3 An Abandoned  Villa of the Famous Nobel Family in St. Petersburg

An Abandoned Villa of the Famous Nobel Family in St. Petersburg

Posted on October 28, 2015 by tim


We all know Alfred Nobel – a famous Swedish inventor and Nobel prize initiator. A lesser known fact is that Nobel invented explosives – TNT, and an even more less known fact is that Alfred Nobel lived in Russia, where his family moved when he was very young. his family owned factories there. Later, Alfred Nobel left Russia but as he lived and studied in Russia he could speak Russian very well. Most of his family has left Russia too, except for his elder brother, Ludvig Nobel. Ludvig was a Russian enthusiast and businessman. He owned Nobel Enterprises in St. Petersburg and was managing business himself. He has Russian nationality, too. And this is his house, now abandoned, with a huge Lenin head in one of the rooms for some reason.

In Russia, Ludvig Nobel was famous for his factories producing cannons and sea mines.

So to live more comfortably in St. Petersburg he ordered a villa to be built for himself in 1874.

It was a two storied building with yellow painted outside walls.

It was a dwelling for an elder Nobel brother and all other Nobels, sometimes including his brothers Alfred and Robert, who together with Ludvig had an interest in Russian Caspian oil fields.

It looks like this grand piano, as well as those intricate chandeliers, remain here from the time when the house still belonged to Nobel .

By the way, as you know Alfred Nobel started the Nobel prize by giving up all his wealth to the special fund which managed them and give a percentage annually to the best scientists. But what was the source of this wealth? It was explosives. Even during his life Alfred Nobel was called “Explosives King” because he patented TNT and was selling it en masse.

However, despite the fact he sold explosives, he was against war and armaments. He thought that if all sides of the conflict would be able to get the arms that would destroy each other in a matter of seconds then they would not use those arms and no conflicts would be waged because it would be pointless for all sides. Reminds us of the nuclear weapons which appeared a hundred years later.

In 1918 the Nobel family had to flee from Russia because new Communist powers were seizing all of the wealth from rich people.

Interesting fact – during 1917 when the Great October Revolution happened, this house was giving shelter to a most famous Finn – Gustav Mannerheim.

Still, it is not clear how this huge Lenin head got into the house.

Hope you liked this story!

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3 Responses to “An Abandoned Villa of the Famous Nobel Family in St. Petersburg”

  1. Dragi Jablanovic says:

    To what purpose was the house put after 1918?

  2. john says:

    That was a very interesting posting.thank you.

  3. Dilip Pillai says:

    Very interesting history. Feel great to think of Alfred Nobel for his humane thoughts. Russia was a great country and would have been great if not for the implementation of Glasnost theory of Gorbachev who thought otherwise to lift the people of Russia from communism. The sufferings of the Russian population after that is unbearable and they never deserved such a fate. I hope things are getting better.

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