The beautiful city of Vitebsk: the most interesting sights
Old Vitebsk is considered one of the most beautiful and famous cities of Belarus. He deserved this unofficial title not only thanks to the music festival “Slavic Bazaar”, but also to the beautiful architecture, beautiful landscapes, places, and its rich history. Let’s see what sights to visit and see a tourist who came to the glorious Vitebsk.
It is best to start sightseeing with a walk through the old town. Being here, you immediately plunge into the atmosphere of the past life, and the road, paved with stone blocks, and cozy wooden benches helps to achieve this feeling. If the day is nearing its end, the ancient lanterns light up along the street with a soft light.
There are many cafes here that will delight you with excellent cuisine and delicious coffee. In addition, there are excellent shops on this street, where you can buy not only souvenirs, but also designer clothes of Belarusian designers.
During the days of the festival “Slavianski Bazaar”, this whole street day and night is filled with artisans, games, entertainment for all tastes. Relaxing in the summer with children here will also be interesting, because especially for them they organize children’s competitions and quizzes.
Passing along Suvorov Street past a small green Mayakovsky Square, you can reach the main attraction of Vitebsk, the City Hall. This architectural monument dates from the end of the XVI century. Since then, he has suffered destruction and fires many times. Currently, the Town Hall is completely renovated, consists of eight floors, the last of them has an observation deck. It offers an amazing view of the entire Vitebsk. Now in the Town Hall there is a Museum of Local Lore, as well as a tavern where you can taste delicious and interesting dishes of national cuisine.
Not far from the Town Hall you can see another architectural monument — the Resurrection Church. This is also a restored building, since the church itself was demolished in 1936. It was rebuilt in 2009. You should definitely look inside and admire the skillful frescoes made by Vitebsk craftsmen.
Vitebsk was founded as early as 974 by Princess Olga at the intersection of the Zapadnaya Dvina and its tributaries Luchosy and Vitby. It is from the last name that the name of the city originated.
If you come to Vitebsk in the warm season, you should definitely take a stroll along the Zapadnaya Dvina embankment, visit recreation areas and the city beach. Here you can not only sunbathe and swim, but also rent boats, catamarans, roller skates and bicycles. In addition, you can take an entertaining walk on the small ship “Vitebsk”, which floats from the city center to the park Mazurin. On the way you can see interesting and beautiful monuments of architecture — Holy Assumption Cathedral and the Palace of the Governor.
A pedestrian walk will also be very interesting, as the embankment is decorated in the form of a wide alley with many cozy benches, cafes, from which a wonderful view of the water surface of the Dvina opens.
This building is truly considered the hallmark of Vitebsk. Many foreigners know about this city precisely in connection with the “Slavic Bazaar” music competition held in it, which traditionally takes place in July at the Summer Amphitheater site.
Built this building in 1988 in the city center. The place was chosen very successful — in a ravine, the slopes of which seem to help the sound of music, concentrate and enrich it. Earlier in this place performed the famous circus Lerry.
The summer amphitheater was reconstructed many times to meet the needs of modern society. At the moment, this building consists of 6,200 seats for spectators, comfortable dressing rooms for artists, and, of course, the main summer stage of the Republic of Belarus. Braided metal canopies that look light and weightless protect the weather from artists and spectators, although in fact the structure is able to withstand up to 700 tons.
Monuments of the city
The most famous monument among the sights is the memorial complex «Three bayonets», dedicated to the victory over the Nazi oppressors. It was built in 1974 and is located on Victory Square. The height of the monument is 56 meters. At the bottom of the complex includes bas-reliefs depicting Soviet soldiers. An eternal flame burns before it.
In the Park of Partisan Glory is a monument to the Children of War, depicting a boy holding a baby in her arms. Children sit on the wreckage of a destroyed house. Pain, grief and despair are expressed by these children. It is enough to take only one glance at this tragedy, so that it is imprinted in the heart.
Another monument is dedicated to the war in Afghanistan — the “Pain” soldiers-internationalists. It was erected in 1997 and includes the image of a grieving mother and her bandaged son. You should definitely look at this monument to feel the state of meaninglessness of wars, quarrels and ethnic conflicts.
It is impossible to imagine Vitebsk without the figure of the most famous Vitebsk-Marc Chagall. The monument to him is located on Pokrovskaya street. The artist is depicted as an elderly person, but, nevertheless, immersed in the process of creativity.
The conspicuous and entertaining sculpture «Meeting» was installed at the railway station of the city. This is a man and a woman, frozen in anticipation. One would like to approach them, because it seems that this couple is waiting for you.
The figure of a wandering musician, located next to the Summer Amphitheater, is a similar modern sculpture. She portrays a man playing the harmonica and a dog sitting next to her. Folk omens appeared around this sculpture. It is believed that for a good mood you should touch the harmonica of a musician, and to attract good luck — shake the paw of a dog.
Acquaintance with the city is impossible without visiting its museums, thanks to which it becomes possible to learn the history of Vitebsk literally in one day.
For this purpose, it is worth visiting the Museum of Local Lore (Lenin Street, 36), located in the Town Hall. It contains more than 200 thousand different exhibits relating to the history of the Vitebsk region and Belarus as a whole.
This land is famous for its talented sons: the world-famous artists Marc Chagall and Kazimir Malevich were born here. To learn more about these people and their work, you can visit the house-museum of Marc Chagall (11 Pokrovskaya St.) and the Art Museum (32 Lenin St.). In the latter, besides the works of famous artists, you can look at the collections of Belarusian artists of the XVIII-XIX centuries. In addition, meetings with contemporary artists, sculptors and masters of arts and crafts became traditional in this museum. If you’re lucky, you can get to the free workshop.
“Dukhovskiy Kruglik” is a unique building-museum of Vitebsk. It is worth visiting with children, as this story will be interesting to them. In the XIV century, the prince ordered to build a guard tower at this place, which during its existence was destroyed and rebuilt many times. In 1984, archaeologists found the foundation of this watchtower, and only in 2007 it was rebuilt. «Kruglik» consists of five levels, each with its own exhibition hall. It is here that the museum «Slavic bazaar».
In addition, there are other places in Vitebsk that can be visited: the Literary Museum, the Museum of the History of the Vitebsk Tram, the Museum of Modern Art, etc.
A visit to the theater will help you to plunge into the cultural life of the city. One of the most famous sights is the Belarusian Drama Theater named after Y. Kolas. After you spent the day walking around Vitebsk, watching a great performance would be most welcome.
The building of the theater itself is very beautiful, it was built in 1958. The repertoire includes mainly Russian and foreign classics, so it is suitable for the majority of connoisseurs of performance art.
With children you can watch the performance of the puppet theater “Lyalka”, which is located on Pushkin Street. Reviews of adults and young viewers about viewed fairy tales and stories are always positive.
It is possible to see all the listed sights in one day, but it is better to stretch the aesthetic pleasure and live in the wonderful Vitebsk at least a week. During this time, you can plunge into the atmosphere of the city, get acquainted with its inhabitants, feel the magic of this Belarusian region.
There are places where you want to return again and again. These include the glorious city of Vitebsk. Having visited it once, seeing the sights, you will very soon feel the attraction of the magical homeland of Marc Chagall.