Ancient Ruzhany town is widely known in our country and abroad thanks to the Sapieha Palace, located here. The city is located in the picturesque, hilly area, near the river Ruzhanka that gave it its name.

Historical Chronicle

The first mention of Ruzhany was found in the chronicles in the late XV century. In the days of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Ruzhany was famous for its artisans. There were conducted crowded fairs, manufactures cloth, art belt and high quality carpets that had had success not only to the owners of these territories, but among the visitors.

 In 1552, the famous Tyshkevich family became its owner, then - the Bruhalsky family. And in 1598, one of the most famous representatives of the glorious Sapieha family - Lev Sapieha, bought the lands of Ruzhany, through whom we are now able to enjoy the grandeur of the palace ensemble. He began the grand construction on the purchased lands, and a palace complex that combines baroque and classicism appeared in Ruzhany at the beginning of the XVII century. The palace quickly was known as a cultural and political center of the Sapieha family’s lands. A state treasury of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and arsenal were kept in the cellars of the Palace, the relics of St. Casimir were also kept here for a while (who is depicted on the emblem Rouge, in a wreath of roses on a silver background).

Already in 1637, Ruzhany was granted Magdeburg rights, and the coat of arms also appeared.

Ruzhany Palace combined the opulence of the front with a defensive functionality, but that did not save it from destruction. The war with the Swedes, swept to those territories, led to his ruin. But the palace had survived and found a second life under Alexander Sapieha. He invited Jan Becker, so he reconstructed the complex, with the result, that  the palace ceased to be a defensive structure. Thus, in the second half of the XVIII century the palace in Ruzhany became a refined residence of the Sapieha family, the beauty on a par with the palaces of Versailles. The complex consisted of the palace buildings, the theater (by the way, was one of the largest in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Ruzhany), arena, library, gallery, and two outbuildings, which were located near the entrance gate.

In 1784, Alexander Sapieha immediately arranged a reception on the occasion of the arrival of King Stanislav August Ponyatovsky, who arrived at the Grodno Sejm.

But soon, in 1786, Sapieha transferred his residence to Derechin, surrendering Ruzhany Palace for rent. And the town lost its Magdeburg Law after the third partition of Poland.

During the rebellion of 1830-31, the Ruzhansky lands were taken away from Sapieha, and through the efforts of entrepreneurs in 1834, who took a palace for rent, weaving unfolded in the once lush quarters.

The great wars of the twentieth century had caused most of the destruction of monuments of architecture. 1914 claimed the main building of the palace, and thirty years later, in 1944, the theater and the arena had been destroyed.

Despite the fact that the restoration of the palace was begun only in 2008, it still amazes with its beauty and splendor. In addition, ancient religious buildings are worth seeing in Ruzhany: the Church of the Holy Trinity, St. Peter and Paul church and chapel of St. Casimir, come down to our times in perfect condition.

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