The Estate of the Skirmunts in the village of Shemetovo
Palaces, manors, castles
Unique architectural buildings have been preserved in Belarus. The estate of the Belarusian noblemen Skirmunts is one of them. The name of the town derives from the Shemet family, who owned these lands in the XVI - XVII centuries. During its existence, the town had a lot of owners: the Bosskys, Shvydkovskys, Strabovskys, Sulistrovskys, Despot-Zenoviches, and Skirmunts.
The entire estate complex included a house and large park. The wooden house was a center of the whole composition. The house was erected in the late 18th century. A little later, at the beginning of the XIX century, a small stone portico, standing on a high ramp, was built near the estate. Unfortunately, the house itself had not been preserved: in 1943, the entire wooden building was destroyed by fire.
Nowadays, the guests of the village can see the preserved stone church, barn, smithy, distillery, and plebania. The park mostly remained the same. The entire system of artificial ponds has been preserved to present days. Today, by the way, the ponds are part of the fish farm of the "Narochansky" National Park.
The house was near the river. It was possible to get to Shemetovo through the main park alley. There was one more narrow and curved path to the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This church and bell tower have been preserved almost unchanged to present days. The Skirmunts build simple outbuildings because of financial difficulties: one-storey rectangular buildings without excessive decorations.
The Skirmunts were fond of animals, so they had zoo behind the house. It was frequently visited by children and people from neighboring lands. You can also see a beautiful greenhouse and massive gates on the preserved photographs of the estate. Although only ruins left from the buildings, they still amaze and surprise with their beauty. Here you can meet archeologists, historians, and photographers since it is a very atmospheric place filled with the life of several centuries.
In the XVIII century, the Skirmunts built a lot of enterprises and factories. A brewery, distillery, laundry, and smithy functioned in the XIX century. Unfortunately, you will see only ruins of these buildings. The Myadel-Svir highway was laid through the park area. The church was considered the true embellishment of the village of Shemetovo. Artists and architects from France were invited to design a unique church interior. Their efforts were not in vain. You won’t find similar stained-glass windows in the territory of Belarus. In addition, you will find the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in the church, a copy of one of the icons of St. Alphonsus Church in Rome.