Shemetava is located not far fr om Svil’ village and the district center Myadel on the river bank of Bolshoy Perekop (Shemetovka). It is a village with 26 inhabitants (according to 2009 population census) that cannot, of course, compete with major cities and towns. But with regard to its past, it is possible to speak about this village in superlative degree - with the epithet "the most": the most ancient estate, the most assiduous and enterprising owners, the most beautiful stained-glass in church decoration.
FEUDALISM AND CAPITALISM IN THE HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT ESTATE
The town and the estate were firstly mentioned in historical documents of the 15th century and are included in the list of the oldest on the territory of Belarus. The founders and the first owners are considered to be noblemen Shemeta - hence the name of geographic markers. They belonged to “Swan” coat of arms. Though heraldry cannot be called an exact science, symbolically, it shows the character of Shemeta surname. It represents an aloe field, wh ere a silver swan is depicted, as proud as a stood still bird on the principal crown of the emblem.
Asceticism and a take-off - this is the interpretation of the emblem. And Shelestov family was of that kind: strong, powerful and wealthy people. So the story reads.
Hereafter the generations and owner’s surnames followed each other; those who had no heirs passed their ownership to close relatives or spouses. There were extravagant ones among them, but the majority had sober, practical mind.
The activity of Skirmunt family is an example of incipient and strengthening bourgeois approach to housekeeping. During that time a distillery with a steam engine, a sauna, a laundry, a smithy, a brick factory was built. Also cooperative savings and credit association, the prototype of modern investment companies, functioned. There was a plan to build a railway. It is a large scope of the activity for the representatives of the gentry, which, by definition, must be effeminate lazybones!
Between the 1st and the 2nd World Wars, Skirmunt housekeeping spread to agriculture and food: the breeding of fish in artificial ponds system (the fish complex functions nowadays), hothouse farming, horticultural enterprises and logging.
The last owners of the estate were killed, the territory suffered irreparable damage during the two World wars, but some of these buildings were preserved, and now they are the historical places of interest available for viewing.
ARCHITECTURAL REFINEMENTS AND SPIRITUAL LIFE
In the center of Shemetava village there is the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (of the 17th-19th centuries, built in classicism style), not far from it is the sample of folk architecture - wooden bell tower (19th century). By Boleslaw Skirmunt’s will, who was a very pious man, the church appeared on the site of an old Catholic chapel.
The main altar of the church has two icons: the image of Our Lady of Mercy and the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The second of these icons is a detailed list of authentic Roman icons. It was made and directed to Shemetava by the Roman Catholic priest Casimir Skirmunt.
Doubtless decoration of the church is eight stained-glass windows with the images of saints. They are unique for the whole Eastern European territory and were made by invited international artists. They are extremely beautiful.
The plaques with the names of representatives of the former owners of these lands Skirmunt and Sulistrovskiy are set up in the church. It is a reminder for everyone who comes.