City Senno, Vitebsk region, has a rather rich and interesting history, and the first documented mentions of it date back to the mid-16th century. The name and origin of the town still causes heated debate today. The city's coat of arms (two braids on a green background) suggests that the name is somehow connected with hay, which, by the way, was actively traded here in the old days. The second version is more official - it says that Senno began to be called that by its location - the city stands on the lake of the same name.

Senno drawing of Napoleon Horde
Malyunak of Napoleon Orda, 1877

As befits such an ancient place, there was a castle here, built in 1573 by the decision of the then owner, Dmitry Sapega. Although the fortress was powerful, it was destroyed several times, most recently by the Swedish army at the beginning of the 18th century, after which Sennen Castle no longer rebuilt. The ancient settlement also did not survive; the mound was leveled in the first half of the 20th century during the construction of a road. The castle was located not far from the place where the sports and recreation center stands today; there is a brick well nearby.

Senno, Vitebsk region

Another important historical site in Senno is Franciscan monastery, the construction of which was carried out at the expense of Eustakh Kurch (sovereign figure of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania). Work on this complex was completed in 1609, and the center of the architectural composition was Church of Francis of Assisi. This temple was completely rebuilt from stone by the new owners of Senno, representatives of the Oginsky family, in 1772. Pre-war photographs of what the church looked like have been preserved.

The city of Senno in old photos
Zdymak from Kalektsy by Kastus Shytal, 1913, krynitsa: be-tarask.wikipedia

The new church was reconsecrated in honor of the Holy Trinity, the building has not survived to this day, only the rebuilt building has survived Franciscan monastery (erected in 1809).

Where was the Franciscan monastery in Senno

Senno, Vitebsk region, in old photos
pachatak 20 tbsp.

The Franciscan monastery operated until 1863, after which it was liquidated. The church remained open until 1937, but was severely damaged during the Second World War. In the post-war years it was not restored and was used as a warehouse; in 1962 it was finally blown up.

Ruins of a church in the town of Senno
Zdymak from Kalektsy Uladzimer Sadowskaga, 1944

Instead of a Baroque church, a small wooden chapel was built in the 90s. An interesting fact: for some time at the beginning of the 20th century, the poet Andrei Zyazyulya served as priest in the ancient church.

Senno town, Belarus

Where was the church in Senno?
kirmash, in the background St. Michael's Cathedral (drilled), krynitsa: Senno Historic Regional Museum

In the central part of Senno you can see ordinary buildings. There are several interesting brick buildings of 2-3 floors preserved here. Within the walls of the former zemstvo government today there is a local history museum, where you can learn more about the history of the city.

What to see in Senno, Vitebsk region?

The House of Culture also looks interesting.

House of Culture Senno

There is a small hotel in the city center; you can have a snack at the Acropolis or Vernissage restaurant. Senno is located on the P25 highway connecting Vitebsk with Tolochin, below is a point with the location of the city on the map:

If you are in these parts, I recommend going to the village of Plamya, where you can see the former household yard and the ruins of the Svyatsky estate.

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