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The Merchant Klepikov's House
December 15, 2015 17:02


The house of the merchant Klepikov is extremely important for Surgut, speaking in a Leninist manner: it is not just a museum, but also the town’s only monument of architecture of XIX-XX centuries. All historical houses were demolished during the construction boom of the 1960s, and this house had almost a miraculous escape. When oil was found in Surgut district, thousands of people came to work in the town, they needed houses.

Old residential houses were demolished at lightning speed, without unnecessary sentimentality, high-rise boxes were immediately erected in their place. Despite the fact that the old Surgut was small, it was also beautiful and not inferior to other Siberian cities in terms of traditional wooden architecture. Fortunately, the exhibition of the first museum of Surgut opened in the merchant’s house on Prosveshcheniya Street in 1963. This saved the decorated wooden cottage from destruction (experts attribute the house to Tobolsk school of Siberian architecture).

A residential district of panel houses grew around the museum and hid the latter inside their yards. The house of the merchant Klepikov, which is now a branch of the Surgut museum, was restored in 2005. The building was painted in “historic” colors, the gardening area was improved (flowers are grown here in summer), the exhibitions were updated. The museum is dedicated not only to its first owner, the Surgut “merchant commoner” of the Cossack family Galaktion Stepanovich Klepikov or to his family, but to the merchants’ life in general.

Only the unique door handles are left from the Klepikov’s private merchant’s life. After the revolution the house was confiscated, it had housed a school, apartments, and the District Board of Education before it was given to the museum. Today the information about the merchant Klepikov is collected bit by bit, and the museum exhibition – the recreated living room, bedroom, office, merchant’s shop – represent both the way of life of the Surgut merchants and the town’s history. The exhibits are constituted by the specially chosen items of that epoch.

Of course, you can say that there are a lot of such museums in the Russian cities. But this one deserves attention - the wooden mansion is especially touching in the new high-rise Surgut and it connects different epochs, just like the bronze mammoths of the Archeopark. In fact, the house of Klepikov is also a kind of mammoth, the last representative of an extinct tribe. It reminds us that Surgut is not a rainbow-colored bubble of the oil boom, but the old Siberian town with a long history.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Surgut     

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