The Vankovichis estate in Minsk
Palaces, manors, castles
The name of the famous noble family Vankovichi is first mentioned since the XVI century. And in the XIX century they became the land owners in Minsk. At the beginning of their life in Minsk the Vankovichis rented a small estate, and after a while began to build their own one. As historians testify, the Radziwills had sold their wooden house to the Vankovichis and in the middle of the XIX century the new owners began to build a stone one.
Being located in Minsk centre, their house resembled not so much an urban estate, but an ordinary rural one. However, a multi-level terrace, a column of an incredible beauty, a picturesque area - all of that helped the owners to turn the estate into a place, where all the city's intellectuals gathered.
The estate was famous not only for its beauty, but also for a beautiful park in the middle of which a picturesque pond was placed. The park covered an area of about 14 hectares. A famous designer and planner B. Kronengsberg worked on its landscaping. In addition to the pond, he transformed the park with rare species of trees and shrubs, and even decorated it with marble sculptures.
Until 1920 the Vankovichis were the competent owners of this beautiful estate.
When the Soviet authority came to Belarus, the estate’s building was used for purposes other than that intended: now a potato-growing station, now a state farm office, now NKVD school were located in it. In the 1960s, the building was used as a dwelling house. And only in 1988 the building was given a status of history and culture monument. However it did not help the building to preserve its original appearance. Over time, both internal and external decoration began to crumble. The building fell into disrepair.
Only in 2009 investors managed to buy out the building in order to open a restaurant complex in it. By this time, the building had been in a dilapidated state. However, the architects began its restoration and were successful in returning the building its original appearance with the help of old photographs and records. The building inner part underwent some changes, but it didn’t lose its beauty. Mosaic parquet, which had been floored in the days of the Vankovichis, was restored in the course of the research, two fireplaces on the second floor of the building were renewed as well. When the restoration works were carried out, the utensils of the XIX century were found, which were then passed for keeping to the National Museum of Art.
Today the estate’s structure functions: the restaurant and hotel complex are opened in it. The picturesque park, the wine cellar, the ballroom rightly enjoy great attention among the city’s visitors and tourists from different countries. In addition, large-scale events, exhibitions, allowing the building to maintain its form are held within the complex.
Being in Minsk, you ought to visit the estate and to enjoy the picturesque old park beauty and grandeur, and to try Belarusian cuisine in the restaurant too!