The town of Volozhin is attractive in many aspects. It's old enough to have a number of interesting and noteworthy attractions; it is located directly on the way from Minsk to Grodno and Vilnius. This fact facilitates essentially the chance to get there. Moreover, today Volozhin has a fairly developed infrastructure.
A brief history of the town
It is still little known about the history and development of the town, which is located 75 km away from the Belarusian capital. Nevertheless, according to most reliable sources, its roots go back to the XIV century. For many centuries, the area had been passing from hands to hands of some prominent and wealthy historical personalities. Among the most well-known of them were the Monweys, the Vereyskies, the Goshtalds, the Sluskies, and later the Radziwills, the Czartoryskies and the Tyshkeviches. Undoubtedly, each of those families has contributed to the growth and development of the town.
The layout of Volozhin is also quite interesting. However, the original appearance of the town is little known, except that the central part of the town had a square, which is now called the Liberty Square. Later a rectangular planning of the town implied the existence of parallel and intersecting side streets, which was quite typical of small settlements in the nineteenth century. The highway from Minsk to Volozhin mentioned above divides the town into two equal parts.
The object of interest for many historians nowadays is the Volozhin yeshiva, a Jewish religious high school, which officially functioned from 1803 to 1897 but finally was closed in 1939. It became the prototype for many famous Lithuanian yeshivas.
Of course, the modern appearance of the town has little in common with the original version, but a piece of history can be found on the South side of the square, where the main attractions are located.
The object of interest for tourists
If you are in the town, you certainly have to pay attention to the monumental Palace of the Tyszkiewiczes. Its construction began in 1803. It is surrounded with a magnificent park coming down right to the river, and the park itself was planted even earlier, as long as in the XII century.
A distinguishing feature of this Palace and Park complex is the garden of impressive size located in the central part of the construction, where orange groves, exotic palm trees and other interesting plants were grown and cultivated by the experienced count. This was a real greenhouse under the glass dome of the Palace.
As for the buildings, the architecture represented a classical style quite typical for that time with detailed features and moldings, as well as the columns and porticos developed.
The construction of another object which deserves equal attention, took about 10 years, from 1856 to 1866. It was the Church of SS Constantine and Helen. The initiator of building it was the priest of St. Paraskeva Church, which was coming into decline at that time. And after the overhaul in the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen in 1876 the parochial school was opened there.
A curious fact is that, unlike many other objects, including religious buildings, the Church remained practically not affected by wars and invasions the town had experienced. Its original appearance has preserved until present days in spite of the fact that the Church is wooden, not stone.