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Sources of Natural Forces of Pinsk District

07. 07. 2018

As human life is impossible without water, so it is impossible to imagine the Polesie of Pinsk District without wetlands. For an indweller of Pinsk water has long been of great significance. The rivers and marshes provided food, and were the main resource for living. Water surface has been cut by countless peasant boats over and over again. That boats were adapted for transportation of cattle, hay, goods  and catching fish, they have for centuries been the main means of communication between the island settlements of Pinsk District.

     Probably every researcher who visited the "land of swamps" emphasized the inseparable, harmonious connection of the Poleshuk with water. This was the uniqueness that the world-famous American traveler Louise Arner Boyd said: "People living on waterways have a special character that distinguishes them from the inhabitants of other places " ... " they all have a special way of life." Admiring the land and its inhabitants, the American Lady compared the local kids with the captains of the ships, because from an early age they skillfully ruled the boats. In turn, the Russian folklorist, writer Dmitry Bulgakovsky stressed that water plays an important role in the spiritual life of local residents. The Pinsk dwellers turned to the river for help, believed in its inexhaustible strength.

   Water attracted, fascinated and to this day remains the source of human life. No wonder that many legends and beliefs connected with it and with the springs so widespread in Pinsk District. On the territory of the modern Pinsk Region there are several springs functioning, unique natural objects have been preserved.

   In 2017, the Humanitarian and Educational Public Association "Commonwealth of Polesie", with the support of the US Embassy and with the assistance of the Pinsk District Executive Committee, implemented the project “Let Us Save the Springs of Polesie of Pinsk District”. Within the framework of which 5 springs are arranged for the purpose of their popularization as unique natural monuments and objects of eco-agrotourism. A tourist route was developed, a tourist promo video was shot and this brochure was published. It will acquaint you, dear Readers, with the natural objects that were included in the project.

Dzmitry Kisel, Project Manager, Chairman of the Humanitarian and Educational Public Association "Commonwealth of Polesie".

 «The Well of Bona Sforza»

   The spring is a unique historical and natural site known since the 16th century. Generations of  local  residents hand down a legend about visiting  the area of the village of Vylazy by the famous Queen Bona Sforza. At this place the Queen Bona  ordered a rest stop and creation of a well, which  was named in her honor. Bona Sforza d’Aragona, a native of Italy, was married to the Polish King and the Lord of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Sigismund I Old during 1521-1556. In Pinsk Principality she successfully implemented administrative and economic reforms, including delineation on the lands to the voloks (tracks) (measure of area equal to 21.36 hectares) and a series of successful economic transformations. The personality of the Queen Bona for a long time enspired Poleshuks to respect and reverence.

   “The Well of Bona Sforza“ is located in the wood near the village of Vylazy that is in 15 kilometers to the east from Pinsk. The best way to reach here from Pinsk is travelling by bicycle, thereby having made a fascinating trip to visit on the way to the spring many interesting places: the Church of the Intercession (1830), Folk Literary Museum of Local Lore named after Yakub Kolas and the memorial sign in honor of the expedition of Louise Boyd across Polesie to the village of Pinkavichy, the supposed location of ancient Pinsk on the settlement of the 8-10th centuries on the bank of the lake in the village of Garadzishcha. And it is possible to reach Vylazy by a regional train "Brest-Pinsk-Luninets" and, of course, by car.

   The village of Vylazy was for the first time mentioned in the 15th century as the settlement of the Pinsk Principality. In 1521 it became the property of the Polish King Sigismund I Old who donated the Pinsk District to his spouse - the Queen Bona Sforza. The Vylazy village was populated by the representatives of szlachta (Polish gentry) families, such as the Goreglyads (Goreglyad-Soshanskys), during the following centuries it was settled by the Sholomitskys, the Polkhovskys, the Sachkovskys, etc.

   The remained wooden Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God was built by the parish as the Greco-Catholic Church. After separation in 1787 of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795 the parish was transferred from the Uniate Church to Orthodoxy. 

Have a happy journey to the possession of the Queen Bona Sforza!

«The Spring Dubaye»

   The spring is a nature’s monument known since the late nineteenth century. The spring refers to the type of cold ones. Its water circulates to the bottom, maintaining a constant level of 1 meter. The water temperature remains unchanged. The spring has high quality water and fresh ground water that corresponds to health norms. It is situated in  25 kilometers west to Pinsk in the village of Dubaye near a highway Pinsk-Yukhnavichy. For the first time the upgrading of the spring was held in 1980.

   While visiting this spring you find yourself in the unique settlement of Pinsk District, which quite literally occupies an important place in the history of the whole Polesie. Saints, kings, writers, and public figures are related to this corner of the “Land of marshes”. The village Dubaye was first mentioned in 1498. It is situated on the north bank of the Dnieper-Bug Channel, there is a ferry across it. The settlement did not escape the war that brought tangible destructions, but here is preserved a rich historical and cultural heritage: the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God (1811), the park "Dubaye" (18th - early 20th centuries), the Holy Cross Day Catholic Church (18th century), the chapel in the cemetery (end of the 19th century), military cemeteries of the World War I (in the park and in the natural boundary "Prytoky"), as well as the monument to the  countrymen who fell during the Great Patriotic War.

       The traveler will face the legend of the disappeared ball and battles, a walk in the park, modeled after the famous French landscape architect Le Nôtre and meet the 450-year-old oak-giant.

      In 1633, in the Dubaye  Orthodox Monastery stayed Athanasius Filippovich (Brestsky), canonized by the Orthodox Church. In the summer residence of the Jesuits of Pinsk in his childhood there lived a prominent socio-religious leader of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, historian, publicist Adam Naruszewicz (1733-1796). In the middle of 17th  century there stayed many times a preacher Andrew Bobola, who was canonized by the Vatican in 1938. In the autumn of 1784  the village Dubaye, on his way to Pinsk, visited the last king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Stanislaw August Poniatowski.

 Gain natural strength from the Dubaye spring and make a fascinating journey into the past!

"Kaunyatsin"

      The spring is a nature’s monument known since the 20th  century.  In the well there maintains a constant water level of 1 meter, it has a high quality water and fresh groundwater. The spring water is cold, fresh, with an average content of helpful minerals  and corresponds to health norms. The spring is located 30 kilometers north to Pinsk, near the village of Kaunyatsin. Local residents use the water for drinking, at about 100 litres daily. For the first time the upgrading of the spring was held in 2001.

    The village of Kaunyatsin first mentioned in 1556. For a long time it belonged to the representatives of Polesie branch of the famous family of the Skirmunts. You can  get here from Pinsk through the settlement Lagishin, and this amazing place can not be ignored.

     The settlement Lagishin is known since 1552 as a possession of the Radziwills family. At various times the settlement was a borough, a town and district centre, and nowadays it is the urban-type settlement. The name refers to weather the mythical character, or to a real person, but the story is thrilling. Many centuries ago, in winter frosts, through the impassable swamps waded to the city over the Pina river a merchant Logish together with his caravans. On the way he had a prophetic dream. The fate warned Logish about the danger, but the merchant has not taken the signs seriously. Trouble was not long in coming. His son together with the front sled slumped on the path through the marshes into non-freezing "devil’s window". Only after that the caravan stopped. Logish together with his

 companions has remained to winter not far from the Yaselda river. On a high dry place he founded Lagishin. During the tragedy in the area was heard the terrible howling of the wolves which scared the horses of the travelers. They live in the local forests till nowadays. There are a lot of stories about them. It is for this reason the emblem of Lagishyn (1643) has a wolf on elk legs and a fox tail. In some sources there are mentions that the feet of the wolf were initially the crane’s.

    The settlement Logishin draws attention of the traveler by a neo-gothic Catholic Church of Saints Pyotr and Pavel (1907-1909) and the Transfiguration Church (1890th) which are peacefully adjoining, symbolizing unity of the Christian world. Near the churches there is a chapel on the place of the ancient Catholic Church based in 1634 by the Duke Albrecht Stanislav Radzivill. In the settlement there is preserved a ribbon building of the 19th  beginning of the 20th  century as well as the ancient cemetery. 

You shouldn’t  be afraid of the Lagishin  wolves, while making a trip to the spring in Kaunyatsin!

"The Well of Yakub Kolas"

   A unique historical and natural site, known since 1863, when a public school  was built in the village of Pinkavichy. It is believed here that  the well has been created on the site of a spring, thanks to which the water never disappeared and has a pleasant taste. "The Well of Yakub Kolas " is located near the city of Pinsk in the village of Pinkavichy. It is not difficult to get here at all. You should head for east through the former Albrekhtova estate and soon you will find yourself in Pinkavichy.

   This corner of Polesie area is famous for its literary and historical-cultural heritage. During the years  1904 - 1906 Yakub Kolas was teaching here - a classic of Belarusian literature, one of the prominent sons of Belarus. The water of this spring gave then the young teacher natural strength and energy of the Earth. On the foundations of the former public school a Literary Museum of Local Lore named after the poet has been constructed.

     For the first time the village was mentioned in 1499 as a monastic land of the Catholic Franciscans from Pinsk. Dukes the Kurtsewitches, the Sapiehas, Polish nobleman Yelski, Count Brzostowski and Polesie branch of the legendary family of the Skirmunts – all the owners of the settlement. Not a single fiery wheel of war swept through the village, but Pinkavichy were  rebuilt and developed. In 1830 on the site of the former temple was built a wooden Church of the Protection of the Blessed Virgin. But in 1806, local residents donated to the Church a large icon "Exaltation of the Holy Cross" (maybe, in a "Uniate" times it was a Holy Cross Day Church). The second temple, the Church of Elijah the Prophet (end of the 19th  – beginning of the 20th  centuries), which was located in the northern outskirts of the village but destroyed by the atheists during the postwar period.

      You can not ignore the names that brought fame to Pinkavichy. Here Yakub Kolas worked as a teacher and was forming as a writer. In 1926 the well-known Belarusian artist Yazep Drazdovich made sketches of local sights. And in 1934, the life of the village was immortalized in the photographs by the legendary American traveler Louise Arner Boyd. Teacher Ivan Kalosha created the Literary Museum of Local Lore named after Yakub Kolas (1962). His student was a native of Pinkavichy, literary critic Lyubov Tarasyuk, who wrote over 200 scientific and methodical works on the national education and culture of Belarus.

     You will learn about that and many other things while visiting the spring in the village of Pinkavichy.

"Rudka"

    The spring is a nature’s monument known since the 1930s, when it was discovered during arrangement of the well. The spring refers to the type of cold ones. The water is clear, colorless, odorless, its level in the well is about 1.2 meter, and it has high quality and fresh groundwater that corresponds to health norms. It is located in 27 kilometers in a north-west direction from Pinsk, on the right bank of the river Yaselda, where a stream from the spring flows near a highway Minsk-Parechye. For the first time the upgrading of the spring was held in 1980.

    The Rudka village was first mentioned in 1717. This small village of Pinsk District is known far outside the boarders of  Belarus thanks to its native, poet Eugenia Yanischits (1948-1988). To get here you should overcome a few tens of kilometers. But they will fly by, because on the way you will see Polesie  settlements with a rich history. In Zapolye there are preserved oaks from the time of visit of the last King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the old manor house of the Puslovskys and Platers, in the village of Stavok above the road rises the Holy Church of the Ascension, the  villages Kryvchytsy and Padbalottse were the possession of a notable family – the Puslovskys. Special attention should be paid to Mertchitsy, where a Center for Traditional Culture and Household  "The Heritage of Polesie" has been created.

     If you had a chance to visite Rudka, it is impossible to ignore the neighboring Parechcha, which in the 19th  century was called the "industrial paradise of Polesie" thanks to the self-sacrificing activities of the Skirmunts. There is a Literary Museum named after Eugenia Yanischits in the local school. 

   In the village there were preserved military cemeteries and fortifications of the World War I. And in the park "Parechcha " there are several ancient industrial objects. A walk through the amazing park, laid out by a great public official and industrial figure Roman Skirmunt (1868-1939), will be interesting  for  connoisseurs and lovers of nature. In the park there grow a number of exotic trees, several species of which exist in Belarus only here. On the outskirts of the park there is the grave of Polish soldiers who fell in 1919, the tomb of Roman Skirmunt and his family.

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