The city is called the smallest in Belarus. A little more than 1500 people live here, at the intersection of the Western Dvina River and Disna. They have their own island, water transport (ferry), almost exotic for our country, and paved streets. Welcome to Vitebsk region, to Disna - a city that has preserved the unique layout of the streets of the 16th century and the architecture of the 19th!

For the first time Disna town was mentioned as the fortress of Polotsk principality Kopec-town in the 11th century. Over time, it turned fr om a small settlement into the district center, and then back to a small town. In 1569, it received the Magdeburg Law and the emblem of "Rook". Later, it became a major center of trade and industry. According to local residents, the butter produced in Disna was by 4 shillings more expensive than the butter made in England in those days!

The kings of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth also visited the city - Stephen Bathory and Sigismund III of Poland, Chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Lew Sapieha, Russian Tsar Aleksey Mikhailovich, the Belarusian writer, social activist and the prime-minister of the BDR Vatslav Lastovsky. Yazep Drozdovich and Alexandr Grin were born there. Poet Demyan Bedny read his poems at the hospital, Adam Mitskevich was inspired by the city, the first national Belarusian theater of Ignat Buynitsky was on tours there. Disna appeared more than once on the screen of "Belarusfilm" and Soviet cinema.

You can get around town in a few hours, but the history of its streets is endless.


Wooden buildings are often destroyed by fires. A procession with the miraculous image in honor of the Mother of God "Hodegetria" of the 16th century became very helpful for citizens and their homes, which, according to the legend, sailed into the city on the Western Dvina. It put an end to the fire fighting, then the icon was called the defender of Disna. It has yet been stored in stone of Holy Resurrection Church, built in the mid 19th century, at the Town Hall Square, wh ere Yubileynaya and Kirova intersect now.


In 1563, Ivan the Terrible's troops took the fortress city of Polotsk, and Stephen Báthory, to regain lost ground, built a castle with 9 towers in high shafts along the island at Disna. A large fire destroyed this majestic fortress in 1882. Only ruins remained of it.


Patients were treated in it, built just over 100 years ago, even at tsar, then at the Polish and Soviet authorities later the Germans placed the hospital there. The building caught fire under strong artillery fire when Disna was liberated. People have tried to recover it several times after the war, but today, the hospital maintains a majestic view of the ruins.


Many things were seen at the streets of Disna. The city was highly destroyed by wars, beginning with the North and the Napoleonic wars, ending World War II. By the 20th century, almost half of its population was Jewish, and it is not surprising that the German invaders formed a ghetto there. There was not any Jew left after the liberation of the city - 3,800 people executed in 1942.


It is considered "the oldest" road bridge in Belarus. The wooden arched bridge was on the basis of metal and stone, after the war, the damaged part replaced with a new one, a German, but with a different design. In 2002, the bridge was overhauled and got asphalt coating, through which the wood flooring was visible anyway.

Map location

Back to the list