The village of Dniprovske in the Kamianske Raion of the Dnepropetrovsk region could be bypassed on the way from Verkhnodniprovsk to the Dnipro, but here is an amazing building, completely built by one person. A man who lived his dream and was able to realize it.
Even Gaudi himself would envy the unusual architecture here!
What is interesting in the village of Dniprovske?
In the village of Dniprovske there is a local landmark – the cottage of an ordinary Soviet architect Nikolai Khlyapatura. No, this is not a typical cottage building on a plot of six acres. It is a whole castle with a house, a tower, a fountain and stone walls, which was built by the hands of one man. “The Architect’s Cottage”, “The Architect’s Castle”, “Khlyapatura Cottage”, “Khlyapik” – whatever its name is.
The cottage is located near the river and has a beautiful view of the Dnipro, you can even see the left bank of the Kamianske.
What has the architect Nikolai Khlyapatura become famous for?
Nikolai Alexandrovich Khlyapatura graduated from the university in Dnepropetrovsk. He was a talented engineer and architect and could build a great career not only in the regional center, but also in the capital. In Dnepropetrovsk he even managed to create two monuments.
However, fate decided otherwise. Hlyapatura stayed in the village of Dneprovske, where his wife worked at the starch-and-starch factory. He loved his woman and did not want to change his place of residence. That’s why he also got a job at the combine, where he worked all his life.
And when the company allocated him a plot of land, he began to build his castle there. The architect started building the cottage in the 1970s and finished in the early 1990s.
Nikolai Hlyapatura built everything with his own hands, without the help of workers. He rode his bicycle after work, dragged stones from the bank of the Dnipro River (the river is a couple of hundred meters away) on his own.
In Soviet times, guests of the plant came here – the management showed them “unusual architecture”.
Locals tell us that Nikolai Alexandrovich was an honest and open person, and that in the process of Hlyapatura he got very tired and at some point was disappointed in his plan. His faith and prayers helped him to come out of such a state.
He died when the architect’s wife went away for a few days. The woman found her husband in a praying pose with a rosary in his hands.
Architect’s cottage today
Today, Hlapatura’s creation is a medium-sized plot, on which there are buildings – a tower, a house made of stone, a house made of brick, and one stone structure with stairs and a basement of unknown purpose. There is a water pumping station, and the locals still go there to draw water.
On the territory of a lot of lush ornamental plants. On the side of the river is a stone fence with a gate and an arch (front entrance). They say that according to the author’s plan, there should be a fountain and the water will flow through the grooves all over the site.
It feels like everything was not finished yet. You can tell by the incomprehensible stone structure and the unfinished fountain.
Obviously, it’s all looked after – the grass is mowed, there is a sign about video surveillance, you can leave a donation for the development or call the tour guide.
I think it’s one of the locals who will open the tower and you can climb to the top of it.
There are rare excursions to the architect’s cottage. Most likely passing through from Kamenskoye.
Similar houses in Ukraine and the world
When I found myself at Architect Hlapatura’s cottage and learned about this man’s life and work, I was reminded of another lone builder from France.
Ferdinand Cheval, that was the name of the letter carrier who had built his palace and the shrine beside it in more than thirty years of hard work. Cheval walked dozens of kilometers a day and collected unusually shaped stones as part of his duty. Then he bought a plot of land and built his castle.
It is now called “Postman Cheval’s Ideal Palace”. The structure is included in the cultural heritage of France and was admired by artists such as Picasso and Breton. Although initially no one understood the meaning of Cheval’s work and even called it “ugly”.
Who knows, maybe someday Hlapatura cottage will become a big tourist spot on the map of Ukraine.
And in Lutsk, right on the territory of the historical complex “Old Town” there is a house of architect Golovan, in which more than five hundred outlandish sculptures and all made by the hands of one man.
How to get to the Architect’s cottage
- By car you can take the Kamianske-Verkhnodniprovsk highway.
- There are shuttles from Dnipro and Kamianske. Three times a day.
- Excursion by tourist bus.
- Google Maps – 48.6027929, 34.4358597.
I liked it here – the site is quiet and peaceful. However, in fact, the area is smaller than I expected, and an hour or two is quite enough for photos and relaxation.
It is better to call the guide and if he agrees – for a small donation will take you inside the tower. This will be more interesting, especially if you come here on purpose.