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22 Oct 2014

Postavy history on display in cellars of Tyzenhaus Palace

Cellars of Tyzenhaus PalaceVITEBSK, 22 October (BelTA) - The biggest events in the history of the town of Postavy will be on display in the cellars of the Tyzenhaus Palace. Several expositions have already been arranged to tell visitors about the Tyzenhaus family, St. Petersburg Cavalry Officers' School and the First World War, BelTA learned from Director of the Postavy Local History Museum Raisa Kurachenko.

The palace now houses the central district hospital, the head of which Vladimir Chekavoi has made every effort to keep the historic building as intact as possible.

Restoration of the cellars was done as part of the project "Promotion of tourism on both sides of the Lithuania-Belarus border to improve the accessibility and attractiveness of the cultural and historical heritage of the Rokiskis and Postavy districts". The project was carried out under the Latvia-Lithuania-Belarus cross-border cooperation program within the framework of the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument. A total of €650,000 was allocated for the renovations. "In the future we are considering a possibility of converting the whole palace into a museum. But this requires huge investments, and therefore we decided to start with the cellars. They are unique in many ways. There are many estates like the palace in Postavy in Europe. But few have cellars like these. The cellars of the Postavy Palace are a palace in itself. Ribbed arches have survived almost in their original form. Renovations have been completed. A lot of work is still ahead on the development of the expositions. The museum must be worthy of its founders,” Raisa Kurachenko said.

Cellars of Tyzenhaus PalaceUnder the project €7,500 was allocated for the purchase of exhibits. The sum is not enough to buy many rare things or to acquire art treasures. "We decided to focus on small expositions and make use of the museum holdings," the director of the museum said.

Now local history museums tend to emphasize the unique pages of the local history, Raisa Kurachenko said. The Postavy museum has developed the science-based concepts to support the idea that the palace should be about the history of the Tyzenhaus family and the biggest events in the history of Postavy District. The work on developing the expositions in the cellars is already underway: the focus will be made on the ballet school that existed in Postavy in the times of Antoni Tyzenhaus; a rich ornithological museum created by Constantine Tyzenhaus; First World War as Postavy was on the frontline for three years; and St. Petersburg Cavalry Officers' School as Postavy hosted summer camps of this military institution.

Cellars of Tyzenhaus PalaceOne of the rooms of the Tyzenhaus Palace hosts a taxidermy workshop (taxidermy is the science of making stuffed animals). "In the times of Constantine Tyzenhaus it had a rich collection of about 3,000 stuffed birds from all continents. Now this collection in its original form is kept in Vilnius University,” she said.

In the cellars we have temporarily located the office of Count Constantine (in the future we are planning to move it upstairs where it originally was), Raisa Kurachenko said. We already have an exposition that shows how cadets of St. Petersburg Cavalry Officers' School trained in Postavy. We will even show a four-minute documentary about it. "Postavy was the place where Russia’s cavalry officers had their training. The streets of the town remember many famous generals, heroes of the first and second world wars. Among them were Wrangel, Krasnov, Brusilov, Budyonny, the future Finnish statesman Emil Mannerheim,” said Raisa Kurachenko.

A special exhibition hall and several rooms are now ready to host the exposition about the First World War.

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Great Patriotic War monuments in Belarus