The village of Grudinovka is a quiet place in Bykhov district of Mogilev region, which for many centuries have kept secrets of the estate of the Tolstoys. The estate is 35 km from Bykhov, the district center.
Once the lands belonged to the Sapieha and Hackevich families and only after the division of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth empress Catherine II presented them along with 19 000 dessiatinas of forest lands to count Dmitry Tolstoy.
At first the Tolstoy family lived in a one-storeyed wooden house built on a bank of the lake. The estate was built in the Russian style. The principles of long-range perspectives were assumed as a basis of its construction. In the building of the estate there is a huge cellar, the front and back entrances, and stairs. Architects, having analyzed the features of the building, call the estate “Onegin’s house”. In the complex of the construction there are two one-storeyed wings where housed living spaces were. Three parts of the building were connected between each other with cornices preserved up to nowadays.
On the first floor there is a balcony going out of the stateroom, from which you can look at a picturesque park and fountain. If you look inside the building, you can see that the inner beauty of the estate is partially preserved: the ancient tiles, stair railings, cellar. On the ceiling you can see decorated beams and overhead covers.
The owner of the estate laid out a park of 6 hectares which was roughly divided by the estate into two equal parts. It is important to note that trees were planted in accordance to their features. For example, fruit trees were planted in the north and parklands in the South. Besides that exotic trees brought by the count from abroad were planted in the park. Unfortunately only a few of those trees planted by himself in the park have preserved today.
Two roads led to the estate and in the place where they joined was a pond.
The Tolstoys looked after their estate carefully: they built manufactories, a brewery, glass works and created one of the best at that time pedigree stud farm.
The peak of the estate's flourishing fell on the time of the reign of Countess Alexandra Grigorievna Tolstaya, known in girlhood as the Scherbataya. She installed electrical equipment in the estate, and also built Ryzhkov hospital for her own money where worked the best doctors. The building of the current hospital has been preserved to our days.
After coming of Soviet power on the territory of Belarus, the Countess had to move to Paris, and the estate was handed to local authorities.
During the Great Patriotic war the building was used as a hospital. Later there was situated a school, orphanage, and also a sanatorium boarding school for children ill with rheumatism.
In 1963 the estate was given the name “A monument of nature”.
Today the estate is neglected, it is not being reconstructed, but tourists have something to see. Preserved interiors of the estate allow you to plunge into the atmosphere of the life of the Tolstoy family.