The Oshtorpovs’ estate in the village of Dukor
Palaces, manors, castles
A small agro-town in Pukhovichi district of Minsk region has an interesting rich history dating back to the 16th century. It was a small village, which belonged to the Sapegas then, and passed into the possession of the Oginsky princes later. After a while, the town began to expand gradually due to Jews coming. They had built a synagogue in Dukor and set up a Jewish cemetery here by the 19th century.
The Oshtorpovs’ estate appears in many historical archival documents, which, unfortunately, has not survived to this day. The only modern reminder of the once standing and operating estate is a small wing and unique gates with a small clock. All other buildings were either partially destroyed during the Great Patriotic War, or demolished as vivid symbols of the bourgeoisie, with the advent of Soviet authorities.
Leon Oshtorp was considered to be one of the estate’s owners, in whose lifetime the house was filled with active life and was known far beyond Dukor. After Leon’s death, the estate became empty, it formally became the possession of Oshtorp’s daughter – Leocadia. She, however, lived with her husband like her sisters lived with theirs in other houses, and few of them expressed the wish to run the parental household. It was terrible to assume, that once the well-known estate would become empty, and the sad fate of the Radziwills’ Nesvizh residence would be waiting for it, where the wind blew through abandoned rooms and broken windows for a long time.
The estate attracted guests not only with a unique distinctive building, but also with a beautiful large garden. Leaving the carriage, guests could walk along the park alley to the house. Here the road was decorated with maples, lindens and silvery poplars, and a little lower you could see a beautiful artificial pond.
Soon, after Leon Oshtorp’s death, the ownership passed into the hands of the wealthy kin of the Hartsings, who greatly transformed the palace and the park. The estate acquired the view of more majestic building fr om the outside, the palace was decorated with a portico, four columns of the Corinthian order and a terrace on the second floor. The coat of arms of the Hartsing family was solemnly and honourably hung on the pediment of the second floor. Most probably, the Oshtorps’ coat of arms had hung there before.
In the pictures of the palace of the XVIII-XVII century you can see miniature side wings in size of almost the entire wall on both sides of the building. In the Oshtorps time there was a conservatory and a winter garden, and you could visit a chapel near the house.
A low staircase inside the house led to a large ballroom. It was here wh ere the visitors from Lithuania liked to come so much to Leon Oshtorp. During the Hartsings time, the hall began to look slightly more modest: lacquered boards on the floor, white painted walls and brick fireplaces. Huge crystal chandeliers left in the hall, which are the only decoration from the time of the Oshtorpovs.
The remaining buildings, which belonged to the Palace and Park Ensemble of Orshtopov-Hartsing, are now included in the museum of “Dukor estate”. Excursions are held here very often, and you can see guests from all over the Republic. Not so long ago an unusual house has been built here, its whole interior looks turned.