Voložin – 11/2012
The city of Voložin is a small regional center located to the northwest of Minsk, and was founded in the year 1400. However, almost nothing has been preserved from those ancient times, and half of what remains is not even accessible to the public. There is of course, still the option to enter, but the minimum stay is at least a year, which isn’t particularly appealing.
Despite this, the city of Voložin still has its own unique charm and character. It is a place where you can experience the authentic, simple life of the Belarusian people. The city center is filled with cozy cafes and small shops, where you can buy everything from local souvenirs to freshly baked bread.
1. Along the main street of Shcherbina, which smoothly transitions into Sovetskaya Street, there are propaganda signs. These signs tell about the city’s founding in 1400, although there is no evidence to support it (similar to Nesvizh and its 1223rd year of founding), the coat of arms with a red-green flag on the right and a red-blue one on the left (what is the symbolism?), and some preserved traditions.
2. And this is the place that is not accessible for a one-time visit – the Palace of the Tyszkiewicz family, which is now a military base. It’s interesting how things can change so quickly. What was once considered a valuable treasure is now just a part of the military’s infrastructure.
It’s unfortunate that visitors are not able to see the palace and learn about its history and cultural significance. However, this situation is a reminder that history and heritage are not just static relics, but can be shaped and transformed over time by various forces and circumstances. While it’s important to preserve and protect historical landmarks, it’s also important to recognize the complex and dynamic nature of cultural heritage.
3. We are approaching the Church of St. Joseph, which was built in 1816. In 1864, it abruptly became a Russian Orthodox church, and after World War II, according to the established tradition, it was turned into a warehouse. Only relatively recently has it been returned to its original use as a church.
This history illustrates the complex and layered nature of cultural heritage in this region. The church has undergone multiple transformations and changes in ownership, reflecting the tumultuous history of the area.
4. We are returning to the bus station, which has a rather interesting and distinctive appearance that sets it apart from other buildings in the area. However, the interior seems to be stuck in the early 1980s.