The House-Museum of Ushkova

The Ushkova House is amazingly beautiful. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century. The house is located in Kremlyovskaya Street, in front of the main building of the University. The house is the architectural monument of federal significance. Outside, the Ushkova House looks like a palace, the interior is magnificent. The history of the house is very interesting and unusual.

Alexei Ushkov was a rich groom, the grandson of the tea magnate, the son of a successful businessman. When he was a student, he fell in love with Zinaida Vysotskaya, and when got her consent to marry him, he was very glad and decided to give her a sumptuous wedding present. Ushkov ordered famous architect Karl Myfke to make a luxurious house. The mansion was not rebuilt from the ground – Mufke reconstructed one of the old buildings of Kazan. After his work the house looked different and more elegant. It was decorated differently – you can see Chinese motifs on the stairs, rococo- in the living room, Gothic – in the dining room, Mauritanian style in one of the rooms.

When you enter the house, you see the corridor, decorated in the Chinese style of Shinoiseri. The interior here is similar to the palace chambers of the oriental lord: gilded carved dragons on walls, doors and the ceiling, a wooden staircase, bronze and stucco decorations, pictures of Japanese gods, etc. Colorful frescoes of the lobby remind China and Japan. The painting imitates Chinese and Japanese painting, the panels and walls look like covered by precious silk fabric. Light, picturesque panels showing everyday scenes from oriental life are framed with imitation of bamboo, hieroglyphs are seen on the floor and the walls.

The door handles are made in different shapes and are real works of art. All the doors facing the front staircase are decorated with handles in the form of bronze dragons. There are perfect stained glass windows made of French colored glass with exotic landscapes, rare birds and plants. These stained glass windows were created in the workshop of the famous French master Charles Champignol in Paris and then brought to Kazan together with frames that were also made specially for the house.

After the October revolution, the Ushkova house was expropriated and, by order of Nadezhda Krupskaya, became the building of the Lenin Library and later the National Library of the Republic of Tatarstan.
The “garden-grotto” is of special interest. This is the hall in the upper floor that looks like a cave with stalactites hanging from the ceiling and crevices in the walls. The walls are covered with natural shells and decorated with climbing plants. In the huge aquarium you can see shells, stones and a fountain in the form of a strange fish. The outer wall almost fully consists of the windows, and the lightened grotto looks particularly beautiful in the evening, when it gets dark – like a window into the fairy-tale world. The “garden-grotto» used to be the pride of the owners of the house, then the Kazan intelligentsia gathered here. Now a reading room is located here.

Address: Kremlyovskaya Street, House 33

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