History of the embassy residence

In June 1913 Willem Hendrick Benedict Stof, lieutenant-colonel, born in Utrecht, was given permission to build a villa in “Zorhflit” park. He hired Jakov Johan Brandt from Hoke and Wauters Co. – fine style architects, who had already designed a number of villas, including some in “Zorhflit” park, to develop a project of an elegant and spacious Residence building. 

The first blueprints of the Stof’s villa were not accepted and approval was given only for the second improved version of the project. However, the Department of municipal parks recommended not to cut trees on the plot set aside for support services. 

In June 1914 a luxurious villa at Andries Bickerweg was completed and the Stofs moved in. It was named “Demangan”, which means in Sumatra language - “a house of state employee”. Lieutenant-colonel Stof participated in military operation in Sumatra and his family developed strong attachment to that land. The head of the family died 3 years later, however his wife and daughter lived at the villa for two more years. 

The next owners of the villa were August Willhelm Fols and his wife Diderick Willhelmina Zuters, both British, who came to the Netherlands from India where they lived till 1912. On 1 January 1921 the Fols moved to Andries Bickerweg and they renamed the villa into “Totila” after the Eastern Goths sovereign who ruled around the year 550 and conquered a major part of Italy. Approximately in 1940 Fols family left for the Dutch colony East India. Mr. Fols died at a hospital in Surakarta in November 1944 and his wife died in a Japanese military camp. 

During the Nazy occupation of the Netherlands “Totila” villa was confiscated by the Germans as enemy’s property – its owners being British subjects. The villa housed a state textile distribution firm “Disteks”. After the War the villa was inherited by three sons of the Fols. 

The USSR Embassy rented the villa in 1945. V.A.Valkov was appointed as the first Ambassador. In 1964 the Fols brothers sold the villa to the Russian Ambassador I.I.Tugarinov and since then it is the Russian property.