open daily except Monday and Thursday, from 11am to 6.30pm. Open hours can differ when it hosts special events: chamber music concerts, presentations etc. Don’t miss a chance to attend a chamber music concert, if you see it announced; this is some experience! The ticket price normally starts at UAH 30 (less than USD 4) and can be topped by a donation for the House’s reconstruction.   

Regular admission (adults) is UAH 20 (caUSD2.5); admission with a guided tour UAH 30 (caUSD3.8). Photography is allowed; photo permission is UAH 25.  

The museum attendant told me that English tours can be arranged, too. If available when you are there, don’t give them a miss. Until duly restored, this house is all about its history.

2  Thank Cora_v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2017
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 8, 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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