Rebirth of the local historical sights and organization of the cultural-touristic zones on their basis is an important line of development for the social infrastructure of small communities.
The park-estate complex in Khalch Village of Vitkovski District is a perspective site for this purpose due to the following reasons:
- there is a number of historical and cultural monuments (archeological, architectural, related to the events of the Second World War);
- it is near Gomel City;
- it is on the way from Gomel City to Vetka Town, and it is included into the touristic route named "The Golden Ring of the Gomel Region";
- the site can be used to organize cultural and entertainment events in the natural environment of the river, park, ravines, picturesque neighboring territories.
History of the site
Khalch Village was first mentioned in the 14th century when it was a part of Chernigov Principality. It became title of the Khaletskies in 1437. The representatives of that family occupied high state positions in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in various times. After the first partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (in 1772) the village of Khalch became part of the Russian Empire, and the Voinich-Syanozhetskies, noblemen, owned it. They built an estate in the North-Western suburb in the 1st half of the 19th century, and the late-classicism palace became its major element. Two outbuildings, utility structures and stables were parts of the estate complex at that time. The scope and space of the palace were an original solution. The palace has no direct similarities among the monuments of the estate architecture of the 1st half - mid-19th century in the territory of Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania.
Former internal design and palace decorations are hardly known today. A dining room, a library, an archive, two bedrooms (probably for guests) were in the ground floor. The ballroom occupied the central part of the 1st floor. The salon and the bedroom of the landlady, the cabinet and the bedroom of the landlord were to the sides of the ballroom. Moreover, there were living rooms, cloakrooms, restrooms on the floor, too.
A wide open yard with a mowed lawn and a fountain in the center positioned in front of the main façade of the palace. There were two identical one-level wings with four-column galleries to the sides of it. The alley leaded from the palace to the entrance gates located in the central axis of the courtyard in a significant distance from the palace. The utility buildings were to the left of the entrance alley.
There was a spacious picturesque park cut by a wide ravine with a brook at the bottom of it falling into the Sozh River to the North and to the West of the estate, and around of it in the mid-19th century. A picturesque park with the elements of regular planning was beyond the ravine, too. A large orchard was attached to it. A suspension bridge leaded there from the parade part of the estate.
So far the palace and the steward house (dwelling estate) remained as well as the park, which has gradually lost the signs of its artificial formation.
The size of the land plot, which is can be used by the "Gomel Palace & Park Ensemble" State Historical Cultural Institution, equals 0,9252 hectares. This territory hosts the palace building, the monument to commemorate the dead soldiers, fellow-countrymen (located to the right of the central axis, which is a path leading to the palace entrance), two woodlands, fruit trees, a non-operational water tower.
The basis of the concept of reconstruction of the architectural ensemble in Khalch Village is the idea to establish an inter-regional cultural-touristic center operating year-round under the conventional name of "The Noble Nest" or "The Khalch Estate". To do that it is necessary to organize activities to restore the palace, to regenerate and beautify the adjacent territory, to establish necessary tourist infrastructure.
The palace is planned to be used as a cultural-hotel complex. The rooms of the ground floor can place a museum exposition devoted to the history of Khalch and its landlords. There can be the restored elements of interior design of the noble estate of the 19th - early 20th century portraying real museum items. Other rooms of the ground and first floor can be used as hotel rooms and as rooms of shared usage (a sitting room, a dining room, a poolroom). A café-bar with the sampling hall to taste dishes and drinks of the traditional Belarusian cuisine can be located in the basement of the palace.
An open-air natural environment museum can be established in the territory of the estate. It would consist of the complex of the village buildings acting as centers of traditional handicraft and as expositions. The territory adjacent to the palace can serve as a beach and a camping in summertime, and as skiing and toboggan tracks in wintertime.
The range of services delivered to the complex visitors can be wide and include a few things:
- museum excursions throughout the complex expositions;
- sightseeing tours to the neighboring history and culture monuments assisted by the locals;
- organization of the ritual calendar holidays, shows of the folk bands, etc.
- winter and summer fishing;
- swimming, sailing, driving on catamarans;
- strolls, mastering sports in special playgrounds;
- horse riding;
- downhill skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing, etc.
- weekend rest for families;
- corporate events, business meetings and parties.
- shops selling essential commodities and souvenirs.
Regeneration of the architectural-landscape complex in Khalch Village, establishment of the culture-touristic center on its basis would actively include the site into the inner-regional and international touristic routes.
Administration of the "Gomel Palace & Park Ensemble" State Historical Cultural Institution welcomes all interested parties to cooperate in order to revive the Khalch Estate, and we are ready to study investment proposals targeted to that.
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