In 1802, Alexander I allowed Oginski to become the guardian of Franciszek Ksawery. So, Michal was sent from Petersburg to his uncle's estate located near Smarhon.
The estate originally consisted of a wooden house, a mill, a brewery, a small backyard, an orchard, and a vegetable garden. The estate also included several taverns, river meadows, and a whole forest.
When the guardian arrived, the construction of the palace was immediately started. It was constructed under the guidance of architects Mykolas Sulcas and Joseph Poussier. The palace consisted of two-story pavilions and one-story wings.
Leonard Khodko, Oginski's secretary, sketched an engraving titled “Zalesie in Lithuania. 1822 ". It depicts the main fifty-meter wing of the palace with columns and a large greenhouse, which was built perpendicular to the orchard house. There were stone pillars, secured by a decorative fence between it and the watermill.
The construction was completed in 1815. The estate was built in a classical architectural style. And there was a porch of four columns in the center of the palace and a clock with four dials in a small turret.
The interior was very spacious, so there were not only bedrooms, but also many living rooms, libraries, offices, salons in the palace. And the library window offered the view of the park and the lake.
The park was an example of a trendy English landscape garden. Two rivers — Babrynka and Ruditsa — flowed through the park. They filled a picturesque lake. There was an island in the middle of it. Silver bridges stretched across the rivers, and arrays of flower beds (Oginski loved flowers very much) made the place unique.
In the Soviet period, the estate served as a recreation center, and in 1961 it became a nursing home. Later, the Smarhon Silicate Plant wanted to open a health care center there, but the project was not implemented.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the authorities began to think about creating a museum there. However, due to the economic crisis, the plans to restore the estate had been postponed. But this did not affect the celebrations of the anniversaries of Michal Kleofas Oginski.
The final restoration of the estate began in 2011. The grand opening of the palace took place on September 26, 2014, and since 2015 the park has been actively restored.
Today there is a great choice of various options for spending time in the Memorial Estate: visiting sightseeing tours (groups of 10 to 25 people), theatrical performances, classes and lectures on museology, evening classical music concert, theme parties for adults and children, outdoor marriage registration ceremonies, enjoying the cafes and staying in the hotels, visiting traditional celebrations of the anniversaries of the composer and his wife — Maria de Neri.
Moreover, the Memorial Estate organizes exhibitions of contemporary artists, historical and musical lounges, and so on.
Talented guides are always happy to welcome you at the Michal Kleofas Oginski Memorial Estate. They will offer you interesting programs and stories from the life of the composer. The visit here will be informative for people of all ages! And on the Internet, you can find many videos and photos that will definitely encourage you to visit the estate.