Possibly one of the most mysterious columns on the territory of Belarus is located in the village Aleksichi, Zelvensky district. Why mysterious? Because there are several versions in honor of what events it could have been built, but all these assumptions have no evidence and unfortunately remain only guesses. Aleksichi is an old place owned by the same owners as Derechin (Kopachi, Sangushki, Polubinsky and of course Sapieha). Therefore, the construction of the column is probably somehow connected with one of these names.

Memorial column in the village of Aleksichi

So the most daring guesses send us to the first half of the 17th century, when Konstantin Polubinsky invited Dominican monks to Derechin and began construction for them monastery (complex not preserved). Monks for their missions quite often set up commemorative columns, for example, an obelisk in honor of St. Simplician in the village of Fashchevka. This version is also supported by an old photograph, in which a Catholic cross can be seen at the top of the column.

Aleksichi village, Zelvensky district

The “mysteriousness” of the column could easily be dispelled by the text on the stone nameplate, but it is almost impossible to read it.

Column near Derechin

Another version connects the obelisk column in Aleksichi with Sapieha. It is assumed that it was built in 1708 by the Swedes in gratitude to the Sapieha and local residents for their help during the Russian-Swedish war. In my opinion, this version looks unlikely, since the Swedes, passing through the lands of Belarus, left ashes behind them, and not “commemorative columns”.

Mysterious column in Derechin
Lost column in the very center of Derechin

With the name of Sapega, another assumption about the origin of the obelisk is also remembered. One of the main residences of an old family and possibly Alexander Mikhail Sapega built several such columns at the entrance to his estate (it is known that there were at least 2 of them in Derechin).

What is the column near Derechin?

Aleksichi memorial column

The most frequent version of the motives for the construction is in honor of the adoption of the constitution of the Commonwealth on May 3, 1791. At that time, similar columns were erected throughout the country, some of them have survived to this day. The only thing that confuses in this version is the architecture of the obelisk, judging by the old photographs of Derechin, it is much more likely that the column in honor of the first Constitution stood in the very center.

Column near the church in Derechin
Zdymak crushed the mills ў 1913-20; from the Kalektsy Kazimier Lachnovič, from the site be-tarask.wikipedia

The locals call their obelisk the “Leaning Tower of Pisa”, after a famous tourist site in Italy. Outwardly, of course, they are completely different, but both have a slope. You can see a unique object on the road connecting the city of Mosty and Derechin, below is a point with a mark on the map:

If you're in the area, I highly recommend you take a look. Dyatlov Palace of the Radziwills and baroque Church of the Virgin Mary.

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