Once upon a time in the Sennen region, in a place with a sonorous name Belitsa, was one of the richest estates in the Vitebsk region. Today we are reminded of those times ruins of the Svyatsky estate in the agricultural town Flame. There is, however, a little confusion with toponyms; the estate, which was called Belitsa in Soviet times, was divided into Old, New, Malaya and later the village of Plamya. There are mentions of these lands in the chronicles and they date back to the first half of the 16th century. Among the prominent owners: the Glebovichs, Zenovichs, Sapiehas and of course the Svyatskys - with whose name the very estate with the unusual octagonal tower is associated.
It is assumed that the first owner of Belitsa from Svyatsky was Joseph (mid-19th century). It was he who began the construction of a classic manor house, founded a distillery, as well as a brick factory, a cheese factory, a tavern and a landscape park.
Work to expand the estate was continued by Karl Svyatsky, son of Joseph. So the construction of a tower with a portico is his merit. It was built from 1909 to 1911, like the entire estate, from the Svyatsky branded brick, which was produced in Belitsa. Walking through the ruins of the former palace, you can easily find the mark on the bricks.
Karl invited the Polish architect Wladislav Mieczkowski to work on the tower. This unusual building served as a kind of workshop for Stanislav Svyatsky.
The Svyatsky Palace had about 18 rooms with fairly simple interiors, but rich content. There are also rare collectibles, a library with old books, paintings, and rare furniture.
With the advent of Soviet power in 1917, the estate was nationalized, and representatives of the Svyatsky family hastily left for Warsaw. All outbuildings and enterprises became the basis of the future state farm “Plamya” and “Old Belitsa”. In the manor house itself, future tractor drivers initially trained; during World War II, the Germans set up a headquarters, then a school, a House of Culture, and a library.
As often happened in the late 80s and 90s, dilapidated ancient estates were simply abandoned to the care of nature and local residents. True, the history of the palace in Belitsa is slightly different - there were indeed attempts to restore the heritage, but the work was never completed; the restorers only managed to remove the old roof. This probably only accelerated the destruction of the estate.
There is also an interesting historical fact: in the first half of the 20th century, from 1903 to 1904, Ivan Dominikovich Lutsevich, the future poet Yanka Kupala, worked as a manager in Stara Belitsa.
The most recent talk about restoring the building dates back to 2009. Then the Latvian company almost reached an agreement with the Senenna executive committee and even drew up a reconstruction project, but this work did not begin. As a result, by 2023, the estate remained in ruins, which are increasingly difficult to compare with old photographs from the Svyatsky family archive.
This place is not without the legend of Napoleon's treasure. According to rumors, Karl Svyatsky caught almost 800 pounds of jewelry, which the retreating commander allegedly hid in a local lake. This is almost certainly a greatly exaggerated story, since 800 poods is almost 13 tons, which is physically impossible.
The ruins of the palace are located near a small reservoir, about 15 minutes drive from the P5 highway, below is the point marked on the map: