Wooden architecture of Gorokhovets (late 19th-early 20th centuries)

The unrepeatable and original in form and decoration houses of local carpenters today have become the visiting card of Gorokhovets. Unique examples of wooden architecture have been preserved in the town since the end of the 19th century.

Gorokhovets carpenters went down in history as "yakushi" - by the name of one of the villages of the county (Yakushevo). The fame of these folk craftsmen was so wide that in his "Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language" V.I. Dal found a special place for them and defined them as follows: "chiselers, carpenters-carvers, cutting adornment for houses and ships". Carpentry developed in Gorokhovets not by accident. It is one of the most forest areas on the Vladimir land. Carpentry was here the main occupation of the male population from time immemorial. People said: "If there is no ax, it's high time to drown oneself".

Immediately at the entrance to Gorokhovets  the wooden mansion attracts one’s attention, which stands out with its bizarre shape. This is a former country house of  M.I. Shorin, the manager of the Boiler and Shipbuilding Plant, which founder and owner was his father, I.A. Shorin. The house was built for a large family (M.I. Shorin had four children) at the very beginning of the 20th century and surprised the townspeople with its intricate appearance. Gorokhovets carpenters, in fact, erected a fairy tale tower-room, in which as if an extraordinary epic hero lived.

The house is one-story, with a high brick lower floor (podklet) for utility rooms. Asymmetry in shape and size creates an unusually picturesque composition. Two mezzanines rise above the main volume. Particular attention is drawn to the two towers from the corners of the front facade – square and round. The construction of a round tower from bent logs, clearly demonstrated the stunning craftsmanship of local carpenters. 

Amazing decoration of the house are large curved windows with rounded corners and carved platbands, which have "flowing" shapes characteristic of modern style. Elegant window frame bindings resemble stained glass. The house is richly decorated with various valances and cornices with expertly carving (a thin board was sawed through the previously plotted drawing).

Today in this unique monument of wooden architecture the settlement House of folk art and crafts is very organically placed.

Address: Gorokhovets, Moscow street, 43
GPS: 56.196136, 42.698336

Another wooden miracle of Gorokhovets is the mansion of  Prishletsov, chairman of the zemstvo board, built in 1915. The architecture of the house reflected increasing in the late 19th-early 20th century interest in the motives of Russian folk art in architecture – the so-called "new Russian style". It was peculiarly refracted in local carpentry. A wooden one-story mansion with a tower, square in the plan, and a voluminous dome-shaped mezzanine, even today attracts attention with its unusualness. The dormer little triangular windows, that rise to the ridge of the roof step by step, are Interesting. The entrance from the street is decorated with a porch with a two-slope steep roof, covered with patterned iron tiles, as with scales, and crowned with a carved spire. A domed four-slope tower vault, sustained in the same style, also with a "scales" and a spire, stands on one axis with the porch.

The main facade is more saturated with decor than the side facades facing the courtyard and garden. Windows, various in form,  are decorated by local "yakushi"  with magnificent carved platbands. Among the motifs of the carving are large rosettes of flowers and leaves, grape brushes and, especially expressive, fabulous lions and mermaids ("keepers"), which were designed to protect the house from enemies. Today Prishletsov's mansion is often called a "house with mermaids".

Address: Gorokhovets, Lenin street, 38
GPS: 56.204309, 42.683532

Both the house of merchant I.P. Morozov and Kuchin's house, also with a variety of small towers, carved window platbands and other elements of the "new Russian style", belong to the monuments of wooden architecture of the early 20th century. Craftsmanship of local carpenters made Gorokhovets a true preserve of folk art.

House of Morozov
Address: Gorokhovets, Lenin street, 83
GPS: 56.202922, 42.688796

Kuchin's House
Gorokhovets, Moscow street, 21
GPS: 56.197599, 42.702729

Author: V. Korolkova