Eternal flame and Monument to Soviet Soldier
The memorial complex was mounted in Niasvizh in post-war period in memory of the liberation of the town from German troops.
Niasvizh was captured by advancing German forces almost without a blow at the end of June 1941. Soviet army was retreating rapidly. Only small group of some dozen soldiers in the western part of the town resisted. Nevertheless, many retreating soldiers of the Red Army were taken prisoners in the town and its outskirts.
For couple of days the town housed the headquarters of the 2nd Panzer Group of the General Guderian. In his memoirs the German General mentioned the visiting of the palace. After the occupation administration had been established, the ghetto was set up in the town. However, all the Jews of Niasvizh had been executed or run away in the forests by the summer of 1942. The only gypsy camp in the district was equally destroyed. The Belarusians and Poles, not only communists and Komsomol members but also priests were executed. More than 2 thousand inhabitants of the district of Niasvizh were sent to forced labor in Germany, some of them have never returned.
The period of German occupation ended on the 2nd of July 1944, when Soviet troops entered Niasvizh . These were the soldiers of the 193rd infantry unit and the 65th army under the command of Andrei Fralienkoŭ and guerrillas of the 27th Čapajeŭ brigade. The Germans stubbornly defended the town, and the Soviet troops sustained heavy causalties during the storm. The next day several German tanks that were retreating turned up in the town from the east. Another fight started, but the tanks were thrown back soon.
Today, in the memory of those events the 2nd of July is celebrated as the Day of the town in Niasvizh .
Soon after the seizure of Niasvizh in June 1941 the Nazis started to implement the policy of liquidation of the Jews in the occupied territories. A ghetto was organized in the south-west part of the town, where all the Jews of Niasvizh and outskirts were driven. On 30 October 1941 the Nazis selected craftsmen and valuable specialists, and the remaining were condemned to death. The Jews had no idea why they were driven to the park until they saw a dug trench, more than 30 m long. The shot down were thrown into there, and some were still alive after the trench was backfilled. At least 1500 Jews were shot dead at the park meadow. Within a week the occupation authorities shot dead about 1200 people more on the road to Snoŭ. Under the guidance of teacher Shalom Cholawski was organized underground resistance among the survived, which started to collect weapons and explosives. In July 1942 the prisoners of the ghetto stirred up a revolt that was suppressed violently. Only few survived and battle through to the forests.
As a rule, local people tried to help the Jews, sometimes risking their life. It is known, for example, the Niasvizh Catholic dean Mečyslaŭ Kubik was arrested and shot dead for assisting the Jews.
Bust of Mikołaj Krzysztof "the Orphan" Radziwiłł
This monument was erected in the honor of the Prince Mikołaj Krzysztof "the Orphan" Radziwiłł who was statesman and military leader of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, traveler, writer, philantropist, the first ordinate of Niasvizh .
Mikołaj Krzysztof got the nickname "Sirotka" ("Orphan") in early childhood. The legend tells that one day the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Sigismund Augustus met an unattended child in one of the rooms of the palace. The King calmed him down and caressed, "Oh, my poor little forgotten sirotka!" Since then, the nickname "Sirotka" has stuck to Mikołaj Krzysztof.
Mikołaj Krzysztof studied in a Protestant school in Niasvizh founded by his father. In his youth he traveled a lot in Western Europe, studied in Strasbourg and the University of Tübingen. After the death of his father, under the influence of the Polish Jesuit preacher Piotr Skarga he publicly renounced Calvinism, adopted Catholicism and, correcting the sins of his father, took over to eradicate Protestantism in his possessions.
In 1583-1584 Mikołaj Krzysztof "the Orphan" Radziwiłł made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, during which he visited Crete, Cyprus, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. Mikołaj Krzysztof narrated about his journey in the diary had been repeatedly published in different European languages. In Jerusalem, the prince joined the Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. It is their sign that can be seen on the monument. On his return, he began an extensive construction in Niasvizh: he set a stone castle next to his father's wooden one, built the Church of Corpus Christi, the Benedictine and Bernardine monasteries. He invited Italian architect Giovanni Maria Bernardoni for the design and construction of the church. Radziwiłł gathered a portrait gallery, a library, an arsenal in the new castle. Sirotka laid one of the first parks in Alba near Niasvizh in the country. Thanks to Mikołaj Krzysztof, a new town was built within just thirty years with the due account for the defense art of that age.
The monument to Mikołaj Krzysztof "the Orphan" Radziwiłł rightfully took his place in the alley of famous figures of the town of Niasvizh in 1992.
Bust of Tomasz Makowski
Tomasz Makowski is known as an author of engravings for the books and maps, in particular, for the first known plan of Niasvizh.
Nothing is known about the childhood and youth of Makowski. Around 1600, he entered the service of Mikołaj Krzysztof "the Orphan" Radziwiłł. There Makowski was engaged in the creating of engravings on copper to the books published in typography of Niasvizh . Around 1603 Makowski created an engraving with the view of Niasvizh – the oldest extant image of the town. The engraving of Makowski became the main source for the recovery of appearance of the lost or reconstructed buildings. Thanks to his engravings we can also learn how used looked other castles of the Radziwiłłs and cities of the Great Duchy of Lithuania: Biržai, Viĺnia, Hrodna, Koŭna, Klieck and Troki. At the same time the master was involved in the creating of a map of the Great Duchy of Lithuania. Subsequently Makowski worked in other publishing houses, making illustrations of a variety of books. So, to his authorship belong illustrations of two panegyrics and famous horse-breeding treatise "Hippica". He also created the engraving "The siege of Smolensk" and "The view of Moscow". In some cases, Tomasz Makowski only copied on the boards already finished paintings, but his talented performance keeps its own artistic value. In 1992, his monument was mounted in Niasvizh.
Bust of Giovanni Maria Bernardoni
Close to the monument of Mikołaj Krzysztof "the Orphan" Radziwiłł was mounted a bust of Giovanni Maria Bernardoni, Italian Jesuit monk, the first architect who worked in the Baroque style in Poland and the Great Duchy of Lithuania.
Giovanni was born in northern Italy, worked as a bricklayer, at the age of 23 came to Rome to join the Order of Jesuits and became an architect. Jesuit brothers sent him to the construction of the main temple of the Order in Rome Il Gesu, where he worked for 6 years. Since 1573 Bernardoni worked on the construction of churches in Naples, Abruzzo.
Bernardoni comes at the invitation of Mikołaj Krzysztof "the Orphan" Radziwiłł to Niasvizh in 1586 and stays there for as long as 13 years. The Jesuit church becomes his main project in Niasvizh . The main church of the Jesuits in Rome - Il Gesu - became the prototype of the Order’s church. Beside a sacred function, the must have been the prince tomb, as well. Multidimensional puppose of the church required precise alignment of his project. In November 1593 the construction of the church was completed and the first worship was held there.
The Church of the Jesuits in Niasvizh is the first building in the territory of Poland in the Baroque style.
In 1599, Bernardoni went to Krakow, where he built the church of St. Peter and Paul. In addition, he completed projects of the monastery of St. Bernardin in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska and St. Casimir in Viĺnia. But the architect did not see the completion of the work, he died in 1605.
In 1992, a bust of Giovanni Bernardoni by sculptor Mikalaj Humilioŭ was mounted in the Old Park.
Bust of Władysław Syrokomla
Władysław Syrokomla (his original name was Ludwik Kondratowicz) is a well-known Belarusian and Polish poet, writer and ethnographer. His historical and ethnographic essay "A journey through my erstwhile neighborhood" is of great value for the history of the town as Syrokomla had been studying many archival documents, dispersed currently throughout Eastern Europe.
The poet was associated with Niasvizh from his youth. Syrokomla studied in the local school at the Dominican Convent in the 1830s. In 1840-1844 he worked, first as a manager assistant of the possessions of the Princes Radziwiłł in Niasvizh and, later, as an archivist in the castle archive. In 1844, Ludwik Kondratovich got married to Paulina Mitraszewska in Farny Church.
In addition to "A journey of a familiar man through his familiar land", Syrokomlya wrote 6 sonnets dedicated to Niasvizh . His work "Illuminations" tells the tragic story he heard from the mouth of an elderly dweller of Niasvizh.
The poet's memory is perpetuated by a memorial plaque installed in the church of Corpus Christi in 1902. The czar’s authorities did not allow to install the plaque in the town. However, residents of Niasvizh found a solution: a memorial plaque was installed in the church in 1902 and was preserved till present.
In ninety years, in 1992, in the memory of the writer a bust was mounted next to other prominent people of the town.
Bust of Jury Niasvizhski
The question of affiliation of Jury Niasvizhski to Niasvizh remains unsolved to this day. However, it is possible to talk with a high probability about the Prince that participated in the Battle of Kalka as the first Niasvizh inhabitant, the memory of which is kept on the pages of the ancient chronicles.
The Battle of Kalka was the first significant battle between the Ruthenian-Cumans and Mongolian troops. May 31, 1223 the army of Ruthenia was completely defeated, and most of the princes suffered death on the battlefield. Jury Niasvizhski was mentioned in chronicles as one of six princes, retreating from the battlefield, but overtaken and martyrized. All the prisoners still alive were put under the boards on which the Mongols-victors had a feast after the battle.
This is the only mention of the Prince of Niasvizh on the pages of ancient Russian chronicles. Later historians and genealogists found out on the basis of circumstantial evidences that Jury Niasvizhski was probably a son of the Pinsk Prince Jarapolk and a grandson of the Turaŭ Prince Jury Jaraslavič. As a representative of the prince dynasty of Ruriks, Jury came into the possession of a principality in Niasvizh at the beginning of the XIII century during the period of territorial fragmentation in the Ruthenian lands.
Archaeologists did not manage to find out the location of the town in the XIII century. Thus, quite a number of researchers insist on using 1446 as the date of the first record of Niasvizh. However, there is a possibility that the original Niasvizh could be located on the territory of one of the ancient settlements to the east of the modern town. Therefore, to this day there is no clarity in the initial history of Niasvizh. However, this did not imp the installation of a bust in honor of Jury Niasvizhski in 1992.
Bust of Jakub Kolas
One of the busts represents Jakub Kolas, a classic of Belarusian literature and the national poet of Belarus, whose real name is Kanstancin Mickievič. The future writer was born in the lands of Radziwiłł near Stoŭbcy. From 1898 to 1902 Mickievič studied at Niasvizh pedagogical seminary. The time, spent in the town, had a positive impact on the works of the writer, filling it with new bright images that were further reflected in his works. It is believed that the story of one of his most famous poems "Symon-Muzyka" could be inspired by memories of Niasvizh.
After Niasvizh period future classic worked as a teacher in schools in Palessie. He was imprisoned for social activities. After the World War Jakub Kolas wrote many works that became classics of Belarusian literature. In 1926 he was awarded the honorary title of the national poet of Belarus.
Today Niasvizh State College and one of the streets of the town are named after the name of Jakub Kolas. In 1992 in honor of the classic a bust was mounted.