It’s a Small World After All – Homemade Russian Castle


From Ordinary House to Fairy Tale Castle

A retired couple from the suburbs of Artyom, Russia have worked for 16 years transforming an ordinary house into a fairy tale castle, using only junk materials found on the street and at a local landfill.


The Small Architectural Wonder

Started in 1995

They might be pensioners, but Alexey and Valentina Krivov don’t consider themselves too old for fairy tales. They didn’t want to grow old in their grey house and since they couldn’t afford to buy a castle of their own, they decided to build their own castle fit for a prince and princess. Alexey worked in constructions for most of his life and this gave him the chance to be a foreman for his own personal project, and Valentina had experience as a decorator and plasterer, so they figured out most of the details themselves. They started work on their architectural wonder in 1995, salvaging whatever materials they needed from the streets and the nearby construction landfill. As the castle started taking shape, their neighbors started noticing it and became eager to help the Krivovs in whatever way they could.


This little Castle houses 14 Cats and 3 Dogs

16 years after, the home-made castle of Artyom is complete. It has a beautiful courtyard lined with colored tiles, traditional Russian style columns and turrets, and certainly doesn’t look like something built from trash. But, according to Alexey and Valentina Krivov, everything from the bricks, fittings, wires to the decorative tiles was salvaged by them or donated by their neighbors. And because they wanted to share their awesome castle with their pets, the domes and towers of the structure also act as homes to 14 cats and 3 dogs.

A Legacy to leave Behind

Asked why they spent 16 years building their castle, Alexey’s answer was pretty simple: Everyone wants to leave something behind in this world, they just wanted to make sure it was something beautiful.



8 thoughts on “It’s a Small World After All – Homemade Russian Castle

    1. Actually they didn’t pay a thing for the materials, or very little anyway. Mostly it was the labor (his own) that cost the most. I can’t imagine the number of hours he, his wife and the community spent working on their home.

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