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Local District Kupchino Gets Historical Treatment

Neglected and often ridiculed, Kupchino is the subject of a new book that takes a different approach to the district.

Published: February 5, 2014 (Issue # 1796)



  • Local students outside School No. 301, taken in 1980.
    Photo: www.kupsilla.ru


  • Photo:

  • Winter sport in Kupchino circa 1984.
    Photo: Alexander Makushin / www.kupsilla.ru

  • Author Denis Shalyapin on Prospekt Slavy in Kupchino.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

Kupchino, an area in the south of St. Petersburg that emerged as a Soviet residential mini-district in the mid-1960s and is now mostly filled with typical Soviet houses, has never been seen as deserving much attention from historians. The publication of a book to mark its 50th anniversary has effectively given the first serious glimpse into its history.

Called Kupchino. Four Centuries of History. 50 Years of the Present, it was written by local resident Denis Shalyapin. Shalyapin is a professional breakdown van driver who lives on Bukharestskaya Ulitsa, once the districts longest street.

I was born where I live, in the 12th residential zone (kvartal) of northern Kupchino, near the music school, which didnt exist then. I am three years younger than Kupchino, he said.

Shalyapin refers to himself as an amateur researcher, saying that he produced the book because there were only a handful of articles but not a single book about the district. I have no degree in the arts. If someone writes a better book, it will only make me happy, he said. I see my book as a call to historians who know the subject.

Related: Zenit Banks On Swiss Punctuality for New Kupchino Stadium

In 2007, Shalyapin launched a website, kupsilla.ru, dedicated to his district.

It can be said that the book has grown out of the website, he said. The website has more pictures, and they are in color. There is also more text there. The book is a compressed version [of the site].

Covering the history of the district, the book also serves as a guide to Kupchino, describing every street in the district according to Shalyapin, who said that the definitions of the borders of both the streets and district are his own and sometimes differ from official records.

The history of modern Kupchino began in the early 1960s, when the extensive construction of uniform residential panel houses started under a construction program launched by the then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. According to Shalyapin, the first five-story panel building (Khrushchyovka) was built on Budapeshtskaya Ulitsa in 1964.

Related: This is Not a Kupchino Love Song

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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