The natural and water potential of Oshmyanka land is quite wide. Three main rivers flow through the district: Oshmyanka, Olshanka (Golshanka) and Kleva, and there are about 20 rivers in total. There are also reservoirs, including artificial ones, the total area of which is 102 hectares.
The most significant is the Olkovichi pond, whose water surface covers an area of 22.6 hectares, the depth is 7 meters. The water body is located on the territory of Novoselkovsky Village Council, near the agro-town of Novoselka. All year round the reservoir is used mainly as a zone of amateur fishing and recreation.
In the footsteps of Count Chapsky
When the Olkovichi pond leaves the winding road and we drive into the village of Ogorodniki, the building on the dais and the sign with the words “The Count’s font” immediately attracts attention. This name is associated with the history of the area, which at one time was called the Novoselka Yard. In the XVI century Novoselki belonged to the princes Golshansky. From them they passed to the Radziwills, and at the beginning of the nineteenth century the Novoselki became the possessions of the Gutten-Chapsky family. Representatives of the rich count of Chapskys lived here. According to historians, the graph estate itself existed since the sixteenth century. There are still legends about the estate and the palace of this famous family. Particularly surprised by the spring with pure healing water, which beat right in the palace basement. And so that the water did not flood the building, several special branches were made. On the sloping troughs, the water ran down to the foot of a small elevation, so that the residents of the village of Ogorodniki, which adjoined the Novoselka Yard, could take drinking water for their daily needs. For a long time the spring was abandoned. But more recently, thanks to a local initiative, the pond area was improved, a spring was restored and a font was built nearby. The water was examined. She was potable. On the eve of the Epiphany of the Lord, Orthodox priests illuminate the font and the spring; the “Baptism” ceremony is held at this place. Here, not far, in the floodplain of the river Oshmyanka, there is also a picturesque pond. As locals told, in this pond, Count Chapsky loved to fish, putting his fishing rod out of the window. Recently, the pond was cleaned from the mud and fallen trees, gazebos and benches were set up on the shore.
Adam Chapsky, having dismantled the old parental house, built in 1893 a large electrical palace with 40 rooms, with a room for a library and an art gallery. He thought and was built as a residence, and not as a residential building. Most of the rooms were designed for receiving guests and points. This residence was at that time the largest in Belarus. Count Chapsky was fond of painting, collecting paintings by masters, antiques of silver and porcelain. There was in the palace and a rich library — hundreds of rare and valuable books. What happened to them is unknown. In the E.Korzun folk historical museum of local lore in the Golshansk school there is only a catalog of the library of the Chapsky family.
During World War I, the main part of the building was destroyed by fire. The palace was completely burned down in 1944, and the brick from the ruins was demolished. Only a few premises of the former county possessions have survived to this day: a barn and several stables. The oak table and the bed are all that we managed to find among the locals and save them from the Chapsky family. There were no family signs on the furniture, but local old residents confirmed their belonging to the famous family.
Undoubtedly, the clues of the Oshmyany branch of Chapskikh are still ahead. It is possible that there will be other sensational discoveries and discoveries.
Natural wizard and Nevestin stone
A kilometer to the northeast of the village of Ogorodniki is a geological natural monument of republican significance — the Great Stone boulder. Till nowadays, cult boulders and stone crosses remain little studied. Believers still go to many boulders and donate to them — flowers, coins, food, decorations.
Near the highway M-7 (Oshmyany — Vilnius) near the village Ogorodniki there is another boulder — a unique natural monument, which is called Nevestin stone or Rombovsky stone. This is a huge, about 2.5 meters high and weighing more than 4 tons of boulder, on the one hand has a smooth smooth surface. Locals believe: the boulder has magical power and helps to find family happiness. There is no national path to it.
Girls and women from all parts of Belarus come to the Bride Stone. Each one believes: this natural wizard makes a wish. If it is good to ask, the boulder will help you find a life partner or will contribute to the birth of a long-awaited child in the family. The miraculous power of a boulder is attributed largely due to the beautiful legends, of which there are a great many, and they are all passed from mouth to mouth.
There is a belief that one woman could not get pregnant for a long time. Spouse terribly angry. And so she went, wherever they looked, met a stone on the way, touched him, and after a while she felt that she was carrying a child. Another legend glorifies a young girl who rushed into the pool after her lover named Rhombus, who drowned in a deep ditch.
To the stone symbol of love, local girls must come on the eve of the wedding, in order to ask for a happy family life, so that everything conceived by the Bride Stone will come true.
First the stone was included in the list of seven wonders of Oshmyanyanshchina, then took a place in the list of wonders of the Grodno region and for this reason claimed the seven wonders of Belarus. In 2017, the tradition of worshiping the Nevestin stone acquired the status of intangible historical and cultural heritage.
Photo by Svetlana MUTSYANSKAYA and Alexander NAUMCHIK.