The Fadeyev estate in Katerynoslav

Katerynoslav of the beginning of the 19th century. Construction, home ownership.

The end of the 18th — the first half of the 19th century. for Dnieper, the time is dramatic and turning point, original, unique in its own way. After the destruction of the Cossack Republic and the annexation of the lands of the Lower Dnieper and the Northern Black Sea region to the Russian Empire, the tsars generously gave away large land plots to the nobles, created colonies of foreign immigrants, forcibly resettled peasants from Ukrainian and Russian provinces here. The region was intensively settled. Katerynoslav, the center of a huge province that occupied the territory of four oblasts of today’s Ukraine, was a small provincial town in those years. It grew and slowly developed on the site of the old Cossack village of Polovytsia.
Grandiose plans to create here the third capital of the Russian Empire, South Palmyra, [1] died along with their creators. Historian D. I. Yavornytskyi writes about Katerynoslav in the 1820s:
“At that time, it had a total population of 2,555 men and 2,247 women, 1,095 houses, of which 13 were public, 3 public, 3 churches, one religious institution, one gymnasium, one seminary, and one district school” [2].
Residents were engaged in trade, as well as processing of agricultural raw materials at small enterprises: a cloth factory, tallow and candle factories. For almost a century since its creation, the provincial center of Katerynoslav lived a quiet and routine life, remaining a dull and inactive town.
A researcher of that era writes:
“… it was impossible to fall in love with Ekaterinoslav. It was impossible to get carried away by some Silchalin, Skalozub, or Manila, Nozdrevy, who occasionally looked into the city? It was empty around the part of the intelligent youth. … the province mostly continued to live the interests of its corner, the life of its family. It had nothing to do with the oppression of the capital, nor with the European revolutions, nor with the political and economic ideas that were born by them” [3].
The house on the street Petersburg.
At the beginning of the 19th century in Katerynoslav, on Peterburgskaya street, a house was built, which will be destined to become famous, to become a monument of history, thanks to a unique dynasty, three generations of whose members – state and public figures, scientists and writers – a unique phenomenon in national and world culture.
Unfortunately, we do not know the exact date of construction of this building and the name of its creators, its first owners. We can only say with certainty that it was originally a city estate with a manor house, courtyard buildings and a huge garden, located on an area of two hectares [4]. In 1815, it was sold to Andrii Mykhailovych Fadeev, an unknown resident of Ekaterinoslav.
[4] Houses in provincial Katerynoslav then were built freely: with windows on four sides, with a large garden around. In those years, the office of the Guardianship of Foreign Settlers, the post office building next to it, and a number of other buildings, both public and private, were built according to the principle of urban manor house ownership.
The Fadeev family.
The Fadeev family came to Katerynoslav from Rzhishchevo, Kyiv province in 1815. Its head, Andrii Mykhailovych Fadeev (1790 – 1867), was assigned to the Novorossiysk Office of the Guardianship of Foreign Settlers as a junior associate of the chief judge (today in the building of the Guardianship Office at 64 K. Marks Ave. the “Literary Prydniprovya” museum is located).
To this glorious family belonged public and political figures, writers, scientists, who made the glory not only of our region, but also of the whole country.

  • Olena Pavlovna Fadeeva
  • Olena Andriivna Han
  • Rostyslav Andriyovych Fadeev
  • Nadiya Andriivna Fadeeva
  • Kateryna Andriivna Fadeeva
  • Elena Petrovna Blavatsky
  • Vera Petrovna Zhelikhovaska
  • Serhiy Yul’evich Witte

The happy and dramatic years of the Fadeyev family’s life passed in Katerynoslav. They lived in the house on Petersburg Street for nineteen years. Here they had four children. Their eldest daughter left him under the crown. Their first granddaughter was born here in 1831. Heavy, irreparable losses are also associated with this period of the Fadeevs’ lives [14].
For us, the era of the Fadeevs in the fate of the house remains the main one in its history. And although the old mansion on the former St. Petersburg remembers and loves everyone whose names are written on the pages of its House book, sees their large and small (childish) shadows on its walls, but always, no matter how many people flash around and inside it behind for almost two hundred years of his life, he felt like the House of the Fadeevs. It will remain for them – a museum and a monument of our culture.
[14] In 1820, they survived a flood, in 1821, the Fadeevs’ tiny daughter Anastasia was born and died a few months later, in 1824, Elena Pavlivna Fadeeva’s beloved grandmother – Elena Ivanovna Brande-du-Plessis, who lived with the Fadeev family for more than ten years. In 1826, Fadeev wrote: “…I had the misfortune of losing my father, who moved to Katerynoslav to be closer to me and my family. My mother stayed forever in Katerynoslav” (p.97)
After the Fadeevs.
Researchers write about the residents of Petersburg Street in 1830 and their houses:
“Only P.S. Semenovskyi, a gymnasium teacher, Andrii Mykhailovych Fadeyev, manager of the office of foreign settlers, and German merchant Karl Neumann had good houses” [15]. The following can be said about the named neighbors of the Fadeevs: P. S. Semenovsky was a mathematics teacher, who entered the history of the city as the first who in 1839 began systematic observations of climatic changes in the Dnieper region. K. V. Neumann is a German from Aachen, he came to Katerynoslav, like the Fadeevs, in 1815. Merchant of the second guild. In 1833, he opened a small cloth factory on Petersburg Street, which existed until 1848. Somewhere near the factory stood his own house. According to one of the versions, he was not a neighbor of the Fadeyevs, but the person who bought the house and estate from them. Moreover, it is possible that he located his small factory here.
According to another, main, version, the successor of the Fadeevs, who bought their house, was V. I. Dragnevych. This is how D.I. Yavornytskyi tells about him:
“The last director of the factory [16] was Vasiliy Ivanovich Dragnevych, a native of Serbia, a sailor during the Chesmen battle, in which he participated in the rank of midshipman. Dragnevych, the first of the directors, submitted a project to close the state-owned cloth factory in Ekaterinoslav, pointed out the huge expenses for it, the embezzlement and abuse, with which the directors had to constantly fight. Dragnevych proved that it is incomparably more profitable and convenient for the treasury to make cloth for the Guard to order from private factories. Dragnevych’s project was accepted, and the state cloth factory in Ekaterinoslav ceased to exist in 1837” [17].
After Dragnevych’s death, the house passed into the possession of his son-in-law – M.S. Klyovtsov. Katerynoslav and St. Petersburg Street in 1841 appear before us from the pages of the memoirs of old-timer Porfiry Feodosiyovych Yanenko: “From the bridge, we had to drive along St. Petersburg Street, which did not reveal anything interesting, except for sand drifts and potholes and the most insignificant houses, filled with sand up to the windows, as well as lobazes of various forms and pubs with the inscription “Kazenny drinking house” [18]. In the second half of the 19th century, the building became the property of the merchant Stanislavskyi. And in the 1890s, the building was rented out by the owners and the 7th city girls’ school was located here. At the beginning of the 20th century, the building received the address: 11 Petersburg Street. You can read about how the city in the Petersburg District looked at that time in the yearbook “Ves Katerynoslav” for 1911:
“The bank of the Dnieper from Zhel.-dor. of the bridge, ending with Lyteina Street – one solid forest warehouse. This is the center of the forest market, where the sale, purchase and sawing of wood is carried out. Rafts arrive here, they are unloaded here. There are several sawmills on the shore, filled with work day and night, especially in summer. In general, the Dnieper shore is extremely neglected and littered. Due to the lack of any supervision, it has recently turned into a solid dump.”
Another certificate “The closest street to the Dnieper is Petersburg Street.” (Leningradskaya) – ran parallel to the river bank. Until the middle of the last century, various people lived in shacks on it. Reconstruction of the street began after the opening of the steamship in 1856 and the extension of the railway. Branches from the station to the power plant building. From the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, many small factories and workshops appeared here: A.N. Manzona’s soap factory, “Shla” shovel mill, Sh. Guraria’s mill. Sawmills and sawmills – Levenzona, Fasta, Mykhailychenko. Many of these enterprises used their backyards to go to the river bank, where they dumped waste” [19].
And one more opinion, expressed this time by local historian A.K. Fomenko: “Before the revolution, the bank of the Dnieper from the railway bridge to Lyvarna Street had an extremely unattractive appearance. The city streets closest to the Dnipro at that time were Peterburgzka (Leningradska) and Starodvoryanska (Plekhanova), and further, to the water itself, there were numerous sawmills with mountains of boards, mills, grist mills, small factories, workshops and warehouses surrounded by various junk. All this made this area of the city look like a large dump, among which stood single residential buildings. Getting through it to the river was not so easy. The city, figuratively speaking, turned its back to the Dnipro-Slavuta” [20].

  • Since 1913, the building at 11 Petersburg Street has been owned by the merchant Maidanskyi.
  • After the revolution, it was nationalized and has been turned into communal housing for more than twenty (!) families. Probably, it was at this time that it underwent serious internal restructuring.
  • Since the end of the 1940s, it housed the Dniprostroymash factory management and the factory canteen. Then, a large part of the building (except for the dining room) was transferred to house a school for young workers at the factory.
  • In the 1960s and 70s, evening school No. 4 was located there. In the 1980s and early 1990s, there were typing and shorthand courses, then vocational school No. 51, then PTU No. 63.
  • In 1987, the building received the status of a monument of history and culture of the 19th century [21] (decision of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Executive Committee N180 dated 16.07.1987, State registration number 6156).
  • In 1991, a memorial plaque dedicated to O. P. Blavatsky was installed on the building.
  • In 2004, by decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Council, the building on the street Leningradskaya, 11 is transferred to the balance of the Dnipropetrovsk Historical Museum by him. D.I. Yavornytskyi with the aim of creating the Museum Center of O.P. Blavatsky and her family.

An important and difficult task remains the transfer of the newly created museum, the territory adjacent to the house and the reproduction of the unique garden of the Fadeevs, as well as the reconstruction of courtyard buildings, the search and revival of the spring.
The special historical and cultural value of the Fadeev Manor and the state program of museum construction create an opportunity to create an international-sounding Museum Center in Dnipropetrovsk.
[15] Dnipropetrovsk at the turn of the millennium. – Dnipropetrovsk, 2001 – P.17.
[16] Here we are talking about a state-owned factory……
[17] Yavornytsky D.I. History of the city of Ekaterinoslav. – Dnipropetrovsk, 1996. – P. 31-32.
[18] Yavornytsky D.I. History of the city of Ekaterinoslav. – Dnipropetrovsk, 1996. – P. 108 (with a reference to the publication in “Ekaterinoslavsky Jubilee Leaflet”. – 1887 – P. 24, 43, 44).
[19] Starodubov A.F., Samodryga V.V., Ivanov S.S. Memory of history. – Dnipropetrovsk, 2001. – P.262.
[20] Fomenko A.K. Our city: past and present. – Dnipropetrovsk: DniproKnyga, 2001. – P.235.

  1. Alyvantseva E.V. The Fadeev House in Ekaterinoslav. – Council. Bulletin of the territorial community of Dn-vsk. – 2004. – Nos. 7, 8.
  2. Bohdanovich O.V. Blavatskaya and Odessa. – Odessa, 1998.
  3. Witte S.Yu. Memories (in 3 volumes). – M.: Sotsegiz, 1960.
  4. Witte S.Yu. Selected memories. 1849 – 1911. – M.: Mysl, 1991.
  5. Dnipropetrovsk at the turn of the millennium. – Dnipropetrovsk, 2001.
  6. Elena Pavlovna Fadeeva (biographical sketch). // Caucasus. – 1860. – September 15. – P.426.
  7. Zhelikhovskaya V.P. Inexplicable or unexplained (From personal and family memories). – St. Petersburg, 1885.
  8. Sylvia Cranston. NRV: EP Blavatskaya: Life and work of the founder of the modern theosophical movement. – Riga – Moscow: Sygatma – Syryn, 1996.
  9. Mary K. Neff. Personal memoirs of EP Blavatskaya. – M.: Sphere, 1993.
  10. Nekrasova E.S. Elena Andreevna Gan (Zeneida R-va). // Russian antiquity. – 1886. – volume VIII.
  11. About the article “The novel of one forgotten novelist” // Historical newspaper. – 1886. – November. – P.456 – 462.
  12. Starodubov A.F., Samodryga V.V., Ivanov S.S. Memory of history. – Dnipropetrovsk, 2001.
  13. Fadeev A.M. Memories 1790 – 1867 (in two parts). – Odesa: Type. South Russian Society of Printing, 1897.
  14. Fadeeva N.A. Notes on the genealogy of princes Dolgoruky // Russian archive. – 1866. – #8-9. – P. 1339 – 1348.
  15. Fadeeva N.A. Elena Pavlovna Fadeeva. / Russian biographical dictionary. Ed. A.A. Polovtseva. – St. Petersburg, 1901. – T. 21.
  16. [Fadeeva N.A.] A few introductory words. / Memories of Andrei Mikhailovich Fadeev. 1790 – 1867 – Odessa, 1897.
  17. Fomenko A.K. Our city: past and present / Dnipropetrovsk: past and present. – Dnipropetrovsk: DniproKnyga, 2001.
  18. N.N. Fatov Bibliographic materials for the study of life and creativity by E.A. Han (chronological canvas and index of literature) // Izvestiya otsedana russkogo yazyka i slovesnosti Imperial Academy of Sciences. – 1914. – T. XIX. – book 2. – P.211 – 263.
  19. Yavornytskyi D.I. History of the city of Ekaterinoslav. – Dnipropetrovsk: January, 1996.