The Przeźdeckie's Palace and Park
In the late 17th – early 18th centuries, former property of the Sapiehas’ family – Zaslaŭje - attracted the attention of the Przezdzieckies’ family of magnates. In 1693, Jerzy Stanisław Sapieha (1668-1732) transferred “…good Zaslaŭje areas” to Aleksander Przezdziecki. As a result, after the death of the last owner from the Sapiehas family, all Zaslaŭje properties received a new owner – Antoni Tadeusz Przeździecki (1718-1772).
Antoni Tadeusz Przeździecki reinforced his engagement with the richest magnates’ pantheon by purchasing Zaslaŭje county. Consequently, the high status of the owner required a castle ensemble. However, Antoni Przeździecki was not able to complete his grandiose construction plans. The father’s ideas received a second life after his sons, Michał and Dominik, completed the construction with the support of influential and well-connected relatives.
There are a lot of speculations about the author of the castle and park ensemble in Zaslaŭje. Archive materials do not give the direct answer to this question; however they provide enough indirect evidence that the authorship belongs to Italian architect Spampani (1750-1783). Indisputable is the fact that Spampani engineered the Przeździeckies’ castle and completed interior decoration of the Roman Catholic Church of Holy Mary’s Nativity.
The young Italian architect arrived at Zaslaŭje with an impressive baggage of artistic and employment record in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita). Spampani had access to the latest progressive developments of those times through the extensive network of outstanding colleagues, associates, and friends.
The castle and park ensemble of magnates Przeździeckies’ in Zaslaŭje reflects the 18th century cosmopolitan, pan-European architecture trends of the Rzeczpospolita. The architecture traditions of those times were guided by the French aristocratic Baroque castle-residences architecture style "entre cour et jardin" (literally: between court and park), which was developed, introduced and promoted by the greatest French architect Ch. Blandelle.
Vilnia’s classicism served a personal style blueprint for Carlo Spampani. As a result, one of the most outstanding architectural achievements by Spampani - castle and park ensemble in Zaslaŭje - is stylistically classified as taking the middle position between the Baroque and the Classicism traditions.
The large household complex with numerous houses, fish ponds, baths, greenhouses, construction factory, horse farm and farmlands is believed to have occupied the surrounding areas. The Hermitage survived in the upper park, in close proximity to the Przeździeckies’ castle on the recent Dačnaja street.
Hermitage was a home to the castle library, art gallery and a theater, which staged performances during major festive events and fairs, the latter were organized in Zaslaŭje four time per year (according to the Privilege, received by Antoni Tadeusz Przeździecki from the King)
The castle and park ensemble of magnates Przeździecki in Zaslaŭje is a specimen of an outstanding architecture composition, engineered by Carlo Spampani in those years. It radiates grandeur, monumentality, and harmoniously augments the historically existing landscaping patterns by its forms, well-planned structure, and well-laid out household area.