The Kobrin military and historical museum of Suvorov celebrated semicentennial anniversary. It is distinguished with the originality from many museums of Belarus. Since rather unusual profile its originality affects also that departments of an exposition are developed in two adjacent houses which facades take to the central city streets. One of them – "old man" of bicentennial prescription, another – a modern giant.
The modest historical house on Suvorov Street is noted at a porch by the marble board reminding that "There lived A. V. Suvorov here in 1797 and 1800". Appearance of a lodge is typical for standard housing of a small estate shlyakhtich of the 18th century: low-tallness of walls is as if pressed down by the high chetyrekhskatny gontovy roof which is pulled down on them. And his modern young workmate haughtily rises on the bulk height creating a certain visibility of castle old times as envisioned by designers.
Emergence of the museum is completely obliged to casual circumstance: in Kobrin's center in military scrapes occurring at different times escaped shabby wooden a house, noted on Kobrin's plan of 1797 which by miracle managed to remain at the devastating fire which arose in the hottest part of the battle on July 15, 1812. From olden days among local old residents this house was known as "Suvorov's house", and history of the museum should be begun with cursory examination with rather chaotic past of the historical house. To be exact — with some little-known episodes from Suvorov's biography.
Being in 1795 in Warsaw, the commander received the decree of the empress Catherine II of the following contents: "In requital of the well-known merits of our general field marshal Alexander Suvorov-Rymniksky, we in eternal and hereditary possession from come to our treasury in the Lithuanian province from economy Brest, being among royal table manors most gracious granted it, the Key Kobrin with other keys, folvarka and settlements in which according to the sheet submitted to us six thousand nine hundred twenty two male souls are shown, with the lands belonging to them, grounds and all economic cash in it, ruling over our Senate, having ordered where follows about return of all that to it, to the count Surorov-Rymniksky to prepare to our signing our appointed diploma".
And in a year before Suvorov already happened to visit Kobrin district in connection with military operations. Going with five-thousandth group from Nemirov (Ukraine) to Kobrin, on September 3, 1794 at the settlement of Divin Suvorov broke prospecting group of the Polish general Serakovsky. Similar victorious fight happened in Kobrin next day. After a daily respite on September 6 from the city, at the Krupchitsky Carmelite monastery, the main forces of Serakovsky after long persistent fight got beaten in 15 versts and receded to Brest where were finally broken. Before a decisive campaign to Warsaw Suvorov was late in Brest for a month.
The estate by which Suvorov was awarded in 1795 several times surpassed all its other possession. For the first time the plan to retire and lodge in Kobrin appeared at Suvorov soon after Catherine II's death and Paul I's accession as with the new autocrat All-Russian Suvorov had a conflict. For the glorified commander as the firm rule served the belief that "each soldier has to understand the maneuver", at the same time Pavel, the thorough admirer of a shagistika prussofit, claimed: "the soldier is the simple mechanism, the article provided". This opposition soon ended with the fact that Suvorov was dismissed by the order of the day from army "without the right of carrying a uniform".
Resignation induced Suvorov to accelerate moving to Kobrin. However, its intention seriously "to heal by life of the rural nobleman" it was not carried out. According to instructions of the emperor, at the end of April "the former field marshal" was arrested and sent into exile to the mean village of Konchanskoye. The last, longest stay of Suvorov in Kobrin belongs to the beginning of 1800. The seventy-year-old generalissimo who dangerously got sick during the Swiss campaign on the way to the capital where it was expected by a triumphal meeting, owing to sharp deterioration in health was forced to be late in Kobrin for long time, Only at the very end of March, having felt the seeming easing of an illness, Suvorov last time said goodbye to kobrinets. On the way to St. Petersburg Suvorov was comprehended by new blow. On a whim of the eccentrical emperor all preparations for grand welcome were cancelled. Suvorov - is forbidden to appear in the palace. So undeserved insult finished seriously ill which soon died all alone.
After death of the owner Klyucha successors sold out all his villages. Did not avoid the general fate and a town house, repeatedly changing owners. In the middle of last century the lieutenant colonel of engineering troops Romuald Traugutt, the retired participant of defense of Sevastopol was its owner. Subsequently Traugutt headed the Polish revolt of 1863-64 and was executed. At one time under a shelter of the historical house the certain establishment which gave way to private apartments was placed. In the years of fascist occupation in it there was only during that time in Kobrin district elementary school. And on the eve of flight Hitlerites turned the house into a stable. Soon guerrillas among whom was much from Suvorov's group, having learned about the violation which comprehended a historical relic spontaneously went to a community work day and cleaned the house. Subsequently over the ownerless tumble-down house which became in vanity of a wartime without partitions, windows and doors there was a real danger to become the public bathroom. But that such shame did not happen, door and window openings were reliably entangled by a barbed wire.
In such, to put it mildly, unattractive look the warped walls under a roof full of holes staid till 1946. Until a certain well-wisher did not pay attention of the first post-war manager Brest oblono Ivanova that at general indifference the historical monument disappears. Ivanova, being a guerrilla and in 1944 participating in an above-mentioned community work day, treated with due consideration to the received news: reported about everything in the Pravda newspaper. Intervention of edition was followed by the fatal decision of the Central Committee of a bedding set on need of restoration of the historical house with the subsequent opening in it of the museum of Suvorov. So the Kobrin lodge of the commander avoided inevitable death. Its full restoration was complete by the end of 1947.
With huge difficulties a certain similarity of an exposition is in a festive atmosphere opened on May 1, 1948. Three sections were developed in five halls: "Our great ancestors", "Commander Suvorov". "Patriotic war of 1812" the young museum gained Popularity very quickly, already by the end of the first year of existence he was visited by 17 thousand people.
Thanks to successfully chosen profile of the museum, it is equal as a name of the commander, "which did not lose fights", the beginner managed to draw to himself attention of a number of the leading museums of Moscow and Leningrad. As a result of it the valuable original exhibits relating to national military history came to Kobrin. The museum found an opportunity further regularly to improve an exposition and to open the new department devoted to the Great Patriotic War.
Development of the museum and continuously growing flow of visitors forced the local management to deal with a problem of expansion of the area seriously. In the early fifties the adjacent house which area considerably surpassed a modest Suvorov mansion was transferred to the museum. By the end of the seventieth years the museum accepted 140 thousand tourists in a year though its staff at that time did not exceed ten people.
And still this progress could not muffle at employees of the museum the growing concern for safety of the growing decrepit Suvorov house. Time and low-standard post-war fussing restoration made the business. That the house finally did not collapse, professionals were engaged in restoration.
But also on it radical changes did not end. Considering the importance and popularity of the museum, it is equal as unfitness of the adapted second house, in 1987 the decision on a construction of the special building in compliance with requirements of modern museum architecture was made. Construction works came to the end by the end of 1989. The modest muzeychik became the full-fledged museum, and Kobrin's center was decorated two-storeyed an original design with the building from a red brick, something reminding a construction of defensive type.
Absolutely new stage of registration of departments of an exposition also began with it. Involvement of professionals positively affected also quality of registration of an exposition. In general the vast majority of the museums of a military and historical profile is devoted or to outstanding battles (Poltava, Borodino), or wars and even to separate types of arms (the Sea art museum). In this regard the modest Kobrin museum is rather original. In it in chronological sequence, as necessary fluently, the most considerable events of the Russian and Belarusian military history are presented. Visitors are especially struck by abundance of original material witnesses of the nice pages of the fighting past which are absent in other museums of the republic. Here one of the most considerable collections of arms and regimentals of the Russian and the western armies, much also east weapon is presented.
Essential increase in the area allowed museum collective to develop periodically in recent years the volume exhibitions which are of considerable interest to visitors. Collecting non-core local history materials is intensively conducted. Though for a number of reasons hitherto such collections are used in limited scales, but the possibility of opening of ethnographic department is in the long term not excluded.
The economic crisis which raged in recent years negatively was reflected in activity of the museums in general. Naturally, the Kobrin museum did not become an exception: attendance decreased. Let's hope and still that this phenomenon has passing character.
Martynov, A. Suvorovsky maneuver in years …: between the past and Future / Alexey Martynov//Bug. SEZ Brest. – 1997. - No. 4. – Page 46-47.