Monyushko estate in the urban settlement of Smilovichi
Palaces, manors, castles
Stanislaw Monyushko is a well-known Belarusian composer and director, who became the founder of the national opera in Poland. Stanislaw was born and raised in a family estate in the town of Smilovichi, Minsk region. The house, where the director lived, was destroyed during the war, and later Monyushko Museum was opened in the school nearby.
In the XVII century, one of the Oginsky family representatives, Martian, built a castle in these lands. However, no photos of the first palace complex survived. There is an opinion that it was that building, which became the prototype of the modern estate, which is now located on the outskirts of Smilovichi Park. The exact date of the castle construction - July 30, 1795 - is known for the stone, driven into the building’s walls. In 2006 the stone was taken out fr om the wall and the doors to the basement were propped up with it, afterwards it disappeared.
Now Monyushko estate is an architectural monument of the XVII century, shrouded in peasant life and having absorbed the history of Belarus for several centuries. Tourists can see two buildings of different years of construction: a newer stone house block embodies the castle-Gothic style, the old structure in its turn includes the walls of the first building, laid by Marcian Oginsky in the second half of the 17th century. Both buildings are connected with a wing. There is also information, that after Stanislaw received the rights for the castle fr om Mikhail Oginsky, Monyushko built an outbuilding here - a house for servants. A little later, another building was erected - an alcohol warehouse, which was slightly converted into a workshop for furniture storage.
Nature gave Stanislaw Monyushko not only extraordinary talent, but also good health: the composer had 10 children. After Monyushko’s death, father's possessions went to one of his sons, Kasimir. He greatly modified the palace and the park complex: he founded a school here, grew new plant species and planted them in the park, laid a nursery, collected a personal huge library. In 1856, with the death of Kasimir, the estate passed to the youngest Stanislaw’s son - Alexander. He wanted to erect another building next to the castle, but he didn’t manage to bring the plans to life because of his sudden death.
After Alexander, the castle passed into the possession of Levon, the husband of Stanislaw's daughter Pauline. Levon Vankovich completed Alexander's construction of a new palace. Both buildings were connected by a two-story bulk, wh ere they later equipped a winter garden. With the appearance of the new palace, the old building began to be used as a guest house. There was an art gallery and a large library, wh ere archival documents and manuscripts of the Oginsky, Vankovich and Monyushko princes were kept in the palace as well. The palace interior was decorated with a unique painting. There is even information, that the castle and Mogilev tract are connected underground by a secret tunnel, through which even a team with a horse can ride.
The last owner of the estate - the son of Levon Vankovich, also Levon, preserved the parental heritage. Now, unfortunately, the old estate is obstructed with modern structures, therefore, the impression of the entire palace and the park ensemble is blurred. However, Monyushko estate, together with the park is of great interest for tourists.