5 Pompous Foreign Estates Belarusian Nobles Once Owned

Rich Belarusian nobles from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania had many estates. It appears that besides the grand castles and palaces like Nesvizh, Mir and Ruzhany, they also had impressive property abroad.

Here is just a part of their real estate in other countries. Quite impressive!

1. A town in Bavaria, Germany

The town of Lichtenberg, situated between Dresden and Munchen, once belonged to Radziwiłłs.


Janusz Radziwiłł bought it in 1618. The previous owner, a member of Waldenfels family, had financial problems, so he turned to Janusz with a tempting offer.

Later the Radziwiłł was offered a high position in Vilnius, and returned to his motherland, where he soon died. After the death of Janusz, Lichtenberg went to his son Boguslav, and later to Boguslav’s uncle.

Six Bavarian Kings and the Austrian Empress are among the descendants of Boguslav.

About a thousand people live in Lichtenberg today. Every September a festival of medieval culture is held on ruins of the castle.

2. A palace in Berlin, Germany

The Palace was originally built for Adolf Friedrich Schulenburg and was the King’s present for the military man.


Michał Hieronim Radziwiłł bought it in 1796 and presented the estate to his son Antoni Henryk Radziwiłł and his family.

Antoni Heinrich Radziwill was a politician and musician who wrote music for Goethe’s Faust. Chopin, Humboldt Mendelssohn, Beethoven and other famous composers were guests in his Berlin palace.


Three generations of Radziwiłłs lived in the palace until it was bought by the government in  1875. The Reich Chancellery was headquartered in the building almost untill the end of WWII.

The palace was demolished during the military operation in Berlin. In 1980 an apartment complex was build there.


3. A resort in the Baltics, Lithuania

Lithuanian sea resort owes its status to Belarusian nobles.

Nicolay Tyshkevich bought Palanga in 1824 and his ancestors lived there for over 100 years till WWII broke out.

Palanga’s hotel, restaurant, theatre, a pier, a sailing school, cabins for bathing were built with the help of the family’s money.


In 1891 the resort was inherited by Feliks Tyshkevich. Two present-day sights were built at that time – the palace complex and the church.

After the Russian Empire ceased to exist, Lithuania and Latvia claimed rights for the town – in the following years it belonged to both countries.

After the break of USSR the palace was returned to Tyshkevich family, but Alfred Tyshkevich presented it to the government.

4. A palace in Podlachia, Poland

The estate of Ludwik Michał Pac in a Polish village Dovspuda (not far from Belostok and Suvalki) was built in 1827 by the project of an Italian architect Enriсo Marconi.

It was one of the first early Neo-Gothic building in Eastern Europe.


The palace’s main building consisted of four towers and two planks. Sculptures of the rulers of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth decorated the front part of the building.

After Ludwik Pac, Dovspuda palace belonged to a Russian noble family of Karcovs for the next 50 years.

It suffered in a fire and was gradually crumbling over the year. Today it one tower and the gate have survived.

5. A palace in Volhynia, Ukraine

One of the main estates of the Chodkiewicz family, one of the most influential noble families in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 16th–17th centuries, was located in present-day Mlyniv settlement in western Ukraine.


Grand Hetman of Lithuania Grzegorz Chodkiewicz got the town from the Vishnevetskiy family.

His descendants Yan Nicolai and his wife Ludwika created the palace complex in Mlyniv. The complex included 2 two-storey palaces and gardens.

Unfortunately, the big palace in Mlyniv has not survived.

After WWII a veterinary college opened in the building of the other, small, palace. Since 1970 amuseum of natural history is located there.

This article was publised in Russian by TUT.BY.