“Big Slepyanka” estate of Vankovichi in Minsk
Palaces, manors, castles
Vankovichi estate "Big Slepyanka" exists since the XVI century. The estate’s fate wasn’t easy.
Initially, the estate "Big Slepyanka" was beyond the boundaries of Minsk. At that time it belonged to the famous ancient Radziwill family. It was a small wooden building, surrounded by vast gardens. There were also built stables, a smokehouse and a cheese factory in the estate territory. Some time later the estate was transferred to the Vankovich family. The new owners decided to change the estate appearance and to give it a modern look. Thus the construction of a stone house was begun at the place of the wooden one. The result was a very cosy and modern estate, which the intellectuals liked to pay a visit to.
The estate had a great renown thanks to a huge park, which occupied an area of 14 hectares. A famous designer and master of landscaping of that time B. Kronenberg was involved in the park beautification. In addition to rare and exotic plants there also were a pond and marble sculptures in the park. It is natural that such a beauty enjoyed great popularity.
In the early 20-ies of the XIX century the Vankovichi building was passed to the city authorities’ disposal and was used as an administrative building. At that time there wasn’t even an idea to view this building of historical significance and value. At different times a variety of organizations were located there. It was only in 1988 when the building was declared historical and cultural monument of national importance. But, unfortunately, even then nothing was saved in the building, and over time the internal and external decoration lost its original appearance.
In 2009 this building was transferred to a private entity to open a restaurant complex on the estate territory. But by that time the original estate layout was completely lost, the stairs and balconies with the most beautiful forged fences were destroyed. In short, the building on the estate territory was in critical positon.
The new building owners haven’t lost sight of the fact that the estate is a historical and cultural heritage, and they invited historians to participate in the restoration process. Architects and designers have spent enormous work in order to find the documents where the original building appearance would be described. On the data basic obtained, the restorers were able to reproduce an ancient mosaic parquet and two fireplaces, which were located on the second floor. During the excavations archeologists found antique dishes of the XIX century, which were deposited with the National Museum of Art.
The building was able to acquire a second life in spite of the complexity of its existence. Even the fact that the internal and external design have nothing left from the Vankovichis’ estate, overall estate styling has been restored. Nowadays, anyone who visits the estate, has a unique opportunity to plunge into the atmosphere of the XVI century and learn about the estate historical past.
Today aluxurious restaurant-club is opened on the estate territory.