The Estate of the Chapskies in the Village Stankovo

Near Dzerzhinsk of the Minsk region there is another domain of the count family Gutten-Chapskies. Here, 8 km from Dzerzhinsk, in the village Stankovo there is an estate complex, most of whose buildings have survived up to now.

Stankovo and the Chapskies dynasty 

Stankovo has been known since the late XV century. At first it was in possession of the Dorogostaiskies, then – the Radziwills. In the second half of the XVIII century, in 1772 the Gutten-Chapskies took possession of Stankovo. Thanks to them the location began to be developed.

The Chapskies are famous not only for their military services but also for their spirit of enterprise. Comte Emerik Chapsky was at the root of the construction of the estate in the territory of Stankovo. Besides, he had a wide numismatic collection, collected art objects and was an exceptional aesthete. In his library there were about twenty thousand books! At the time it was equal to the number of books in the National Library of Belarus. You will agree that his personality was really ingenious.

In order to preserve his treasures – “skarby” in Belarusian – the count built a “skarbnitsa” for them. This small castle that is like a mini medieval fortress has survived up to now. However, the collection kept now within it has significantly thinned out because Emerik Chapsky brought his treasures to Poland after a quarrel with his son Carl. In the town Krakow they served as the basis for creating a museum in honor of the Gutten-Chapskies glorious dynasty. Later the Chapskies’ treasures became the foundation of the National Museum of Krakow.

His son Carl also made a good showing of original views and a creative spirit of enterprise. He was famous for growing pineapples exotic for our latitudes in his own hothouses; he even supplied his unusual fruit to the capital markets. Besides, Carl Chapsky bred valuable species of cows – Tyrolean and Dutch, sheep, horses and hunting dogs.

Thus, such ingenious personalities could not help leaving a rich architectural heritage.

The shooting location of the film “Dubrovsky”

A few are aware but within the walls of the count estate in the 30-s of the last century there were held the shooting of the film based upon the book by Alexander Pushkin. At the time the estate house was in condition. Unfortunately, there is a little left of it. However, a lot of outbuildings have survived including, of course, the famous library “Skarbnitsa”. The library though it was a separate building was connected with the manor house by means of an underground passage.

Apart from the library one can see there perfectly preserved the buildings of a granary, smithy, cowshed, summerhouse and house for servants. The time has also spared the remnants of a luxurious English park. Only sixty seven from more than five hundred trees have survived; and it is not a little on account of the wars that devastated the territory of Belarus in the last century.