Gorodok, Vitebsk region
Gorodok is the administrative center of the district with a population of 12 thousand people, it is located 30 kilometers to the North from Vitebsk. The river Gorozhanka flows through Gorodok, it is also called Usysa, and the lake Lugovoe raises from the South-West of the city.
The first written mention of Gorodok refers to 1128 in connection with the military campaign of Kiev Prince Mstislav Vladimirovich on Polotsk land. Gorodok is mentioned in the sources of the second half of the XIII century, when there was a battle between the Lithuanian troops and Polotsk. Later Gorodok was a borough which was a part of Vitebsk province within Grand Dutchy of Lithuania. In 1772, after the annexation of Gorodok to the Russian Empire, the settlement received the city status, and after 9 years, also got its own coat of arms. In 1924, Gorodok became the center of the district in the Vitebsk region.
The coat of arms
The coat of arms of Gorodok received in 2006, shows a lion - a symbol of strength and courage.
Gorodok is a railway station, which is located on the branch connecting Vitebsk with the Russian town of Nevel. Through the village there are pass roads connecting the Town with Ulla and Vitebsk.
In the XVII century a Bastion castle was built in Gorodok on the banks of the Gorozhanka. Today the remains of bastions and a moat, the width of which reaches 16 meters, remind about the building, which was situated here. The monument of the middle of XIX century is the building of post station. Since that time, the water mill and outpost house have been preserved too. In addition, Gorodok can show well-preserved buildings of the early twentieth century: commercial and residential buildings. Among the religious attractions of the city there must be named the Church of the Holy Trinity, rebuilt in the late twentieth century from the building of former parish school. In the 1990-ies in Gorodok there was built another temple - the Church of the Annunciation. Like other cities of Belarus, Gorodok suffered during the great Patriotic war. A reminder of those events is the memorial complex "Immortality" - the burial place of over 5 thousand soldiers who liberated a town and district in December 1943.There are also the boulders in the town, constructed in a memory of the Belarusian poet Constantin Varenicyn the author of the satirical poem "Taras on Parnassus", which was written in Gorodok.
The Intangible Culture of Gorodok
Gorodok is also famous for its intangible culture. So, the local weaving "Muslin" is included in the list of intangible cultural heritage of the country. And if you want to see the samples of tablecloths and towels, made in a local manner, it is possible to do in the regional Museum of local lore, as well as in Gorodok crafts house. Gorodok is famous for its ritual - "the funeral of the grandfather", which is held on the first day of the carnival and symbolizes the farewell to the winter. So, if in other parts of Belarus the effigy is burnt, in Gorodok it is "funeral" of the doll. In such a way they celebrate the beginning of spring here.