Opsa is an agro-town in the Republic of Belarus, the center of the Opsa village council in the Braslav district of the Vitebsk region. It is located on the shore of the lake of the same name on the highway of Braslav - Postavy. It has an advantageous geographical position: it is located not far from the borders of Belarus, Latvia and Lithuania. This location caused the role of the town as a powerful transport hub at the intersection of river and su-hutways. Whereas the new time and technical innovations added the functions of a large railway station to the village.
Some official sources call Opsa a village. According to the latest population census (2005), the population of the agro-town was 700 people employed in various sectors of the economy.
The role of the town in a historical retrospective.
The village of Opsa was first mentioned in historical documents in 1500. Because of its geographical location, it attracted the attention of many historical and political figures, it was handed over from hands to hands by princes, it was desired by landowners and entrepreneurs and adventurers.
The settlement turned out to be in the center of the military actions, sometimes the forces recaptured it from each other. One can mention the battle of the Russo-Polish War of 1792, the location of the Headquarters of the Russian troops under the leadership of Barclay de Tolly on its territory during the war with Napoleon, the seizure by the French ... And then, Marshal Murat placed his headquarters and placed cavalry units there. This is the fate of transit territories and transport centers in the war time.
Since 1823, the land of the district belonged to the count's family named Plyaters which were the disgraced Germans, one of the most important families, close to the royal people, who had been acquainted with the courts of many European dynasties.
At the beginning of the 20th century a small Plyaters’ Palace was built, partially preserved to the present day.
All these cobwebs of history formed the face of a small town (village) of Opsa - a face that does not resemble any other.
Sights of our time.
The following monuments have unconditional interest and attractiveness in the eyes of our contemporaries:
- Church of St. John the Baptist, built here in 1887. Since 1990 the church has been transferred to the church and after that it was restored. Modest elegance of the architectural solution of the church, coherence with the surrounding landscape - these are the distinguishing features of the historic building;
- The preserved private buildings of the end of IXth century give the vintage color tint to the administrative color of the city, the spirituality of old districts and streets;
- A pearl among local attractions (a very important historical-architectural complex in the general list of similar facilities of the country) Plyaters’ Palace, located on the shore of the Lake Opsa. However, it is worthy to devote it a separate part of the description.
The Palace and Park Ensemble of Plyaters.
The palace was built in 1905, it is located on the shore of the lake, with its facing part turning to the park. In its plan the palace has the letter "E", it is one-storey with two-story outbuildings. The entrance is marked by a canopy resting on two columns.
These details are very noticeable and spectacular, since an extensive round area (with diameter of 45 m) extends in front of the entrance. Once there were flower beds, but the owners didn’t want them.
From the rear of the building the road to the lake is decorated with a beautiful wide noble staircase. Even in its modern, unreconstructed form, it produces an impression of grandeur.
The park is different from the similar ones with its unique details. In general, it has a landscape character, but such planting of trees of coniferous species is used by "piles", accumulations, each in the zone of visibility from the neighboring one. Once there were 8, now - 2. But even in this truncated version, the composition is impressive in all seasons.
The life of the palace is complex and diverse, involves the work of many systems, it is desirable that this work is uninterrupted.
In short, the open-air museum with a few but impressive exhibits - that's what the Belarusian village of Opsa is.