History of summer cottages

А.Н. Бенуа Финский залив Бобыльск Петергоф

A.N. Benois. Evening at the seaside 1910

А.Н. Бенуа Деревня Бобыльск близ Петергофа

A.N. Benois. The village of Bobylsk near Peterhof 1880s

Дачи Л.Н. Бенуа и А.Э. Мейснера Бобыльск Петергоф вид с залива

Dachi L.N. Benois and A.E. Meissner.

View from the bay, 1897

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Former Krons dacha, view from the bay, 1924

Вокзал в Новом Петергофе

Station building in New Peterhof.

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L.N. Benois.

Дача Бенуа в Петергофе

Dacha M.N. Benois.

Финский залив тростник дача Бенуа Петергоф

View of the bay from the beach of M.N. Benois.

Фрагмент карты Петергофского уезда с обозначением дер. Бобыльской, 1904 г.

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Герб семьи Бенуа

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Побережье Финского залива с гигантскими шагами, 1897 г.

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Фрагмент карты Петергофского уезда с обозначением дер. Бобыльской, 1904 г.

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In Old Peterhof on the shore of the Gulf of Finland in the second half XIX - early XX century there was a picturesque village Bobylskaya (now the village of Prosveshchenie) - a resting place for industrialists, entrepreneurs, architects and artists. Surnames well known at that time: Benois, Brandt, Grube, Kron, Pren, San Galli, Shteiner - the owners of summer cottages - enjoyed well-deserved honor and respect before the revolution.

There were eight summer cottages a few meters from the water, and along the road leading to the Peterhof highway, and further, on the ridge of the Peterhof ridge, there were a number of buildings. The village was surrounded by fields, vegetable gardens and mows, among which were laid picturesque cobblestone paths. From the west, the village bordered on the Own Park, which belonged to the imperial family, dachas, and from the east - on the farm of the Prince of Oldenburg.

Friendly and neighborly relations of family members of summer residents led them to frequent communication, and, together with guests who constantly visited hospitable houses, turned the village into a kind of cultural recreation center for the Petersburg intelligentsia.

For almost thirty years, Nikolai L. Benois built and designed in Peterhof. His authorship belongs to such buildings as the Gothic stables, the Ladies' buildings and the station in New Peterhof.

In turn, his son, Leonty Nikolaevich Benois, went down in the history of Russian culture not only as a talented architect, but also as an energetic public figure, urban planner, and teacher. He was rightfully considered the leader of the architectural school of the Academy of Arts that raised him. Under his leadership and influence, the talent of dozens of students was formed, who subsequently managed to make a significant contribution to the development of Russian architecture. Possessing extensive knowledge in the field of arts and a talent for interpreting, he with apparent ease created numerous variations on themes of historical styles, skillfully coordinating them with specific tasks.

They settled in the village of Bobylskaya since 1883, when the eldest son of N.L. Benois, Albert Nikolaevich, rented a dacha there. A master of watercolors, he was the first to feel the combination of the delicate lyricism of the landscape and the dramatic influence of the sometimes harsh expanses of the Gulf of Finland, so characteristic of this place. According to the project of Leonty N. Benois, two dachas were built by a single ensemble in the "English taste", for the families of L.N. Benois and A.E. Meissner, standing "like two sisters" a few meters from the coastline. “Our dachas, - noted the architect, - turned out to be very successful, picturesque and cozy, and, in addition, spacious. In the living room, a large one-piece mirrored glass is inserted directly into a frame that would not open. This is done so that with strong northerly and northeasterly winds you can sit warm and admire the raging sea.

A year later, according to his own project, a dacha of Mikhail Nikolaevich Benois, brother of L. N. Benois, a former naval officer, with a picturesque, asymmetrically located tower was built on the border with the royal residence. Guests often came here, many of whom were also architects and artists: colleagues and students of Leonty Nikolaevich, relatives, family friends and neighbors. “At the turn of the 19th – 20th centuries, the Bobylskaya village became a kind of center of Petersburg dacha culture.”

In Bobylsk, they loved not only to create, but also to play tennis and croquet, swim, ride boats and yachts, arrange cycling, horseback riding and hiking in Oranienbaum, Sergievka and Lugovoy Park. They organized open-air holidays, often theatrical, especially crowded on the birthdays of N.L. and L.N. Benois. In addition, family members themselves were engaged in planting plants around the dachas, which turned the once deserted coast into a blooming garden. In 1915, M.N. Benois even intended to rent a neglected section of the park of his Own dacha for laying out a garden on it, an agreement was concluded, but the revolution ruled out the possibility of carrying out any work.


In 1920, a fire destroyed the dachas of L.N. Benois and A.E. Meisner.
All dachas by the Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of 1918 were transferred to the Union of Education Workers for a health resort. An exception was made only for Leonty Nikolaevich. In 1919, he equipped a creative training workshop and a library at his dacha, where he worked with young architects. In the postwar years, the grandchildren of L.N. Benois - A.V. Frolov, art critic, historiographer of the family, architects L. L. Shreter, professor of the Academy of Arts and his wife, O. A. Ivanova, teacher of the VKhPU im. Mukhina, and then their students, children, nephews and grandchildren, continued the traditions of the creative life and creative environment of Benois dacha.


In 1973, the complex was transferred to the St. Petersburg University as a sports base, which was not put into operation.
Within the boundaries of the territory there is a private property, where, in the former outbuildings of L. N. Benois's dacha, his descendants live.


During the work of the holiday home, the wooden buildings of the summer cottages have undergone completion and redevelopment, which has changed their appearance not for the better. Due to misuse and subsequent lack of repair, they quickly fell into disrepair.


Most of the green spaces on the territory have run wild and turned into thickets and forests, their territorial and visual integrity has been violated. Initially, “the place was bare,” L.N. Benois noted. The landscaping work was supervised by the gardener Redeshade, an employee of the outstanding specialist-park builder of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, R.E. Regel. Now the characteristic features of the landscape are the flat coast of the Gulf of Finland, small coves and picturesque thickets of reeds, granite stones along the coastline, left over from the once neatly folded embankment.


The main line of historical buildings runs along the coast, very close to the bay. This determines the valuable species qualities that summer cottages have: spaciousness, air and incredible sunsets that can be observed from this side of the bay.

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