Lyntupy awaits VIP guests

The Culture Ministry has developed a plan to transfer former noble estates which are standing empty into private hands
By Viktar Korbut

At present, there’re 46 such sites. One such is Byshevskie Estate in Lyntupy, near Postavy (on the border with Lithuania and Latvia). It recently acquired new hosts and, by 2016, is to launch accommodation for up to 100 VIP guests. According to modest calculations, around $7m is to be invested.

Work has begun, with ‘mountains’ of accumulated waste removed, alongside the old roof deck. Faзade restoration is next in line, supervised by highly-qualified specialists. The only condition put before the investor was to retain the architectural monument and restore its former appearance. 

The major building — Byshevskie manor — is to house several museum rooms on the first floor, as well as a large banqueting hall; hotel rooms will be located upstairs. Canals in the grounds are also to be restored, allowing sailing. Fish breeding is planned for the ponds and, in future, an amphitheatre is to open, as is a sports ground and golf course. Until then, all is quiet, with only the birds singing, forecasting the future revival.

Polotsk’s church returns to its 12th century look.

By 2015, a helm-shaped dome and corbel arches will grace the Saviour Transfiguration Church in Polotsk, with 12th century frescoes being newly unveiled inside. Restorers are now examining the faзades, deciding how best to return the church to its former glory without damaging the historical layers of later centuries.

Yuri Malinovsky, who is heading the restoration, is still pondering the details with colleagues, wondering whether it’s possible to return the church (built in the times of St. Yevfrosiniya Polotskaya) to its original appearance. Alternatively, it could be given its early 20th century look.

He tells us, “We found out during restoration that the basement needs to be reinforced in some places and that some walls have cracked, needing repair. During rebuilding by the Jesuits in the 18th century, niche burial vaults were walled-up with bricks and the floor raised by 30-40cm.” Several niches have been cleared of bricks, revealing ancient frescoes, but more clearing work is required, while the floor needs to be lowered again.

Frescoes on the altar, credence table and diaconicon are now restored to their original appearance and those in the under-dome space are being revived. Moreover, top layer 19th century works removed to reveal older art works below are being placed on canvas, to save them; most date from the 1830s and 1880s.
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