Barkolabovo (in the original version - Barkulabovo) is a small village which is located on the left bank of the Dnieper in Bykhov district of Mogilev region. The village got its name by the surname of the founder, Barkulab Ivanovich Korsak, who was a captain of cavalry of the Polish King Augustus. It should be mentioned that the traces of ancient settlements in the area date back to an earlier period, which unfortunately hasn’t been provided in the chronicles of those years.
From Barkulab to the Present
So in the year of 1654 the captain and the senior from the old family of Korsak saw an uninhabited, but very conveniently located land for the future village. He decided to erect a castle which would become a great defense against the enemy attacks from the east. And for a greater frightening Barkulab decided to name the castle in honor of himself, as he was known for his numerous victories.
When 12 years later he died, his son-in-law, Krichev Senior Bogdan Solomeretsky, became the owner of this land. Solomeretsky was a husband of Eve, the daughter of Barkulab. He was an initiator of building here the third Orthodox Church, named after St. George. Not only the spouse but also their children were the true Orthodox believers. The children of Bogdan and Eve erected the first monastery in Barkolabovo. Later on the monastery had a significant role in the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
The fact is that in the early XVIIth century on the territory of the monastery the local priest Fedor Mogilevets worked out the famous Barkulabov Chronicle. The chronicle reflected the most important events of that time and was the key documentary source of significant epoch-making facts. The first transcriptions reflect the period of the middle of the XVI century (Brest Sejm, the building of Mogilev castle, Ivan the Terrible conquest of Polotsk, etc.). Another advantageous feature of the chronicle is that the author of it was not a nobleman. That means he reflected the events from the point of view of ordinary people, unvarnished, using the vivid Belarussian language. So the historical memoirs can be considered quite reliable.
Nowadays the Chronicle can be found in the annals of the Moscow State Historical Museum.
During the ensuing years the territory of the village became the ownership of one of the warriors Bogdan Stetkevich. He founded one of the most popular architectural monuments – Holy Ascension Nunnery.
Barkolabovo Religious Sites
The Holy Ascension Nunnery was built in the middle of the XVII century. Stetkevich joined his own estate to the territory of the convent (including a water mill, Barok Island, as well as the right to fish in the Dnieper up to the border of Bykhov). The convent was situated to the south from the village and looked like a monumental structure with five gilded domes. First it was represented by the only church but later a high belfry with a stone fence and several temples were added.
As a gift of Prince Pozharsky an icon of the mother of God was carried to the convent. According to historical references the icon has miracle-working properties.
The Ascension Church was considered to be one of the main temples of the convent for a long time. It was renewed after fires and enemy attacks several times. In 1920th almost the whole convent was ransacked and destroyed by the Soviet troops.
Nowadays the convent is still under reconstruction. The Church of St. John the Baptist is fully completed and sanctified. The famous icon is kept there.