The New World in Grodno

Unusual private world in a big city – is it possible? Most people probably say that it is somewhere, but certainly not in our native Belarusian land. However, it is not so, because every inhabitant of Grodno can conduct a little tour of the New world. This place is not considered an architectural monument and it does not belong to the elite district of the city. However, there is something unusual that makes this place really unique.

Wooden and stone buildings have miraculously been preserved almost intact to our time. They were built some centuries ago in the style of Polish and Russian modern with the use of eclectic and constructivist motifs. All these houses, the system of streets and trees appear to us in the form in which they were in the 19th century.

The history of that place began in the late 18th century, when the first buildings appeared in the New World. But the New World became a part of Grodno only in 1875, when the territory along the old “Stanislavsky’s key” in the north of the city was attached to the city. Since then, the New World had actively been expanding and developing thanks to the Drutsky-Lyubetsky landowners, who owned this place in the early 19thcentury. Over time, the New World became an original and picturesque historical ensemble, in which were delicately woven several architectural styles.

By the way, a lot of famous people lived in that part of the city; they were the elite of the city and the whole Belarus. Therefore, today many buildings are named after the eminent inhabitants of that time. Here you can see the store of Yablonsky, the houses of Yaroshevich and the historian Milyutin, the pharmacy of Yudeyko, the houses of the engineer Vysotsky and the doctor Beklemishev and many others. Buildings of the former county hospital are still standing here. Here you can also see the former “Tatar house”, as well as the valley of the brook Yuridika and Gold hill. Of course, each of these historical sites is worth being included in the list of architectural monuments of the country.

However, not so long ago, the New World deprived the status of national heritage and conservation zone. In this regard, there have appeared rumors that local authorities are going to demolish a part of the New World because of the absence of comfortable conditions for people's lives. Local historians have been fighting for the preservation of this cultural object for almost a decade. And in this regard they created a project of a museum-skansen.

This Museum is planned to deploy in the modern streets Mitskevich, Vatutin, Reymont, Ostrovsky and in a part of the streets on September 17, and Maxim Gorky. After all, this place is one of the few, where the untouched landscape and architecture of the 19th century have almost completely been preserved.

What does skansen mean? Belarusian historians were inspired by the Swedish Museum in the open air. Today buildings from all over Sweden are presented In Stockholm; they illustrate the life, traditions and history of the development of this country beginning with the 18th century. Here are over a hundred historic houses and mansions, in which a unique atmosphere and interior have been preserved. Representatives of the local fauna also live in the Swedish Skansen. For example, one can see how peacocks proudly and slowly are walking through the lanes. And annually original events and festivals are held in this unique place. Thus, maybe something like this will appear in Belarus soon, won’t it? You know, because creating the Museum-skansen is a clear proof of the caring attitude of the Belarusians to their past.