Ermak Travel Guide

 

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Fabergé's House

Image of Fabergé's House

Faberge family is synonymous with jewellery and art. They were the descendants of the French immigrants- Huguenots who escaped from religious persecutions to Russia, where they created some of the best examples of Easter eggs. This expansive family had several houses in Saint Petersburg and around it. The one located near village Pesochniy in Leningrad Oblast is probably most fascinating. The house construction started in 1907 as a present to Agathon Faberge (1876–1951) by his famous father, Carl Faberge. Agathon Faberge was a worthy descendent of his family. He fluently spoke five languages and presented his family company at the royal courts of Great Britain, Sweden, Norway and Siam (modern China).

Image of Fabergé's House  Fabergé's House  Fabergé's House

 

 

 

 

Description of an abandoned Faberge Estate

Agathon Faberge greatly increased his residence and brought here his collection of jewelry, paintings, old carpets and other art objects. In fact it became known as a "small Hermitage" as a reference to the Winter Palace (Hermitage) of the Russian Tsars.. Although Faberge estate is considered a historic building nothing was done to preserve the former residence of the Faberge family. It is surprising if you take in consideration that this is one of the few intact examples of Russian modern architecture. It seems that the whole building is made up of broken lines. There is no straight angles in the windows, staircases and even outside walls. Every line of the house is elegant and curved. It is a shame that the government completely ignores this beautiful and fascinating place. The sign on the entrance door prohibits trespassing and threatens with guard dogs. However aside of a single watchman they say lives in the area (probably an urban legend), there is no sign of any serious security measures. It is surprising that almost all glass windows are still intact.

 

Fabergé's Easter Eggs

Fabergé's Eggs Image of Fabergé's Eggs Image of Fabergé's Eggs

 

Marble Staircase

Fabergé's House  Fabergé's House

Marble Staircase was the centre piece of the Faberge Residence. It was the main stair case in the house and today it is the best preserved in the estate. So if you want to get on the second floor you should probably use this one instead of any others in the house. The ceiling here was made of glass and allowed natural light to illuminate this part of the house. Unfortunately most of the glass is covered by soil and plants that collected here over past decades of neglect. But you still can use your imagination to picture how magnificent it looked just a century ago. Today it is dark and gloomy, but before the Soviet Revolution it was the brightest room in the house.

 

Second Floor and ceiling over the Marble Staircase

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Faberge Estate or Dacha gets its new collection of carpets before owners move in (circa 1908)

 

 

 

Fabergé's House  Fabergé's House

According to diaries and memories of the people who knew Agathon Faberge was a pleasant man. Despite his millions Agathon was modest and enjoyed a good company of his friends. He loved to entertain his guests and offered them his hospitality and his house. The house was alive with people. Kids usually played in the massive garden that surrounded the former estate or played hide and seek in the Winter Garden. Grown ups usually opened huge windows of the residence, ate, smoked cigars and discussed politics, women, religion and other things. In the evening they played piano that once stood in the big hall. You can even find its former location by the marks left on the rotting hardwood. All this lasted until Soviet Revolution of 1917 did not bring an end to a former life.

 

Image of Fabergé's House  Fabergé's House  Fabergé's House  Fabergé's House

  Image of Fabergé's House

Former library of the Faberge residence was completely stripped by the Bolsheviks who were looking for the jewels of the former residents. Initially the missed the secret door that hid them. However they found a way to get them. Several months in a prison for the former resident of the house proofed to be enough to share a secret. We can only guess what inhumane tortures were used to get these precious jewels. Hidden room was eventually found in the library, heavy door (pictured on the right) was opened and all its riches were removed. Despite complete trashing of 1919 brother of Agathon, Eugene Faberge (1878- 1960) claimed that most of the jewels were actually hidden near the estate and commies missed most of them. Whether it is true or not we don't know. Needless to say there is no shortage of people who tried to look for these riches and failed. Or maybe kept quiet if they found anything. Regardless Agathon Faberge escaped to Finland, former province of the Russian Empire, in 1927. Soviet Secret Police chased them and even shot a former millionaire. But he escaped across the border, recovered from his gun shot and spent the rest of his life quietly and in peace.

 

Eugene Faberge (1878- 1960)

 

Fabergé's House  Fabergé's House  Fabergé's House  Fabergé's House  Fabergé's House  Fabergé's House  Fabergé's House  Fabergé's House

It is hard to believe now, but just a century ago the estate of the Faberge family was surrounded by a majestic park with fountains, beautiful trees and flowers. Some of the trees were arranged as a huge growing sun clock. The owner could simply gaze outside of his office to check what time it was.

Fabergé's House 

Agathon Faberge at the entrance of his residence before and after.

Faberge  Faberge  Faberge Egg  Faberge Egg  Faberge  Faberge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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