• October 5, 2012
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Second Life of the Pavlov Republic

Tourists can now visit the area that has been tidied up. Photograph by Marian Paluszkiewicz

The project called “Conversion of the cultural heritage complex in the Pavlov Republic for tourism and recreation” will be presented today, i.e. on Saturday, in Merkinė near Turgeliai in the Pavlov Republic.

“I am glad we can say today that the project has been already carried out. We have renovated the area and we have planted more greenery. All paths have been tidied up and there is a new car park as well. We have also placed several information points in the area”, told “Kurier” Zdzisław Palewicz, the mayor of Šalčininkai region.

Maintenance work has been carried out as a part of the project called “Conversion of the cultural heritage complex in the Pavlov Republic for tourism and recreation”. The project is funded by the EU Structural Funds as a part of the Rural Development Programme for Lithuania 2007-2013 on the basis of the Leader program. It is also funded by the local government funds.

“We did this all for the people who visit our region because what we have here is a real sensation. Tourists are now welcome to explore the area that has been tidied up. It will also be a nicer place for the local people”, said the mayor of Šalčininkai region. Zdzisław Palewicz has very ambitious plans. He wants to apply for new funds which he could invest in the development of Šalčininkai region.  

“I am really glad that the area of the Pavlov Republic has been tidied up so beautifully. There is also a monument erected in honour of Paweł Ksawery Brzostowski who was a priest and a president of the Pavlov Republic. Residents of Turgeliai appreciate the fact that someone has an interest in our place. The mayor of the Šalčininkai region has initiated the project. What we can see now is really amazing”, said Wojciech Jurgielewicz, the starost of Turgeliai. He hopes that tourists will now be even more interested in the Pavlov Republic and they will visit it as well as Turgeliai more often.

“It is really beautiful here. I feel like the time has been turned back. I have never seen such a wonderful landscape in my life. And I have seen a lot. The surroundings have been designed with taste. It is also important that there is a lot of greenery and all looks very naturally”, said Nina Góralczyk, a tourist from Poland. “I am glad that the walls of the palace remained intact. You can feel the history all over the place. This is the real charm of it”, she added.

“I have lived here for my whole life. Everybody is very happy that the project has been done. We also hope that it will be an invitation for tourists from Poland and our little town will liven up. Tourists always bring something special to this place. The Pavlov Republic is important to everyone and everyone should visit it at least once. After all, it is our history”, said Władysława Szyłobryt, a resident of Turgeliai. 

THE PAVLOV REPUBLIC

In the 18th century the Pavlov Republic was famous in the whole Europe. It had its own constitution, the coat of arms, currency, State Treasury, a mutual aid fund, school, etc. Rev. Paweł Ksawery Brzostowski was the founder of this “country within a country”. It covered 3,000 hectares and included a lot of villages. Brzostowski abolished serfdom, parcelled the land out and gave it to peasants. He fought against drunkenness, theft and usury. Apart from the land, the peasants also had the right to hunt in the manor forests, pick up building timber and firewood, fish and trade in raw materials and food outside the Republic. It resulted in a rapid economic growth and an increase in the standard of living in the Republic. Brzostowski also cared about the life, culture and education of the citizens.

There was a presidential palace built in the times of the Republic’s glory. It was probably designed by an Italian architect Carlo Spampani. The palace was little but it complied with the requirements of contemporary fashion: it was one-storey, excluding the central and side parts that had an evident superstructure. The façade was covered with a porch with huge columns supporting a balcony on the first floor. But for the last partition of Poland and the failure of the Kościuszko Uprising, the Pavlov Republic could have still existed. In 1794 the Pavlov Republic suffered the same fate as the whole country. The Pavlov Republic existed for almost 30 years.   

Source: http://kurierwilenski.lt/2012/10/05/drugie-zycie-republiki-pawlowskiej/

Tłumaczenie Marta Dubiel w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Marta Dubiel the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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