Ruzhany Palace is one of the largest magnate residences of the 17th-18th centuries in Belarus. Great Lithuanian chancellor Leu Sapieha bought the town of Ruzhany in 1598 and immediately expressed a wish to build a castle there. Initially it was a defensive castle with three towers and multi-storey cellars. The castle was rebuilt several times, and took its final shape in the second half of the 18th century featuring late classicist, baroque and rococo elements. Its last owner Eustachy Kajetan Sapieha was deprived of all estates, including the Ruzhany residence, because of his participation in the uprising of 1830-1831. In the 19th century the palace was rented to house a weaving factory. In 1914, a fire in the main building destroyed the roof, and in 1944 the remaining buildings were set on fire by German troops.
In 2008, the Pruzhany District Executive Committee, in agreement with the Brest Oblast Executive Committee and the Culture Ministry, took a decision to launch the palace restoration. The eastern building is currently under restoration. More than Br3 million has been allocated from the national and local budgets for the reconstruction project so far.
Photos by Pavel Orlovsky