Kossovsky Palace: history in detail
Kossovsky Palace: history in detail
Belarus has its own Kosovo. It is the smallest city in the country which is even not connected by the railway. Only 2,700 people live here, although according to current standards, a settlement of 15,000 people or more can obtain the status of a city. Kossovo is always full of tourists, especially from Poland, because of its two very important attractions.
The first one is Merechevshchina Estate, the birthplace of Tadeusz Kosciuszko, one of our most famous countrymen, a participant in the US Independence War and a leader of the 1794 uprising in Poland, Belarus and Lithuania. For a long time, only a memorial stone stood in the place of the Folkwark (noble’s manor) of Merechevshchina. The house itself with an unusual two-storey reed roof was burned down during World War II. However, lithographs by the famous artist Napoleon Orda remained, and the manor house, where Tadeusz Kosciuszko was born, was completely restored in 2004. And in 2018, the country's first monument to a national hero was erected on public money.
The Kossovo Palace
The second attraction is the Gothic Kossovo Palace. It was no coincidence that Count Vandaline Puslovsky ordered to build his family's nest next to Tadeusz Kosciuszko's birthplace. The Count was an ardent admirer of this military and political figure. In the first half of the 19th century Gothic architecture was a kind of challenge to the official ideology of Tsarist Russia. There were more than 100 rooms in the palace, and none of them was repeated in their interior. The White Hall was intended for balls, the Black Hall for playing cards, and it was lined with marble of this colour. The floor in one of the rooms of the palace was glass, and underneath it exotic fish were swimming. For the XIX century it seems incredible even a legend. Local children often found fragments of thick glass when the palace stood in ruins. Old-timers also said that there was a real lion living in the Kossovo Palace, and the owners used to let it out at night to walk the corridors. But maybe it was just a creepy story for unwelcome guests.
The legend about the existence of the 25-kilometre underground passage from Kossovo Palace to Ruzhany Palace is still alive. The researchers tried to find voids in the ground with special instruments - but unfortunately they have not found a tunnel. Maybe the underground passage was there, but it had been covered with earth.
As Kossovo Palace is located on an elevated site, a terraced park led to artificial lakes and Tadeusz Kosciuszko's estate. They are now trying to restore it. Puslovsky's wife loved to slide down this mountain in a sleigh. And it did not matter whether it was winter or summer. If you really wanted to, the path was covered with cloth and the top was sprinkled with salt, on which the sled slid like on snow.
During the World War II, the Kossovo Palace was burned by partisans, and that was after the retreat of the Nazis. The black smoke of the fire was visible from Kossovo for a week, after which only the stone walls were left of the palace. For a long time Kossovo Palace was in desolation and in ruins, and only the grapevine snails that used to appear after the rain reminded us of its former grandeur. The Puslovskys bred them as a delicacy. Only in 2008 did the reconstruction of the Puslovskys' Kossovo Palace begin. They promise to complete the restoration work by March 2022.
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