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Print out date: 23.04.2019 15:36
22.04.2008 12:20 Videos

Video: Tower collapses in “Belarusian Bastille”

A tower collapsed in Minsk’s 19th-century brick-and-mortar fortress used as a prison on April 20.
The 30-meter western bastion of the Gothic-style Piszczallo Castle, sometimes called the Belarusian Bastille, crashed down at about 8:20 a.m.
No one was injured in the collapse, and no prisoners escaped, a prison official said.
Illegal construction work and the lack of proper maintenance to the 19th-century structure are the most likely causes of the collapse, Anton Astapovich, chairman of the Belarusian Voluntary Society for Historic and Cultural Heritage Protection, told BelaPAN.
The four-tower Piszczallo Castle was built in 1825 by order of local nobleman Rudolf Piszczallo (Piscala) who wanted it to be his city residence and look like a medieval fortress. The Minsk government soon bought the building from him and converted it into a prison. Insurgents who participated in the 1863 anti-Russian uprising led by Kastus Kalinowski were held in this prison and some of them were executed there. Vintsent Dunin-Martsinkevich (Wincent Dunin-Marcinkiewicz), a prominent Belarusian writer and public figure, spent more than a year there for support of the uprising.
Between 1908 and 1911, the facility confined Belarusian literary great Yakub Kolas, who was arrested for participation in a convention of anti-government educators.
The structure, which is on the government’s heritage list as an architectural monument of national importance, still houses Pre-trial Detention Center No. 1, Belarus’ most notorious jail commonly called Valadarka, as it is located on Valadarskaha Street.




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