House with cats (Yagimovsky’s house)

The House with Cats, also known as the Yagimovsky House, is a monument to the architecture and history of pre-revolutionary Kyiv. It got its name because of the abundance of cat figures in the decor of the facade. For some time the house was called Koshchei’s castle, but why this was so is now unknown. The building was built according to the design of engineer-architect Vladimir Bessmertny and commissioned by Colonel Fyodor Yagimovsky in 1909.

People who became famous in different aspects of life lived in the house at different times. For example, in 1917-1920 the historian and ethnographer Nikolai Levchenko lived here. By the end of the 1920s, mechanical scientist Stepan Timoshenko lived in the house, in honor of whose stay a bronze memorial plaque was installed here on the facade of the building in 1995. Nowadays, the house has residential status, rich people live here, and the first floor is used by commercial structures.

Now let’s take a closer look at the house itself with cats, which is green in color, and the entire decor is highlighted in white – hence the overall contrast of the composition. On the street side, the house has 4 floors, on the courtyard side – 5. Each floor has four apartments, with an extremely inconvenient layout: the rooms are narrow, the windows too, the kitchens and bedrooms are dimly lit. And the abundance of living creatures (cats, owls and mascarons – a mixture of human and animal forms) on the facades (including even a devil near the roof) gives the building a similar appearance and features home with chimeras.

The windows and doors of a house with cats differ in shape and size. This is precisely the original solution of the architect. The combination of exotic modernist semicircular windows and Gothic stained glass windows has become a hallmark, thanks to which the building is very recognizable among other historical buildings in Kyiv. The designer’s idea to place large stained glass windows near the ground seems strange, since this will let in the cold in winter and heat the room too much in summer.

Where is the house with cats (Yagimovsky’s house)?

Gogolevskaya street, 23