The Estate "the House of Bagration" in Volkovysk
The small town of Volkovysk in Grodno region is often visited by those who transit through it on their way fr om the capital to neighboring Poland. Many people do not realize what numerous cultural treasures are kept in the picturesque Belarusian town that is definitely worth staying there at least for a day, wandering around the surrounding area. For the Belarusians, Volkovysk is associated with the so-called Belarusian Maldives, which are the chalk pits. After the development of chalk deposits, quarries are filled with water. And as chalk remains on the bottom, the water becomes turquoise. These places have become very popular because of beautiful photos, watching which it is possible to believe they were made in the Maldives. However, the beauty of these places is imaginary, and bathing is strictly prohibited here.
However, Volkovysk is known not only for its beautiful quarries but also for the estate "the House of Bagration" where every visitor should come.
The Museum appeared on the town map in the mid 30-ies of the last century thanks to the efforts of Georgiy Iosifovich Pekh – a historian-enthusiast – who opened the Museum on the base of his personal works and researches. It is a rectangular one-storey building with a high roof. During the Second World War, the museum was severely damaged and was looted. Besides the fact that it hosted the headquarters of the Russian command in 1812, the building has not been empty for long years as it accommodated a town hospital and a nursing home. During the postwar period, the building was in critical condition: the roof was leaky, wooden beams rotted through, the foundation sank. The massive columns suffered fr om bullet holes during the war. The museum became able to be restored and open its doors only in the postwar period. Later, it was named after prominent historical personality – Peter Ivanovich Bagration, a monument to which adorns the museum entry. For those visitors who are not interested in the war with Bonaparte, the Museum has an attached tiny room where they can learn more about the origin of Volkovysk beginning with ancient times.
The collection devoted to the war of 1812 is really impressive. Here are many valuable items, ranging from soldiers' uniforms to a large-scaled gun collection. A special place in the museum is given to a massive main gun by means of which active battles with the enemy were carried out in the battlefield. There are original paintings dedicated to event that are important for Belarus. The time was hard. Napoleon Bonaparte easily crossed the Neman, and his army numbered over four hundred thousand soldiers. Therefore, General Bagration had to retreat, as his forces were less in number than Napoleonic...
The museum consists of six rooms wh ere not only the events of the war but also these of the European world are shown in detail. The museum exposition begins with the most important events of the late XVIII century wh ere great attention is paid to the monumental historical personality of Napoleon Bonaparte. Then it is concerned with the momentous battle of Borodino, after which the visitors' attention focuses on the battle of Volkovysk. The fourth hall of the museum is dedicated to the expulsion of the French army from the Russian territory, and then the European victories of the Russian army, the abdication of Bonaparte are shown. The excursion is completed by the sixth room which contains a number of curious medals and engravings.
The estate "the House of Bagration" in Volkovysk is interesting not only to those who are curious about the war with Napoleon but also to all people who want to learn more about the wonderful town with a wolf on its coat of arms.