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Internal Guard Barracks

Internal Guard Barracks

Nowadays:

Office block

Alexandrovskaya Square became the fourth one in the formal master plan of Ufa, designed by St. Petersburg architect William Heste and Ufa engineer V. Smetanin at the end of 1810s. Its architectural ensemble was eventually completed in 1820-30s in the style of Russian classicism with a glance to its provincial peculiarities. The construction was initiated by Emperor Alexander I. While travelling across Russia in 1824, he visited Ufa. On September 18 the monarch himself laid the foundation...
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  • How to visit?
      Address:
      55/2 Karl Marx Street
      Public Transport Stop:
      Dom Profsoyuzov
  • History

      Alexandrovskaya Square became the fourth one in the formal master plan of Ufa, designed by St. Petersburg architect William Heste and Ufa engineer V. Smetanin at the end of 1810s. Its architectural ensemble was eventually completed in 1820-30s in the style of Russian classicism with a glance to its provincial peculiarities.

      The construction was initiated by Emperor Alexander I. While travelling across Russia in 1824, he visited Ufa. On September 18 the monarch himself laid the foundation stone of the church in honor of Saint Alexander Nevsky. At the same time the Emperor came up with an idea to build here the barracks of Ufa garrison and he pointed at the site to the west of the founded church.

      The complex of the internal guard barracks consisted of 4 buildings and a brick barrack wall along the Gogolya Street. The four houses are pairwise symmetrical to each other. The symmetry axis between the pairs is the one of the former Alexander Church (currently the site of the Trade Unions House). All the buildings are situated at the back of the quarter.

      The architecture is characteristic of the military towns of the 19th century. The composition is austere and rational featuring few decorations. The appearance of such buildings was developed in the period of late classicism to be used for all the state buildings of provincial towns. The first floor of the buildings features arched ceilings. The L-shaped buildings had a long corridor enfilade characteristic of barracks.

      Two L-type buildings were named "single" (northern) and "married" (southern) or "white" and "red". The street along the symmetry axis between the buildings to the west of Alexander Church and up to the Ushchelye area was named after the barracks.

      In the winter of 1841-42 A. Peslyak, a writer, who served in Ufa battalion, wrote in his notes: "I was the first to be ordered to move to the barracks with my company to arrange its household". Afterwards the whole military history of the city was connected to these barracks. Soldiers were leaving the barracks to fight in the Crimean War, to the war with Turkey for the freedom of Bulgaria, to the Russo-Japanese War, the First World War and the Great Patriotic War. In peace time the barracks were used as internal guard barracks.

      As soon as the buildings were constructed, the first Church of Saint George of Lydda, the patron saint of Russian warriors, was consecrated in the barracks.

      After the consecration of Alexander Church in 1836 the Square acquired its classicism style with the predominance of church architecture. The main color in classicism is white that is why the new church and barracks were bleached-out. The whiteness visually emphasized the power and size of Alexander Church and internal guard barracks. Famous noble families built their mansions at to the edge of the square: the Novikovs and Kugushevs at the southern edge and the Bazilevs and Orlovs at the northern edge. These buildings with auxiliary structures are clearly seen on the 1852 map of Ufa.

      Both barrack buildings have been used as intended for 180 years until now. There have never been any significant modifications, but certain details have changed: the dome of Saint George Church disappeared, the brick barrack wall with the base made of the white flagstone survived partially, the best part of the buttresses has been lost. According to senior citizen Vagin in 1917 there was an explosion of ammunition supplies in the south-western part which demolished part of the wall and killed a passer-by.

      The complex of the internal guard barracks is of huge interest from the viewpoint of city military history and architecture of the first half of the 19th century.

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