I live in Voronezh and am very fond of it. My town is very beautiful and attractive. I like to walk along its streets in the centre of the town, enjoy its parks, squares, gardens, monuments, learn something new about its historical past. There are many old interesting buildings in our town. But sometimes the details that decorate them are no less interesting than the buildings themselves. The architectural relieves make up legends, keep secrets of the past, recall about the previous greatness, become talismans and even appear and disappear without any visible signs, save the outward appearance of the buildings.
It seems to me that everyone in our townknows the museum “Arsenal”, schoolchildren visit it every year. The high relief on the building was made in the nineteenth century. A lot of legends bound it with the epoch of Peter the Great. But it`s not right. The building was built at theend of 1770s and there was a manufacure of the merchants Gardenini here. In 1840s the manufacture became the arena for military trainings where the soldiers` orphans were taught gunnery. So some cannons appeared on the pediment and in the town the legend about Peter I.
The lions on the old blue house in Revolution Avenue are more than 150 years old and they have seen a lot. In the middle of the XIX century there was a hotel. It belonged to the Shvanvichis. In 1860 the governor Dmitri gave there a ball in honour of the dramatist A. Ostrovski. The poet I. Nikitin wanted to make a shop in the building. It seems to me that the lions know a lot of other secrets but they will never tell anybody about them because their mouths are locked.
In Vaitsekhovskaya street I have come across one of the prosperous cottages in Voronezh – Vigel`s house. Women`s heads and flower garlands on its facade are really beautiful and tell us about the previous greatness of the house. It was built in the middle of the eighteenth century by Maxim Tulin. You can see gothic,
baroque and ampere in the architecture. There was a hospital there up to 1988. Now the house is on the restoration. I think it`ll be wonderfull to look inside the house.
In Lenin Square on the building of Voronezh Philarmonic there are sphinxes – gryphons. Gryphon as I know from my History lessons is the keeper of castles and treasure, a symbol of bellicosity. As for gryphon it is a symbol of strength and wit. That`s why these semi-sphinxes and semi-gryphons are called the talisman of the building. At first the Philarmonic was one of the cinemas in Voronezh, it was called “Electrotheatre Taumatograuph” and was built in 1915.
Next to the Philarmonic thereis the Opera House. When the 9-storied hotel “Brno” was built behind it the Opera House was decorated with a bas-relief composition on the pediment and on the roof there appeared the figures with horns. I can`t imagine the Opera House without them now.
I was impressed by the story about appearing and disappearing of the silhoette of comrade Stalin on one of the buildings in Deputatskaya Street. They say in 1930s there was ah ensemble of 5- and 6-storied houses with bas-relieves telling us about the achievements of the country. On one of the bas-relieves there was Stalin with a girl in his hands. The girl had flowers in her hands. In 1960s Stalin`s figure was cut down but the girl was left.. And now it seems that she is flying in the air. But they say that in rainy weather the silhoette is seen on the wall and Stalin like a ghost appears on the bas-relief again.
Not far from Petrovski Cathedral in Alekseyevskaya Street, 12, there is a building on the facade of whicha stone owl is watching the street. If you come nearer to the building it seems enormous. Maybe the wise owl is a guard and it helps us not to make mistakes.
I nope my story was rather interesting. I`l be very glad if everyone of you wants to watch these historical sights of Voronezh and tell your friends about them. Especially now when some old buildings and unofficial monuments are disappearing from the face of the town.