Sunset overlooking Kaiminskoye, dawn — on Baranskoye …
he republican landscape reserve «Sarochanskie lakes» with an area of about 15 thousand hectares is located in the north of the Ostrovets district. A unique natural complex where hills of glacial origin alternate with picturesque lakes located in chains, relict trees abounding in the gifts of nature, are flat plains and swampy lowlands, is called the diamond necklace of Belarus. Almost all the lakes of the water thread are interconnected, but especially both in depth and in chemical composition.
Sunset overlooking Kaiminskoye, dawn — on Baranskoye …
The landscape reserve «Sarochanskie Lakes» was established by the Decree of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus in 1998 for a unique natural complex of populations of rare and endangered species of plants and animals listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus. Converted in December 2013. All the variety of landscapes of the glacial complexes of the Belarusian Poozerie are concentrated here.
“12 thousand years ago, the Valdai-Moscow glacier passed through this territory,” says the director of the reserve Nikolai Konchanin. — And the main role in the formation of the modern geomorphological appearance of the territory, according to scientists, belongs to him. The basins filled with water eventually turned into beautiful lakes Glukhoye, Baranskoye, Klevei (Klevye), White, Turoveyskoye, Zolovskoye, Kaiminskoye, Sorochye, Tumskoye, Podkostelok (Golubino), Golodyanka, Edi, Gubeza and Vorobyi.
The total area of the lakes is four square kilometers, the length is about twenty. Each of them is connected to another duct, through which the bridge is connected, differs from the previous one in depth, transparency, and the chemical composition of water. All of them are extraordinarily picturesque, unique and not fully understood.
— It is curious that lakes like Baransky are found in Scandinavia, Glukhoy — in Northern Siberia, but Tumskoye is considered typically Belarusian, — our guide informs. Each has its own characteristics. In a very small area of 1.5 hectares and a maximum of two meters deep, the Klevje bottom is perfectly visible. But at Kaiminsky, the depth reaches more than twenty meters. Waters of different composition have their own color: one is completely transparent, the other is light blue, and the other is green. This is due to the fact that the lakes, although they are connected by channels, have their own water composition and level of mineralization.
Our expedition sets off to Lake Kaiminskoye. To show the journalists the beauty of these places, together with the director of the reserve, the foreman of the Ostrovets forestry enterprise Eduard Balyutskis volunteered — a local historian, striking with deep historical knowledge, an instructor-methodologist for tourism of the Ostrovets district physical culture and sports club Elena Akula, who has recently worked in the tourism industry, but is endlessly in love with Ostrovetschina their business.
The endless Kaiminskoye is striking in size and beauty. Clear transparent water quietly splashes, reflecting the sun’s rays. Sitting on the benches on the pier, we talk about how beautiful our land is and how important it is to preserve it for posterity. A huge convenient tourist parking — and there are parking on every lake — pleases with spacious gazebos, benches, swings, wooden sculptures, descents to the water. There is even a stylized ship here — Drakar. In the warm season, festivals are held, and many tourists come. The management of the reserve and the local forestry enterprise. Management on the banks of the order. Recently, for example, the Kayminskoye parking lot has become even more beautiful and more convenient: 22 thousand rubles were allocated from the regional budget for its improvement, and the employees of the forestry enterprise put their hands on it.
Incidentally, the amazing «nature» delights not only the townsfolk — picturesque places just ask for a shot. The second part of the film «White Dew», programs «Terra incognita», «Telebarometer» and others were filmed here.
“The upper layer of water in the lake quickly warms up under the rays of the sun and is saturated with oxygen,” says Nikolai Konchanin. “But already at a depth of 5–6 meters, its number sharply decreases. The water taken from the bottom is clean and transparent, but it has a pungent smell of hydrogen and even in summer its temperature is not higher than 6 degrees. Aquatic vegetation in Kayminskoye occupies about 15 percent of the reservoir area and is distributed to a depth of 2.5 meters.
The next point on the map of our trip is Lake Baranskoye with high steep banks and powerful spruces around. One of the most beautiful lakes in the reserve is the first in the system of lakes, from which the Belarusian Poozerie begins. Fisherman’s Days and regional fishing competitions are traditionally held here. And on Lake Podkostelok (Golubino), on the shore of which there is a stylish agroturism with the same name, we listened to the silence. According to legend, a temple that stood in the town went underground here, which is why the lake has such a name.
A small lake Glukhoye is hidden 100 meters south of Baranskoye. It is completely isolated from others and is surrounded by a swampy marshy shore. This is a mysterious lake with West Siberian landscapes. Under Glukhim there is an underground hydrogen sulfide lake, where the temperature reaches 300 degrees above zero. Due to the lack of oxygen, life glimmers only in the upper layers of water. There are only a few such lakes in Belarus.
There is another unusual place on the territory of the reserve, which is here called the watershed between the Sarochansky and Golubaya lakes — an ozovaya ridge, four kilometers long. An amazing view opens from its height: on the one hand — the Blue Lakes, on the other — Sarochanskie. How beautiful is our Belarus!
Each lake of the Sarochanskiy necklace is unique, beautiful and unlike any other. But in order to choose and love your own, you must definitely visit here.
Winding rivers, high banks
The southern part of the reserve is bordered by the obstinate Viliya with tributaries of the Strachi, Oshmyanka, Sorochanka, Gozovka and Losha. Viliya — the right tributary of the Neman — is one of the ten main rivers of our country. Incredibly winding and beautiful, with low, cozy, and sometimes high steep banks covered with forest, the great river was once navigable, wood was rafted along it. In its waters are found pike, perch, roach, bream, tench, crucian carp, perch, pike perch, brook trout, eel, burbot. But Viliya’s main fish value is the salmon trout, which comes here straight from the Baltic for spawning. And, of course, tourists love Viliya.
In the meantime, we are admiring the Stracha River at the Komarishki geological section. Here time slows down so much that you completely forget about all the problems and completely dissolve in fabulous landscapes.
Edward is a native of these places. He studies the nature of the native land of childhood, and stubbornly gets to the bottom of historical facts. Listening to his stories is a pleasure.
“My ancestors lived here, I live and my children will live,” he says. — It is very important to know everything about your place of power.
His patriotism is not feigned and flashy, but quiet, real, deep. That is why he studies his family up to the seventh generation, knows how to listen to the forest, see the beautiful and give people positive emotions.
Natural landscapes laboratory
The nature in the reserve «Sarochanskie lakes» is distinguished by exceptional picturesqueness and virginity. Two-thirds of the territory of the reserve is covered with forests: stately copper-stemmed pines, spreading spruces, powerful century-old oaks, slender white-stemmed birches and dark black alders along the banks of water bodies and around them.
There are 28 species of plants growing in the reserve, 11 of which are listed in the Red Book of Belarus: common ram, anemone, meadow lumbago, Lesel’s elk, single-leaved pulp, alpine downhill, Siberian iris, aquigelia and others. Berries and mushrooms — apparently — invisible. The meadows turn purple from the lingonberry, and the strong boletus as if asking for a basket.
In the tract «Duby», which occupies 1.2 hectares, recalling the eternity of being and the strength of its own roots, more than forty powerful handsome men in several girths rise majestically. Autumn in an oak grove is the most beautiful time. By tradition, we hug giants to feel a surge of strength …
In total, about 15 percent of the reserve is occupied by swamps and meadows. Bog communities are represented by various types of bogs, but upland, predominantly forest, prevail. Out-of-floodplain dry and lowland meadows are formed in the place of deforested forests, with overgrowing of empty lands. They also add flavor to the landscape.
Fish kingdom, klondike for birds
“The variety of landscapes and the successful combination of forests, swamps, rivers and lakes contribute to the richness of the fauna,” says Nikolai Konchanin, director of the reserve. — 203 species of terrestrial vertebrates live within the reserve, among which 26 are rare, included in the Red Book of Belarus.
Swans, white and gray herons, gulls, cormorants, representatives of the duck family, beavers, otters, roe deer, deer and other representatives of the fauna feel safe on lakes and rivers, near their shores. Here you can find such rare species as eel, brook trout, European grayling, crayfish, gray-headed woodpecker, hazel dormouse, hobby, wood grouse, badger and even bear. Catching a huge pike, bream, silver bream, bleak, asp, silver carp, crucian carp, grass carp, ide, roach and a dozen more different types of fish in the waters of the lakes will not be difficult.
Old-timers of these places say that before in Strac, for example, they caught meter-long burbot. Everyone could get a red fish — grayling for dinner. Today there are fewer fish. The water level in rivers and lakes affects.
By the path of the unknown, beautiful“There are four tourist routes on the territory of the reserve,” says Aleksey Dvoretsky, head of the sports and tourism sector of the Ostrovets regional executive committee. — Cycling route «Astravechchyna — the land of black Azeri», natural history excursion route «Journey to nature», ecological route-excursion «Ecology, forest resources and history of the Ostrovets region» and a combined route, including a sightseeing tour of the reserve «Sarochanskie lakes».
In September, in order to popularize water tourism, instructors-methodologists of the Ostrovets FGC developed and tested a water route along the Sarochansky necklace, which became the winner of the engineering division’s charitable projects competition.
“As a result of the project, tourists will study the“ Sarochanskie Lakes ”from the inside,” says Alexey, a participant in the rafting. — In addition, they can have a great rest, swim, fish. Fishing on the Sarochanskiy lakes is always very exciting and effective.
The tourist information center, which opened in Ostrovets in May 2019, actively develops ecological tourism in the region and promotes the brand «Sarochanskie Lakes». This region has a great tourism potential.
— Why Sarochanskie lakes? — I am interested. — Where does such a strange name come from?
— Somehow a sparrow got married at forty, — my guides tell, — and made an appointment for her under an old oak tree. The trusting magpie was delighted, combed her feathers, dressed up and flew to her beloved. But on the way she was caught by a thunderstorm with pouring rain. The bad weather did not become an obstacle for the bird in love. Desperately she rushed towards her happiness. And to make it easier to fly, I began to throw off wet feathers from the fluffy tail. Arriving at the meeting place to the century-old oak tree, the magpie found only a message left by the cunning groom: «Real sparrows do not marry magpies.» Inconsolable tears rolled from the eyes of the deceived magpie. In the place where they spilled, the Sparrow Lake appeared. And where the wet magpie feathers fell, a real necklace of lakes appeared. Since then, the magpie’s tail is very thin, and these lakes began to be called Sarochanskie, with one river flowing from them — Sarochanka. From the bright thoughts of magpie — the purity and light of the local lakes, from the confusion of feelings — their uniqueness. True love, even unrequited love, does not disappear without a trace …
Premiere of «Paulinki» in the Belarusian wilderness, giant oak, temple in Mikhalishki
The Ostrovets land keeps the memory of great people and events. On the territory of the reserve and in its vicinity there is an incredible number of cultural, ethnographic, architectural and archeological monuments. Near Lake Baranskoye, a temple of the Bronze Age has been preserved. An ancient settlement of the same historical period can be seen near the village of Buiki.
A house-museum of Kazimir Svoyak, a Belarusian patriot, writer, poet, philosopher, educator, priest (real name — Kazimir Stapovich), who was friends with Yanka Kupala, was opened in the village of Barani ten years ago.
— According to the recollections of local residents, Yanka Kupala showed the famous «Paolinka» in St. Petersburg and in … the village of Barani, — Edward Balyutskis surprises us. — Believe it or not.
The museum curator Natalya Stapovich introduces us to the exhibits of the museum: things of a talented namesake, books, sheet music, household items. From her story, we learn that through the efforts of Kazimir Svojak, seven schools were opened in the district, including in his father’s house, as well as teacher training courses. A public library worked in Klyushchany, concerts and theatrical performances based on plays by Yanka Kupala and Kazimir Stapovich were held.
The residents of Ostrov are proud of their famous countryman. Recently, the museum hosted celebrations in honor of its 130th anniversary.
Only fragments remain of the Shaikun Park, which once belonged to the landowners of Svolken. Among the mighty old Canadian poplars, which cannot be grasped alone, there are fragments of the family tomb — the Shaikun Chapel, built in 1844 by the owner of the estate Ignat Svolken in honor of the deceased wife of Mikhalina. The chapel was plundered in the 50s of the last century. And the sad story of the family pierces the heart.
More than eighty trees, including ash, maple, poplar, have survived from Martinovsky Park. At the end of its main alley, seven Siberian larches still grow, which were found in the times of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Local residents claim that Pyotr Masherov and Valentina Tereshkova came to the Martinovo farm to rest.
And on our way — a magnificent church with colorful bas-reliefs and incredible stained glass in the style of «Sarmatian» Baroque: the Church of St. Michael the Archangel of the 17th century in the village of Mikhalishki on the banks of the Viliya. The author of the famous monument of cult architecture, included in the State List of Historical and Cultural Values of the Republic of Belarus, is an architect of Belgian origin Krishtof Pence. The Florentine artist Pietro Perti (Peretti), one of the authors of the sculptural compositions of the Vilnius Church of Saints Peter and Paul, was responsible for the interior decoration of the shrine. The temple was consecrated in honor of St. Michael the Archangel in 1700. The austere, even ascetic, appearance of the temple contrasts strongly with the lush baroque interior decoration. This contrast makes a lasting impression. They say that during the Russian-Swedish war in 1705, Peter I visited Mikhalishki, who was heading for the area of hostilities. And in 1812 Napoleon admired the local church.
No less interesting for tourists visiting the «Sarochanskie Lakes» are the Shemetovo estate, one of the oldest in Belarus, and a church built by the heirs of the family. A hundred meters from the Kovalevshchizna farm, a unique 500-year-old oak tree grows! A local natural monument with a circumference of almost seven meters, its height — 27 meters, crown span — 33 meters.
Near the village of Podkostelok, the remains of the paved Old Vilensky tract have been preserved. And, of course, on the way to the lakes or leaving these iconic places, one cannot but get acquainted with one of the highest and most beautiful churches in Belarus, a magnificent example of the neo-Gothic style — the Church of the Holy Trinity in Gervyaty, whose spire rises by 61 meters.
The «Belarusian Notre Dame» is surrounded by a park of amazing beauty with rare decorative plants, figures of angels and 12 apostles, several crosses made of wood with rich carvings. And the century-old organ, piercing the soul, tells the story of love and eternity …