Past under ancient castle
What does the future hold for the restored Puslovsky Palace and what greetings from the past are to be discovered in its vaults?
Those restoring Kossovo Castle (Puslovsky Palace) recently discovered a wonderfully preserved centuries-old copper pot, a china fragment of a plate (inscribed ‘Columbia’), fragments of forged railings and a collection of 19th-early 20th century bottles in various sizes. The finds near the town of Kossovo are certainly intriguing. We visited the Ivatsevichi District to explore the cellars of the famous palace and penetrate deep into its history.
“We’ve been working here for half a year already,” explains Brestrestavratsiya JSC foreman Anatoly Maximchik, who is leading the restoration works. “It’s an interesting job, as we discover more artefacts each time we go down deeper into the cellars, which host the drainage system, laid in the time of Poland’s rule. Not long ago, we found the remains of a tile but we’re yet to find any glass — only bottle fragments.”
In fact, the floor of the palace hall was made of glass, allowing viewing of an exotic fish pool beneath: quite unique for the 19th century. The restoration works are a major project, especially as the palace had 132 different rooms. Having visited the site, I can vouch for the progress made already. The building was in very poor condition previously but the ruins are transforming: foolish graffiti has been washed away from its walls, double glazing is now installed in the wing being used for a hotel, the basement has been reinforced, partition walls are up and the roof has been fully repaired. Soon, communication lines are to be laid and restorers will begin on interior decoration. The final stage envisages restoring the East and West towers and the grounds.
There’s no doubt that the Castle will become a major tourist attraction, with its rich history and undeniable beauty. Local people recall that the sun lit one of its rooms for a full two and a half days each year and that tapping on the window sill of the East wing’s second floor could be heard over the whole building — such were the acoustics. Pots were built into the castle’s East wall (one of the recent fragments is likely to be from this source) and these may have caused the effect.