A Ukrainian couple from the village of Akimova, in the Zaporozhye region have spent 10 years building their own fairy tale castle. And because of their resemblance to the popular animation characters, they are known as Shrek and Fiona by the locals.
Anatoly and Larisa Galitsky love children, so one day they decided to built a castle-themed cafe where they could come and play in a fairy tale setting. The courtyard was supposed to be full of swings and carousels for the kids to enjoy, while the castle interior was designed to look like what they read in popular stories. But alas, the real world has its own villains, and in the Galitskys’ case it was the local sanitation department who just wouldn’t authorize the build of a public cafe on the site of an old landfill. After several attempts to convince the authorities to approve their project, Anatoly finally decided to give up and make his castle into a unique residence. The real-life Shrek drew up the plans himself, and after 10 long years, he and his beloved Fiona finally have a castle to call their own. The entire structure covers an area of 300 square meters, has three large halls, a bedroom and a huge kitchen. The three stone walls also house a bathhouse and a garage. Of the castle’s six pointy towers, only one is actually hollow, the rest are just for show.
“I like children and smiles. I wanted to place swings and carousels here, but they are still getting dusty at work”, Anatoly says, and even though they weren’t allowed to make their castle into a public kids’attraction, they still organize tours for children, who always refer to them as Shrek and Fiona. Their home is also very popular with newlyweds who come here for photo shoots, and the Galitskys are always happy to welcome them in, without charging them an entrance fee. Asked if they regret spending so much time and money building an actual castle, the two said they never regretted it, if only for the fact that their children and grandchildren love to visit and enjoy a cup of tea at the large kitchen table.
It seems castle-style homes are pretty popular in the Former Soviet Union. Just last year, we posted a story about another Russian couple who built their own fairy tale residence from all kinds of junk material.
Anatoly and Larisa Galitsky – The Ukrainian Shrek and Fiona