Tomb of Jan Czeczot in Ratnyčia’s old cemetery

A friend of the famous Adam Mickiewicz, the Lithuanian, Polish and Belarusian poet Jan Czeczot is buried in Ratnyčia’s old cemetery. During his lifetime, Czeczot collected and published approximately 1,000 folk songs and actively participated in the literary and political activities of several clubs. In 1823, he was arrested for his activities in a secret philomathic organisation and deported to Orenburg Governorate several thousand kilometres to the east. The poet returned to his homeland only in 1841.

Jan Czeczot and his life after exile are best characterised by an epigram written by the poet himself: ‘I have neither a wife nor children; I am just a simple witness to other people’s destinies and events as I analyse in the theatre the ways in which everyone plays their part’.

The poet died from various health problems on August 11, 1847.