A Tour around Golovchitsy

At the distance of one hundred ninety-six kilometers far fr om a regional center and twenty-five kilometers from the railway station of Elsk you can find Golovchitsy, a small village with the population of a little bit more than 400 people.

The village is a part of Narovlyanskiy district of Gomel region and it is the center of a local council. According to the written evidence, the village was first mentioned in the 18th century. At that time Golovchitsy was included into Rechitskiy County, Minsk Province of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania; it was the center of the eldership made up from three more villages. In 1730-1731, the Oskeris, a local noble family, were deprived of their mansion for assisting the rebellion. Golovchitsy became the territory of The Russian Empire after the third division of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1793; General Sivers got it into his ownership. The latter sold it to Gorvatov in 1825.

Gorvatov Manor deserves high attention

This place stands out among other ordinary buildings, so historians and lovers of pre-revolutionary architecture will truly admire it. Gorvatov, the new owner of Golovchitsy, decided to reconstruct the manor in the 19th century. By his order, the old wooden house, built in all the traditions of the classical style, was demolished and a new two-storied stone mansion appeared.

There was a pink saloon for guests, “Bishop`s hall”, a billiard-room and a library with a rich collection of books in the newly built house.

The decor of the mansion is considered to be splendid: there are fireplaces made from red and grey marble, curved stairs with golden balustrade, bronzed and golden mirror frames there. The Gorvatovs had a fine collection of crystal and china sets, an amazing gallery of pictures.

On the backyard of the mansion, the owners laid out a square park of about 50 acres. This noble family took great care of beautiful nature and arrangement of the mansion, so there was a lawn around, flower gardens and bushes of exotic flowers near the windows and several ponds with islands in the park.  The latter together with the building of the house have been preserved until now.

By the way, Gorvatov made a distillery in the village wh ere 14 peasants worked. There were three shops and a pub, a horse farm and a refinery plant in Golovchitsy in the 20th century.

Golovchitsy before the Great October Revolution and during the Second World War

In 1908, the territory of Golovchitsy is considered to be a part of Narovlynskaya Volost, Rechitsa County and Minsk Province. A little later, the first school opened here; peasants rose against landowners. In 1930s, school education was prolonged up to seven years; collective farms, three forges and a saddlery appeared in the village. In 1943 Golovchitsy and the whole Narovlynskiy District became a part of Gomel region.

During the Second World War three clandestine struggles functioned here. The village was rescued on November 28, 1943; one hundred thirty-five villagers didn’t return home.

Immediately after the war, a brick-producing factory started its work; forestry, a tailor shop and a shoe workshop were opened here too. Children went to study again. Some more social establishments appeared: therapeutic and nursery schools, a cultural center, a chemist’s, a veterinary hospital; a post office and five shops started their work again. 

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