On the very border of the Mogilev and Gomel regions, in the village Zhilichi, is one of the most beautiful palaces Belarus - manor-park complex of the family Bulgakov. On a vast territory there is not only a palace, but also a unique park with the Dobosna River, as well as outbuildings. At the end of 2022, the manor-palace is at the final stage of reconstruction, although the deadlines have already been shifted more than once.
The land on which the estate stands was acquired by a nobleman Ignatius Bulgak, who, in the first half of the 19th century, wished to rebuild a kind of copy of Versailles. According to the idea of the architect Karol Podchashinsky, this project was supposed to overshadow all the famous estates on the territory of Belarus at that time. As we already know, he did a good job with the task.
At the first stage of construction (until 1830), the main U-shaped part of the palace was erected.
Then, after 1864, a two-story wing was added to the main volume, in which living rooms and the Bulgakov chapel were located.
It was in this form that the palace captured Napoleon Orda.
Another part of the building greenhouse with archesbuilt at the beginning of the 20th century. With the completion of its construction, the palace in Zhilichi acquired a closed courtyard, which modern reenactors are trying to recreate.
From an architectural point of view, the Bulgakov residence is a vivid example of the style classicism. The main façade is crowned with a six-column portico with a pediment richly decorated with stucco.
On both sides of the main building there are two more porticos, but of a more modest size, each consisting of four columns.
Until recently, it was impossible to visit and view the interior decoration. Now, despite the fact that the work has not yet been completed, some of the halls are open to visitors.
The Bulgakov Palace was able to survive wars and revolutions, even such frequent attacks as fires bypassed this place. Although the walls and floors were repainted in Soviet times, many decorative elements are well preserved.
The restorers spent a lot of time restoring the stucco, ceiling painting and small sculptures.
A great help in the work was played by old photographs taken Jan Bulgak.
Shlyakhtich Ignatius Bulgak was a real connoisseur of music, which is why every room in the palace is distinguished by excellent acoustics.
The last owner of the estate from the Bulgakov family was the nephew of Edgar Emmanuel. He left his native places after the revolution of 1917, died in Poland in the early 30s.
In Soviet times, the premises of the palace were used for a variety of purposes. First, an orphanage was placed here, then a school for working youth, and a little later an agricultural technical school.
During the Second World War, the palace was turned into a German hospital, and the beautiful landscape park became a cemetery for fallen soldiers. Around the same time, the greenhouse was dismantled.
With the end of the war, Soviet students returned to the walls of the already former palace, this time under the wing of the agronomic school of Bobruisk. Over time, the students were transferred to a new building built next door. Only a few rooms remained in the palace, and the rest of the building began to fall into disrepair.
Interestingly, the restoration project was proposed and drawn up back in 1973. It is on its basis that today's restoration work is carried out.
Already at the end of the 20th century, the Zhilichsky Museum appeared within the walls of the palace, and a children's music school also operates.
The reconstruction of the palace in Zhilichi has been underway since 2009. This attraction of our country was lucky to be included in the list of objects whose conservation costs are financed from the budget.
If you are looking for interesting sights near Bobruisk, then be sure to go to Zhilichi, I think this place will not disappoint you. You can only see the museum and the halls of the palace with a guided tour, so keep in mind the opening hours: from 9 to 18:00 (from 13:00 to 14:00 lunch, seven days a week), entrance fee.
In these parts there is another restored estate - the Gatovsky estate in the village of Krasny Bereg.