About 20 kilometers from Beshenkovichi there is an agricultural town Bocheykovo, which will be interesting to visit to see part of the family’s heritage Tsekhanovetsky. In addition to several outbuildings, an outbuilding and a memorial sign, you can find the place where the real one used to stand. palace with a gorgeous park. And what’s curious is that film footage of this estate, shot for the film “The Gentleman and the Rooster” (“Peўnі peraklіkajutstsa”) of 1928, has been preserved. Thanks to them, you can take a closer look at the lost palace and the territory of the complex.
The story of Bocheykov is well known, thanks to an extensive monograph Vladislav Tsekhanovetsky. Thus, the first information about the town dates back to the 15th century, when it belonged to Yushko Mikhalovich Drutsky-Podberesky-Pstrutsky, also known as Yamontovich-Podberesky. After his death (died in 1464), Bocheikovo passed to the last full-fledged ruler of the “Mstislav Principality” - Michal Ivanovich Mstislavsky-Zaslavsky. He had a lot of land and also added a rich dowry from his wife Julianna. However, after the divorce of the rich couple, all these lands were distributed among close and distant relatives, and so Bocheikovo ended up with the Tsekhanovetskys. Surprisingly, this family remained the owner of the estate from the beginning of the 16th century until the signing of the Riga Agreement.
Over the next 400 years, the Ciechanowiecki family rebuilt their family palace more than once, which literally went through several wars, disasters, fires and devastation. There are written memories of what the family house looked like from the second half of the 17th century. So a large estate stood on the right bank of the river, consisted of nine rooms and an adjoining chapel, protruding into a dense garden. For those times the decoration was impressive.
Next to the Tsekhonovetskys’ residential building there was a slightly smaller outbuilding intended for guests, followed by a large kitchen and two stables for a hundred draft horses. However, the described estate burned down in 1708, and a more modest one was subsequently built in its place. A landscape park was laid out around the house, stables were rebuilt, and the guest outbuilding was renovated. The modesty of the new estate in Bocheikovo of that period is explained by the fact that the Tsekhanovetskys spent most of their time on their other estate - Opsa.
The brick palace, which can be seen in old photographs, was built during Jozefe Ciechanowiecki. There is even an interesting story that Jozef started this expansion of the palace in order to invite Stanislav August Poniatowski to hunt. Whether the last king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth arrived or not is still unknown.
Already in 1770, in addition to the palace itself, residential and outbuildings, numerous industrial enterprises were located in Bocheykovo, including a large cloth factory, an arms factory, a carriage factory, a furniture factory, a pottery factory and a distillery. To provide himself with quality workers, Tsekhanovetsky sent locals to study in Paris and London.
Few descriptions of the estate from that period have survived. It is mentioned that her project was carried out by a little-known Italian architect, who, during the construction of the palace, forgot about the winter frosts and did not build a single stove. He equipped only four rooms with fireplaces. So all this had to be done later.
During the time of Stanislav Tsekhanovetsky, in the Bocheikovo palace, on July 11, 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte stayed overnight. There are memories that the French emperor was greeted by complete silence and emptiness, as most of the owners of the estate left, and all the other inhabitants disappeared into the forests. Only the estate manager Lapitsky, the butler and one of his young assistants assigned to the office remained in the estate. This surprised Napoleon so much that he did not fail to express his dissatisfaction to Lapitsky.
The second half of the 19th century was a period of cultural flourishing for Bocheykovo; prominent guests and figures often came here. The Tsekhanovetskys paid attention to industrialization and therefore the production part was not inferior to the development of the cultural part.
The palace, built by Józef Ciechanowiecki, was essentially a one-story building with high basements and an elongated rectangular plan. The main entrance looked relatively modest, reminiscent of many other classic estates of that time. The facade was distinguished by a shallow portico on the main axis with two Tuscan columns of square cross-section and two central ones with a round cross-section, divided vertically by pilasters, pierced by large rectangular window openings, and was completely covered with rustication.
The western side, in contrast, looked much more picturesque. Since the building was built on a slope, it was higher on this side, with a residential ground floor and square windows. The main accent of the park side is a three-axis, semicircular bay window from which a complex staircase leads to the garden.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Tsekhanovetskys decided to rebuild their family residence. This is how the building got an attic floor and a balcony from the main entrance - this is exactly the appearance we see in the film “The Gentleman and the Rooster.”
Thanks to the records of Vladislav Tsekhanovetsky with all the inventories, there are detailed descriptions of the interior decoration, paintings, interior items and things in the house. Unfortunately, now all these are just lists on paper; most of the valuables were taken to Moscow before the start of the First World War, and what remained was destroyed or stolen.
The last owner of the estate was Jerzy Stanislaw Ciechanowiecki, then the lands were nationalized. The fate of the estate in Bocheykovo is sad - not a trace of the house has survived, below is a photo of the place where the luxurious palace stood.
Before the war, the building was used for various administrative needs, and in the post-war years, the partially destroyed house was dismantled by local residents for bricks. As a result, the estate retained a “hunting” outbuilding, a house for workers and several outbuildings.
There is an interesting fact: one of the representatives of an ancient family, Andrzej Ciechanowiecki, came to Bocheikowo in the 90s.
Below is a point with the location of the hunting outbuilding in Bocheykovo:
If you are in these parts, I recommend going to one more unusual manor in the village of Plamya.