The Garibaldi Castle

Entrepreneur Oleg Kuzichkin, who used to own meat processing business in Russia and abroad, built this Gothic renaissance luxury hotel on the Volga.
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.
Here are the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Oleg Kuzichkin, a well-known entrepreneur from Tolyatti who used to own several meat processing plants both in Russia's Samara region and abroad was the spearhead of this project unprecedented for Russia's province.

The Garibaldi Castle is located in the village of Khryashevka some 130 kilometers from the regional center of Samara on the shore of the Kuybyshev Reservoir also called the Zhigulyovskoye Sea. The idea was to build a luxury hotel (not sure if one can book a room now), a type of hotels which at the time of construction was almost non-existent in Russia. The construction began in 2007 and lasted for three years. The works inside the Garibaldi Castle lasted for several years more.
What does Giuseppe Garibaldi, this Italian patriot, revolutionary and republican have to do with the castle? Well, the castle was named after Oleg Kuzichkin's father – Garibaldi. One may think he was Italian but this is not true. In fact this name was quite alright in Soviet Russia where people paid tribute to revolutionary heroes of the past through giving their names to their children. So this was the case with Mr. Kuzichkin's dad.
The owner rarely talks to journalists, but on several occasions he admitted that the castle was part of the project to revive the region and attract tourists to Khryashchevka - a village of outstanding natural beauty and a great surfing spot on the Volga.
When asked why he chose to build a European castle, Mr. Kuzichkin said that there's only one reason to embark on a construction project – it should be something unbelievable and extraordinary. The Garibaldi Castle has since become a strong magnet that attracts tourist to the Samara region. There's also one more thing behind the project - Khryaschevka is the village Oleg Kuzichkin's wife stems from. He used to come there often to spend time and relax and he has always wondered why such a beautiful and picturesque place which has a lot to offer is actually depressive and miserable.
The castle is an architectural fantasy along the lines of the European Gothic and Romanticism. It has absorbed the most beautiful and interesting elements of the medieval architecture as well as Renaissance and Victorian architectural styles. The castle was designed by architects Valery Seglin and Yury Guryanov while artists Sergey Karengin, Alexey Cheboksarinov and Viktor Zaytsev worked on the decorations.

The team wanted to create an illusion of a castle which was gradually built over centuries. Each part of the castle was 'artificially aged' to achieve this goal. It was a success.
Imagine the castle has existed for over 600 years. During all that time it kept evolving. Architects and restorers of the past expanded it, added elements and structures, they removed old parts and incorporated some of the "early" architectural elements into "later" structures. Look at the castle and you may notice that it was built by an English architect, who was under the strongest influence of the French Gothic. Or could have it been a visiting French architect in command of an international team of craftsmen?
The legend says that the oldest part of the castle is the foundation and the wall base, which are made of dark gray flint limestone. They are dated no later than the X-XII centuries. As if to prove it there's a Scandinavian Jelling stone with runes laid in the foundations of the castle. It is a typical Danish archaeological find which dates back to X century. Is it possible to surmise that some of the ancient craftsmen familiar with the style were involved in the construction of the castle?
Several fragments of bas-reliefs located in the arches evoke the art of Ancient Russia although this territory was not its part at that time. One of the bas-reliefs is literally a copy of the gryphon one can find on the 1220 copper plate of the church gates in the ancient Russian city of Suzdal. The other depicts Simargl, a deity or mythical creature in East Slavic mythology, depicted as a winged lion or dog. Similar images were found in a silver bracelet excavated in the city of Ryazan.
Architects say Oleg Kuzichkin was 100% involved in project. He tried to understand every detail. Discussions of what's the best option for the façade of the castle could drag till morning. Oleg was very passionate about the castle, he was ready to devote all his free time to the project.
A 9th century Italian castle transformed into an organic farm!
According to the legend, scattered fragments of bas-reliefs were found during the restoration of the ruins. They were carefully collected and carefully attached to the arches of a restored building.
The ground and the first floors of the castle were probably built in the XIII - XIV centuries. It is clearly visible – just look at the masonry and the way the stones look. The single-storey annex to the castle on the west side, which is reinforced by strong buttresses, is clearly dated to the late XV century, although the degree of erosion and the color of the stones make it look similar to the walls of the ground floor. The design of the outbuilding can be attributed to the late XV century. The second floor of the castle was apparently built in the XV and XVI centuries. However, one can find traces of later restoration efforts. Apparently, significant reconstruction of the castle was carried out in the XIX century. Decorative and technical elements of the roof, as well as some bas-reliefs and ornaments belong to this period.
According to legend, the castle is made of limestone. As time goes by limestone tends to change its color and structure, it breaks down, cracks appear. Flowers, grass, mushrooms or moss use these cracks as their home. In fact only modern materials were used during construction works so limestone had to be aged and it was done using artistic techniques.
The architects of the castle had a lot of sources for inspiration. Thank god we still have thousands of medieval castles scattered across Europe and thousands of ancient books in antique stores.
The colored stained glass windows were inspired by the chateaux of the Loire Valley in France like Blois, Chambord or medieval abbeys.

The sculptures of the Knights of the Round Table should feel at home the garibaldi Castle. Percival, Galahad, Gawain and Lancelot are there to serve and protect the guests.
The knights team up with mythical animals like gryphons named Cras and Gester.

The legend says that the gryphons, dragons and gargoyles of the Garibaldi Castle are linked to the history of this enigmatic structure. Only some of them are decorative. Most of them serve as guards.
Take for instance Steinfoss firedrakе heads on the walls – they hold lanterns in their teeth. Grampian wyvern has settled on the spire of the outhouse to observe the surroundings. The Bohemian crested wyvern lives on the southeast balcony of the second floor of the castle while the gargoyles can be found on buttresses and cornices. Each has its own name and belongs – as the old manuscripts found in the dungeon reveal - to a particular clan. There are five clans in total - Clan Ash, Clan Rhine, Clan Bravellir, Clan Grimnir and Clan Gallia. Technically, the gargoyles discharge water when it's raining.
Today, the castle is happy to welcome guests from across the world. Just come and enjoy the estate and the surroundings. Of course, you can arrange a wedding in the castle, hold an event or just walk through its garden, sit by the fountain and enjoy the architecture, unusual for this region of Russia. One may say that this castle is a fake and the whole story is a fake but just pause for a moment. It was built with an open heart, great love and attention to details, to our common European history and architecture.
As Oleg Kuzichkin said in one of his interviews, "nowadays it is difficult to find people who are willing to and are able to work. But those who really work and do what they love are more successful than those who don't care about what they do as long as they get paid well. You should be passionate about what you do. This is the only way to succeed. Above all you should love your job, you can't be indifferent. And money? Well, the money is just a nice addition to what you love."
All the pictures belong to Oleg Kuzichkin, The Garibaldi Castle, Sergey Karengin.

Don't miss new stories by castle owners!

You can always get in touch with us at