Polotsk is the oldest city ​​of Belaruswhose history dates back to the 8th century. Every street, every building of this small, by today's standards, city is full of history and legends. Decided to go to this city in the Vitebsk region? We have prepared a material in which we will tell you what sights of Polotsk are worth seeing.

Start the tour with St. Sophia Cathedral. The temple was built in the 11th century and is the first stone building in territory of modern Belarus.

During its long history, St. Sophia Cathedral was destroyed more than once and has come down to us in the form of a rebuilt temple of the 18th century. Today, the cathedral houses a museum and hosts organ music concerts.

Next to the St. Sophia Cathedral is another important historical landmark - Polotsk Borisov stone. Once this stone was located on the banks of the Western Dvina River, but in the 80s of the last century it was transported and installed in today's place. This stone is a real historical artifact. A four-pointed cross and an inscription adorn this stone. However, the inscription is difficult to read, and this is not surprising, because the history of this artifact began in the 12th century.

Another monument near St. Sophia Cathedral appeared in 2017. This is a memorial sign "Polotsk - the cradle of Belarusian statehood", which is a chain of shields depicting the faces of famous historical figures. And on the reverse side you can see milestones in the formation of statehood.

An interesting fact is that the weight of the monument is about 8 tons.

Polotsk - the center of Enlightenment

Polotsk was once considered the center of education and culture. It is not surprising that the first institution of higher education also appeared here. Jesuit Collegium originated in the 16th century, when this order settled in the Vitebsk region. In 1812, the Jesuit Academy was opened in the collegium building. Today these walls graduate graduates from Polotsk State University.

At the end of the 19th century, the Lutheran Church appeared in Polotsk. This temple is unique - the building was not damaged by either warriors or vandals. Once upon a time there was a small wooden church on this place. However, the number of Lutherans in the city grew and a decision was made to build a new, stone building. During the Soviet era, the Lutheran Church was closed, and a local history museum was located within the walls, which can still be visited today.

Walking around Polotsk, do not forget to look into the Spaso-Evfrosinevsky Monastery.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a monument to Vseslav the Enchanter was erected on the way to the Spaso-Evfrosinevsky Monastery. Prince, under whom the city reached its power and prosperity. In Polotsk in 2000, a monument was erected to the granddaughter of Vseslav Charodey - Euphrosyne of Polotsk. The monument is located near Freedom Square.

On the Freedom Square itself, you can see the Monument to the Heroes of the Patriotic War of 1812. It was first erected in 1850 and was called "a monument in memory of the Patriotic War of 1812". But in 1932 it was demolished by order of the Soviet army, as a source of metal. The monument was restored only in 2010.

From the main square of the city, there is a square that runs along F. Skorina Avenue. Walking along it, you will see a lot of interesting things. For example, the sculpture of the letter "Ў".

This is a truly unique letter that is not found in the alphabets of other languages. There is also a memorial sign "Polotsk - the geographical center of Europe", a monument to Francysk Skaryna and Simeon Polotsky.

Not far from the square you can see the Fire tower. Due to the original color and decorative elements on the facade, you can’t immediately say that this is an active fire station. The building was built in 1937.

Another important attraction is Epiphany Cathedralwhich was built in the 18th century. This Baroque temple is part of the Holy Epiphany Monastery. During its history, the cathedral was rebuilt many times. Despite this, there are still fragments of frescoes that archaeologists date back to the 18th century.

Museums in Polotsk

Near the cathedral there is a museum of Belarusian book printing, a museum-library of Simeon of Polotsk and the house of Peter the Great. If you love museums, be sure to check out the exhibits.

The house of Peter the Great was built in 1692, but it was partially rebuilt in the 18-19 centuries. During the Great Patriotic War, the building was practically not damaged. There is an assumption that the emperor lived in this house when he was in Polotsk. How reliable this is is now impossible to verify.

Walk in Polotsk along the red bridge. This place is reminiscent of the battles of 1812. And on the way back from the bridge, visit the Natural and Ecological Museum. You definitely can not ignore it and pass by. After all, it is located in a water tower, which was built in 1953.

Like in many cities, Polotsk also has abandoned sights. So it happened with the House of Officers. Initially, it was called the "House of the Red Army", it was built in 1939. At the end of the war, the building was partially destroyed, but it was restored. And now it is in a neglected state, and its further fate is unknown.

This is not all that can be found here. Polotsk is a unique city. Here, even on the fence near the store, you can see the history of the city in drawings, and the elegant facades of houses are transferred to the past. All this creates an atmosphere that attracts tourists not only from all over Belarus, but also from neighboring countries.

Photo: Olga Alekseeva

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