The Antonovich-Chetvertinsky family estate in Skidel
Palaces, manors, castles
An estate complex in Skidel is a wonderful place to relax and to plunge into the atmosphere of the past. Every tree in the estate park has its own history, and the images of entrance towers appeared on the town’s coat of arms.
The park, which is spread out along the river Skidelyanka, has the status of a monument of nature now. Unfortunately, the Chetvertinsky family estate house can now be seen only in photographs. The house was destroyed by a fire that occurred in 1920. It was U-shaped and located in the depth of the park.
The path to the estate house ran across the western part of the park by the mill, which hasn’t preserved too. The mill stood on the river bank, which divided the park area into several parts. After the estate house had burned down, the owners used the brick outbuilding in the northern part as an accommodation.
There was also a pond, which was filled with river water through an underground canal. Not only did it decorate the landscape, but also had an economic value: the estate owners bred fish in it.
Today, you can admire the entrance gate in the former estate complex, the neo-Gothic Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (the former Antonovich-Chetvertinsky generic chapel which was constructed in 1870) and the park itself.
A little about the Chetvertinsky family
After the third partition of Poland, the territory of Belarus became a part of the Russian Empire. And Catherine II presented Skidel to widow Colette of Prince Anthony Svyatopolk-Chetvertinsky and her family in September 1795.
Prince Anthony Chetvertinsky was a famous politician and the castellan of Przemysl. He became famous for his oratorical skill and daring performances at the gentry Sejms. He opposed the new constitution of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and paid for it. He was executed as a traitor in summer of 1794.
After his death, Empress Catherine II took the family under the personal tutelage. She granted them Skidel and 1500 serfs. the Chetvertinsky family built an estate in Skidel at the beginning of the XIX century, and Colette Chetvertinskaya proved to be a quite tough and frugal mistress.
The Chetvertinsky family park
The entrance to the park area is decorated with two brick towers of different heights (the town’s symbol). They were built in 1898 and stylized in the Neo-Gothic. The towers have ball-shaped spires, arched openings and loopholes.
The very park was laid in the late XIX century. It occupies an area of more than four hectares. It was designed in such a way that the landscape paintings are revealed gradually. They consist of small groups of trees and individual exotic plants. Rare trees such as Weymouth pine, white walnut, large-leaved linden and Caroline linden (very rare for Belarus) can be found here. The basis of the planted trees is usual for us – the age-old maples, linden, ash and hornbeam.
The planning perspective emphasis was made on the family chapel (church), where some representatives of that great kin were buried.
The Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
The Neo-Gothic temple was built and consecrated in 1870. The church is made of red brick. Two towers are completed with metal crosses. This is a single-nave church with a tripartite altar. The interior ceilings are in the shapes of a star. A terrace with thirteen stairs is located at the entrance.
The church functioned until 1939. A local recruitment office was placed in it, and then driving courses at the end of the 1940s. In 1991, the church building was returned to Catholics. Now it functions and belongs to Grodno diocese. Today, this temple is a historical and cultural heritage of local importance.