Kotlubaev Manor in the village of Yastrembel
Palaces, manors, castles
The village with a population of just under four hundred people is not far fr om Baranovichi – just fifteen kilometers fr om the town. As it is situated so close, it is definitely worth to be visited. After all, the village is the very place wh ere a unique, truly bizarre and amazing architectural monument, a manor of Kotlubai gentry, is located.
The history of the manor
The area, wh ere the village of Yastrembel was located, was a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania since the 16th century. In 1557 it was already the center of the volost (the district) and was under Novogrudok province.
In the XIX century the provincial secretary Mikhail Kotlubay, who had the Tatar roots, became the owner of the area. Thanks to his son Edward we can see this marvelous manor on Belarusian lands. Edward was an outstanding man. He received a technical education, but did not begin to make a career, and returned to his homeland. Here with the permission of the Radzivils he studied their family chronicle. It was a very painstaking job. The study resulted in a scientific treatise called "Nesvizh Gallery of Radzivill's Portraits", published in 1856 (in Vilna).
By the way, Edward Kotlubai was a very talented engineer. In 1897, at his initiative in Yastrembel a magnificent manor was built. It was of an unusual design, the researchers called it the "unfortified castle". Indeed, a pointed pinnacle and columns strike an unprepared viewer who did not see the photo of this architectural miracle earlier. We used to imagine fairy-tale and magical castles just like it.
The manor house is a two-story stone building with a closely connected tent tower, which has four tiers. The general style of the construction is neoclassicism: here we see powerful columns, restraint decor, and a pediment. However, the architect, under whose leadership the manor was built, was no longer a fan of the typical symmetry for the architectural style. That is why the building looks like a real castle.
Kotlubaev Manor strikes not only by the exterior, but also by the interior decoration. This is not just a small rural estate: there are eighteen spacious rooms in the house; the walls are decorated with beautiful fretwork and paintings with mythological and antique subjects. Floors, of course, were laid not only with ceramic tiles, but also with parquet. In addition, there was an impressive and rich collection of works of art.
However, in 1917 the estate suffered a misfortune: the last owner of Yastrembel, Sigmund, was arrested and imprisoned, and the estate was plundered. That’s way, the Soviet power reigned in the countryside. The architectural monument was used as the orphanage. So, the result is – the demolished walls, and the destroyed fretwork. Numerous economic buildings around the manor house have not survived during the Soviet times.
Since 1972 until 1990, there was a boarding school here. And now a beautiful mansion is waiting for restoration.