The Bogushevich family estate in the village of Kushlyany
Palaces, manors, castles
The Bogushevich family estate in Kushlyany (Smorgon district) is a symbolic place for the whole Belarusian literature, because Bogushevich Frantishek – the author of the immortal “Belarusian fife” – lived, worked and finished his earthly path there. Now the poet’s house-museum functions in the estate complex.
Kushlyany of the Bogushevich family
Kushlyany estate belonged to the Bogushevich fammily since the middle of the XVIII century. In 1749, great-grandfather of future writer Anton Bogushevich purchased the estate for 450 zlotys. It is known fr om a remaining act of 1837 that Frantishek’s father Kazimir Bogushevich owned 34 serfs in Kushlyany. But the Belarusian poet was born not there (1840), but in Svirany of Vilno province (present-day Lithuania), wh ere the parents on poet’s mother’s side lived.
Bogushevich returned to Kushlyany as an heir and a rightful owner in 1898, after the edition of “Belarusian fife” collection in a publishing house in Krakow (1891). He rebuilt the already started estate house (1896) and laid out a park.
One of new Belarusian literature founders worked on books “Belarusian violin” and “Belarusian narrations of Buračok” there.
What’s to look at in the estate-museum?
The museum is located in the estate house, which has been preserved due to the efforts of enthusiasts. A rural library named after Bogushevich was placed in it until 1988. And in 1990, the first literary and artistic exposition was opened in a restored building to the writer’s 150th anniversary.
The estate house itself is a one-storied building with a gallery along the facade length and a high gable roof. The roof, the gables and the gallery were renovated in 1990.
Now the museum exhibition consists of two parts – a literary and a memorial. Here you can plunge into the creative atmosphere of the writer's office and visit Bogushevich’s living room. The literary exposition consists of the first poetry collections, letters and photographs.
The park and the memorial stone-cache
A park has been preserved on the estate territory, in which the trees were planted by the writer himself.
One of the alleys – the chestnut – leads to the poet’s favourite arbour, a place of creative solitude on Bald Mountain. Historians argue that Bogushevich built it together with his friends in memory of the victims of the uprising of 1863-64 years, in which he took an active part. Earlier a wooden crucifix stood in the arbour (not preserved), and that place was called “The crucified will”.
Another important ensemble element – a stone-cache is situated nearby, on the edge of the forest. According to the legend, it was that stone, beneath which the Belarusian classic hid his manuscripts to escape persecution for freethinking. After the writer's death in 1900, the inscription was engraved on a rock by an unknown master “In honour of Maciej Buraczok. 1900 “.
Interesting facts from the history of the estate
- Bogushevich managed to give up law practice in Vilnius, return to Kushlyany, build a new estate house and completely plunge into creativity only after he received an inheritance in 1896 after his relative’s death, who lived in Warsaw.
- The Yasevich and the Markov familis, as well as participants of the uprising of 1863 were Bogushevich’s neighbours in Kushlyany. Their estate parks were almost adjacent to each other. It’s interesting, that the neighbours and friends were later tied with family relationship.
- Frantishek Bogushevich didn’t lived a recluse in his estate, he often talked with ordinary peasants. There is evidence that the writer worked on the dictionary of the Belarusian language. Though Bogushevich’s books, which are reissued now in Cyrillic characters, were printed in Roman alphabet at that time.