The town of Baranovichi
Baranovichi is a relatively young town. It owes its birth to the railway which crossed this land in 1871. The formation of the future town of Baranovichi and appearance of its first streets was going on around two centers which were railway stations – Baranovichi of Moscow-Brest railway and Baranovichi of Polesye railways (names of the end of the 19th c. – beginning of the 20th c.). In 2018 our town will turn 147 years old. There are no majestic princely castles, ancient fortresses or churches. But every town, old or young, has its exterior. Today in such old streets of our town as Sovetskaya, Komsomolskaya, Lenin, Frolenkov, Tel’man, Kujbyshev, Gagarin, Brestskaya one can’t but be attracted to the architecture and history of its buildings. Some of them were built at the end of the 19th c. or at the beginning of the 20th c. This is the start of housing development of Baranovichi and the formation of its borders. In 1920-1930s the housing development and providing of public amenities of the town continued. Each of Baranovichi streets which appeared on the map of the future town as early as the end of the 19th c. is an interesting tourist attraction.
Sovetskaya Street is one of the oldest central streets of the town in which there still remain several buildings of the beginning of the 20th c.
An electro-theatre “Edem” was located in 66, Sovetskaya Street (later it was rebuilt several times)in 1909-1913. And in 1930s there was hotel “Gandlevy”.
The building in 72, Sovetskaya Street, in which today there is Baranovichi museum of local history, was constructed at the beginning of the 20th c. Up to the end of 1930s it belonged to M. Bregman, a citizen of Baranovichi and owner of a shop and warehouse of readymade clothes.
During the German occupation (1915-1918), it housed the headquarters of the German army. German Chancellor Leopold of Bavaria stayed here twice during a visit with the aim of inspecting the troops (at the beginning of the 20th century, Sovetskaya Street was called Mariinskaya Street).
The street is paved with stone – the pavement, which was usual not only for Sovetskaya Street, but for many other city streets the 1930s. This kind of stone pavement is known as “mosaic”; it’s made of chipped pieces of stone (basalt), close in shape to the cube. Currently, the pavement of Sovetskaya St. is of interest as an example of the old type of road (street) coatings, since there are few places in the country where it is still preserved.
To this period we can refer the construction of the building, which housed Polish Bank. (In 2007, it was included in the State List of Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Belarus.) This building was erected in 1929 by an architect Stanislav Filatelica in the neoclassical style. Throughout the entire history of its existence, the building has always housed the Bank. There were some exceptions. In the period of Nazi occupation, it housed local German occupation administration. (in 1921-1939 Sovetskaya Street was called St. Sheptytsky Street).
On this street you should pay your attention to the three-storey residential house No. 16. It is a typical monument of urban architecture of the interwar period. The house was built in 1928 by architect, Professor and rector of Lvov Polytechnic school Tadeusz Abminsky. It was designed specially for the families of Baranovichi garrison staff officers of the Polish army. (In1921-1939 Lenin street was called Mickiewicz street).
In 1922 the Society of State Officials of the town of Baranovichi was established. At the same time, the city authorities began to allocate land plots for state officials for the construction of housing. In the area bounded by the present day streets of Sovetskaya, Lenin, Voykova eventually a village grew which became known as “bureaucratic”. It was a peculiar ensemble: 1-2-storey wooden and brick houses built in the so-called “style dworcowa/yard style”. Bureaucratic village became one of the most beautiful areas in Baranovichi in the 1920-1930s. Only few buildings have been preserved since that time: the buildings on Lenin street, 6A (to the left of the municipal House of culture), Lenin Street, 10A (Department of the Ministry of internal Affairs) and Pirogov str., 5A (to the right of the Church of St. myrrh-bearers). In 2002, it was included in the State List of Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Belarus. In 1921-1939 Pirogov Street had the name “Lyubetsky” Street).
The building on Komsomolskaya Str., 27. dates back to the beginning of the XX century. A famous in Baranovichi hotel “Slavyanskaya” (=Slavic) was located in it. It was particularly here, where a famous Jewish writer Sholom Aleichem stayed during the visit to Baranovichi in 1908. Nowadays it houses the Center of professional development and advanced training for a medical personnel.
In the beginning of the XX century in this district, which was far from being a city yet, the family of Count Rozvadovsky, who owned the lands adjacent to the station Baranovichi of the Moscow-Brest Railway, laid a park. The park was shaped in compliance with all landscape architecture requirements. The summer theater was also opened in its territory.
Today Baranovichi park for is not only a conservation place of nature, but also of history. Near the park there were the manor houses, belonging to the Rozvadovskys. They have survived to the present day. These are the buildings on Komsomolskaya Str., 42 and 44. In the park opposite the house number 44 (in 2006) a memorial sign was erected in honor of the Rozwadowsky family, on whose estates the future city was born and who made a huge contribution to the development of Baranovichi.
Nearby (Komsomolskaya Str., 40) a wooden house was built by Novogrudok district police officer von Ber, who, foreseeing the rapid development of Baranovichi, suggested transfering Baranovichi to the category of cities and the establishment of Baranavichi district . It happened in 1912 (In the early XX century, Komsomolskaya Street was called the Postal).
On Komsomolskaya Str., 65 on the territory of the “old” park you can see the building, dating back to 1937-1938. It was built in the style of functionalism, according to the design of the architect Tadeusz Lobas. It housed a radio station, one of the most advanced at that time in the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. (In 2002 it was included in the State List of Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Belarus.) Today this building is occupied by the city television “Intex”. (In 1921-1939, Komsomolskaya Street was called Narutovich).
Komsomolskaya Str. also has two monuments related to the postwar history of the city. At the central entrance to the city park you can see a bust to our countryman, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, S.I. Gritsevets (1949, sculptor Z. Azgur, architect V. Borman, in 2003 was included in the State List of Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Belarus). On the opposite side of the road there is the building of the House of Officers, erected at the 1940s – 1950s, a monument of the so-called “Stalin architecture” (Soviet monumental classicism). (the name “Komsomolskaya” was given to the street in 1945 and hasn’t been renamed ever after).
Brestskaya and Gagarin Streets
On crossing of the two oldest Baranovichi streets Gagarin and Brestskaya you will find a two-story brick building of typical urban architecture of the interwar period, which now houses the Additional Education Establishment for schoolchildren. In the year 1922 a classical gymnasium was opened here, that was given the name of Tadeusz Reitan in 1926. One of its most notorious students was Cardinal Kazimir Sviontek, Bishop of Minsk-Mogilev, the first chairman of the Catholic Priests Conference in Belarus. He was one of those initiating the revival of the Roman Catholic Church in the country. At that very time, Leonard Turskiy taught at the gymnasium. He was one of the initiators of the opening of Baranovichi museum and its first director.
(In 1921-1939 Brestskaya and Gagarin Streets were respectively called “Shosseynaya” and “Vilenskaya”).
Telmana and Frolenkova Streets
On these streets you can find some buildings which were erected at the end of XIX century – beginning of the XX century during developing the territory adjacent to the railway station “Baranovichi-Polesskie”.
Building on Frolenkova Str, 50 was erected in 1902. It housed the District Excise Administration. The opening of such an institution in Baranovichi in the beginning of the XX century was vital. After all, Baranovichi, according to the statistics of 1913, had 128 active trade enterprises with a turnover of 867,000 rubles. The building on Frolenkova Str, 11, built presumably in 1905-1908, now houses the museum of the Baranovichi branch of the Belarusian Railway. (In 2002, both buildings were included in the State List of Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Belarus). One of the building on Telmana Str., built in 1895, was an apartment house, where you could rent a lodging. This building is an example of a typical architectural style of the beginning of the XX century.
In the 1930s. on Telmana Str., 21 was erected a building of the fire-engine house with a 4-storeyed fire-observation tower (in 2002 it was added to the State List of Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Belarus). The construction of such an object in Baranovichi was connected with the activity of the Voluntary Fire Association. In different periods of the city history fire departments were located here. The fire-observation tower in Baranavichi is a rare important historical and architectural object, because the similar tower was preserved only in the village of Byten (Ivatsevichi district).
In the building on Telmana Str., 15 is located the oldest pharmacy in the city. (In 2002 it was included in the State List of Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Belarus). It also houses a small pharmacy museum. This building was built in 1936 in the “yard style”, widespread in Europe in those years. Even then it housed a pharmacy, which belonged to Stanislav Laevsky. (In 1921-1939, Telmana Street was called “Zhvirki Street”).
On Kuibyshev Street, almost next to each other there are two oldest monuments of sacred architecture of the first quarter of the twentieth century in our city: Orthodox Intercession Cathedral (“Pokrovsky Sobor”) with seven mosaic panels and Catholic Church of the Exaltation of the Cross (“Krestovozdvizhensky kostel”). They are included in the State List of historical and cultural heritage of the Republic of Belarus. (In 1921-1939, Kuibyshev Street was called “Goluvki Street”).
Orthodox Intercession Cathedral is an architectural monument built of stone in the neoclassicism style (by an architect N.Olminsky) in the period 1924-1931. The interior is decorated with mosaic panels created in 1902-1911 in F. Frolov’s studio in St. Petersburg. They are the images of the sketches of artists Bruni, Vasnetsov, Dumitrashka, Koshelev. Till 1924 the panels decorated Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Warsaw.
Catholic Church of the Exaltation of the Cross is a monument of wooden architecture built in the style of eclecticism in 1924-1925. Among the icons of the church, created in 1934-1935, there are icons of the XVIII century: “St. Joseph and the Child” and ” The Virgin Hodigitria “