RADOMLYA — THE ANCIENT TOWN OF THE RADIMICHS

Today the place called Radomlya in Chausy District is an ordinary agricultural settlement, with modern houses and all the modern conveniences, though. Its appearance does not tell you much about the glamorous history of this area. But many years ago Radomlya was the capital of an ancient Slavic tribe of the Radimichs. Mogilev archeologists claim that people started to settle here as far as one thousand and a half years ago. The Radimichs appeared here approximately in the 9th century. It is highly probable that this area saw the forefather of the tribe — Radim. Sometime in the 10th century on the territory of modern Radomlya (and possibly the surrounding villages) there appeared a settlement, which was comparatively big.

The locals say that if you just go for a walk along the village, you will find some elements of ancient pots made in the 10th- 12th centuries. Try to cultivate a field here, and you gather the crops not only in the form of potatoes, but also old ceramics.

Radomlya is the center of the tourist route «The Radimichs’ Roads». Archeologists say that a major town of this ancient tribe used to be located here. In Radomlya you can still see a site of ancient town and a castle hill. Standing at its foot, you realize the size and magnificence of the castle. The locals say that there is still an underground passage which in ancient times used to lead the local dwellers away from danger.

Not far away from the former castle site there is another magnificent hill with a strong old oak at its top. The scientists are sure that there used to be a pre-Christian pagan sanctuary here. People used to make ritual fires here and offer sacrifices to their gods.

From 1539 to 1779 Radomlya was the administrative center of the area. St. Michael’s Cathedral was built in 1619. The cathedral burnt a few times. In 1800 a new church was built.

In 1811 a wooden catholic monastery was constructed, which included a few household buildings, a kitchen with a bakery, two barns. Behind the monastery there was a small vegetable garden. The monastery also had a library, a school and a hospital. But the monks supported the riot of 1890-1831, that is why in 1832 the monastery was closed, as well as many other monasteries. The cathedral lasted till 1930; we even have its photos today. Then atheists blew up the monastery and not a single stone survived. The only thing which reminds us of the monastery today is a few old tomb-stones.

The village used to have an Orthodox church as well, but it was blown up during World War II. The building that survived the war was Czechovskies’ estate. The palace remained as it was and existed for a long time. The local school was situated there. But when the school moved to a new building, the palace was demolished. The only thing that remained is an old mill.
You can speak endlessly about Radomlya, but the best thing to do is to come and see its sights and get first-hand knowledge of its history. All tourists will have such an opportunity if they attend the festival «Visit the Radimichs», which is held every summer. Here you can learn about the culture of the Radimichs tribe in the 11th-12th centuries, watch a stage show with ancient ceremonies, take part in making ceremonial fire. During the festival a big fair is organized, where you can buy works of local (and not only) craftsmen, different souvenirs, attend master classes and so on.

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