Institute for Noble Girls


This view of the Institute for Noble Girls is from Souvenir of Kiev, an early 20th-century album showing the main sites of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine and at that time one of the most important cities of the Russian Empire. The institute was founded in Kiev in 1838 as a boarding school for the daughters of impoverished nobles and later also admitted daughters of honorable citizens and merchants of the first guild. Architect V. Beretti began work that year on a huge building in classical style, which was completed in 1842. The institute admitted girls aged eight to 13, and the full course of study lasted six or seven years. Pupils received religious instruction in Orthodox Christianity or Roman Catholicism. They studied Russian language and literature, geography, history, arithmetic, basic physics and mineralogy, languages (Russian, Polish, German, and French), art, music, dance, needlework, and home economics. Some senior classes were taught by professors of Kiev University of Saint Vladimir and famous concert performers taught some music lessons. The view shown here is of the rear facade of the institute, as seen from Alexander Street. The 25 views in Souvenir of Kiev are collotypes, made using a chemically-based printing process widely employed before the invention of offset lithography.

Last updated: February 29, 2012