The Khaletsky family estate in Khalch village
Palaces, manors, castles
The estate building in Khalch village in Gomel region is considered to be no less famous than the Palace of Rumyantsev-Paskevich in the regional center. However, in contrast to Gomel Palace, the Khaletsky family estate needs restoration.
A small village of Khalch is considered to be one of the oldest in the entire country, as the first settlement was established there in the V century. The estate house relates to the XVIII-XVI centuries, when the Khaletsky family estate construction was started. One of its members married a rich Princess Radziwill and received Vetka in a dowry, a little later it was decided to sell Vetka and to build a rich estate on the received money in Khalch.
The estate complex construction was completed at the beginning of the XIX century and was considered the most splendid place at that time. The house was built in the late Classicism style, so today it is of great historical value, since the building architecture has no analogues in Belarus, Lithuania or Ukraine. Initially, the estate complex consisted of a main house, two outbuildings, stables and other outbuildings. Today, only the estate house can be seen, which lost an original well-groomed appearance eventually.
The owners’ residential house was two-storey, the second floor was built of wood and the first one of stone. It is not known whether that was done on purpose or for economical reasons. However, it can’t be detected externally, since the entire facade of the building is carefully plastered. There was a library, an archive, a dining room and two guest bedrooms on the ground floor. A massive oak staircase led fr om the hall to the second floor inside the house. A ballroom was located in the very middle on the second floor, passing through which the visitors got to a spacious outdoor terrace in a semicircle shape, where they could dance. There were the bedrooms and estate owners’ salons, a few extra living rooms and a dressing room on the second floor.
The whole estate of the Khaletsky family resembled museum exhibitions: a unique collection of paintings, carpets, porcelain and silver, which the locals still tell amazing legends about, were exhibited there. The family library was of a tremendous value. Unfortunately, almost all the interior was destroyed by Soviet authorities.
The house territory was also notable for special refinement and taste. Behind the estate house, six terraces were built, decorated with flowerbeds and ornamental shrubs. The entire palace was surrounded with a beautiful park, which extended along the Sozh for several kilometers. An orchard was placed near the house. Its part has preserved today. Coming here, tourists can stroll through a lime lane, which led straight to the house. In 1887, the famous Belarusian artist Napoleon Orda, who made a sketch of the entire estate, was on a visit to the estate. It was due to his work, that now it can be traced back what beautiful and rich the Khaletsky family estate was in the XIX century.
After some time, the estate was confiscated from the Khaletsky family and given to the Voynich-Senozhetsky kin. During the famous Kastus Kalinovsky uprising, estate owner Alexander Senozhetsky hid the rebels inside the house. Zigmund Voynich-Senozhetsky becomes the estate owner, who glorified the estate all around with elegant balls and hunting after Alexander.
During the Soviet period, the estate was a shelter for street children, and then it was converted to NKVD prison, wh ere the “enemies of the people” were sent in. In the second half of the XX century, the estate house was a prison for women with children, which was later disbanded.