We continue making day-trip guides. After exploring the territory to the north of Minsk we go the south and watch how the history comes to life in Senitsa, Dzyarzhynsk and Rubyazhevichy.
The name of the settlement which was already established in the 16th century is derived from the building where straw (bel. ‘sena’) was stored. It is believed that in 1582 the village was bought by Stefan Dostoyevskij (the ancestor of a famous Russian writer Fiodor Dostoyevskij).
In the beginning a wooden temple in Senitsa belonged to the union church. It was built in 1789 at the expense of the landlord Paulouski and was consecrated in honor of the Apostles Peter and Paul.
In 1940 the church was transferred to the Christians. It was rebuilt in stone in Retrospective-Russian style. The National School where Yanka Kupala, a famous Belarusian writer, was opened at the church.
In the 1930s the parish was dissolved and the temple was transferred to the collective farm Chyrvony Spetsyialist (eng. Red Specialist) and transformed into the club. A little later it came to be used as a warehouse for grain. During the war they restored the parish and began to hold services, which led to the church being closed again in the 1960s. The building was transformed into the warehouse for the Belarusian Television Company. But now the church is opened.
Mikalai Radzivil nicknamed the Red was a prominent representative of the Reformation movement and a committed Calvinist, so that in Koidanava a Calvinist church was built where the castle once stood. There were also a school and a hospital.
Koidanava became one of the biggest Calvinist centers in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Now one can look at a commemorative plaque near the Hashtold Mountain that is called a mound.
Besides, we advise you to visit the Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin built in 1851. St. Hanna’s Church has survived too; it was built in the second half of the 18th century in the place where another Catholic church once stood. During the Soviet era a musical school was working here.
– On the way to Rubyazhevichy village one can notice an old building which is the remains of the chapel of the Dybouski family whose mansion was situated nearby. Two brothers – Benedykt and Uladzislau – come from this family. They were prominent natural scientists who were punished for taking part in the Uprising led by Kastus Kalinouski.
The older brother was not executed as German scientists filed a petition against that so that he was exiled to Siberia. Later Benedykt Dybouski was awarded a number of prizes of the Russian Empire for exploring the nature of the Baikal region. As Benedykt was the last living participant of the Uprising of 1863, he was buried with great honors offered by Moscow public. The other brother, Uladzislau, was also a Belarusian folklore researcher.
The Catholic Church of St. Jozef built at the beginning of the 20th century in the Russian-Gothic style is situated in the village. This temple has an unusual history: Antonij Tur, a very religious person, once lived there. Three times he went to Saint Petersburg to ask for the permission to build this church. And three times his request was denied. In 1866 Antonij brought a big stone to the place where he had planned to build a temple. He wrote on the stone: “Here a big Catholic church will be built”. And now this stone lies near the church.
Antonij Tur was exiled to Siberia for developing this initiative. He returned to Rubyazhevichy at the beginning of the 20th century and eventually got the permission to build the church. The only condition was to do it within 4 years. Initially it had been planned to make the construction with eleven towers but due to the lack of time the number of towers was reduced to two.
You must visit a local phyto-pharmaceutical store. It has been there since 1875. In the 1970s in the USSR only three pharmacies of this kind were working – in Vilnius, Lvov and Rubyazhevichy.
You may well go the Jewish cemetery and recollect that multiethnic communities lived in Belarusian towns and, despite religious differences, got along quite well with each other.
Other guides for day-trips by 34mag:
Ад разгону нудыстаў да пошукаў сябе.
A story about (or no) cooperation between government representatives, NGOs and ordinary people that care.
Joris Hanse, Dutch activist from the Doorbraak, speaks about the Netherlands not matching the stereotypes.