MIORY – BELARUSIAN VENICE
A small town of Miory is located in a picturesque corner of Vitebsk region. Its name means in the Finnish language «a lake in the lowlands». Having been here at least once any foreign visitor would remember the beauty of the local lakes and rivers...
The town of Miory has always been different from other towns during 5 centuries of its existence, due to dominating of small settlements with one-storey wooden houses, like modern estates. Stone buildings were very rare, and they were concentrated mainly in the central trade square and the streets nearby.
However, the tourists coming to Miory today have no opportunity to see those few stone houses, as almost all of them were destroyed during the Second World War.
A BIT OF HISTORY
The first mention of Miory was found in the Chronicles in 1514. At that time it was not a town, but only the estate of Merey located on the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. 50 years later, the estate of Miory passed to a noble family of the Mirsky’s. Since the early 17th century Church institutions began to appear in Miory: first, in 1621, the Orthodox Church, after that, 21 years later, an Orthodox monastery, and in 1691 a Roman Catholic Church was built there. By the way, those buildings almost did not survive nowadays, but even the ruins have the power to fascinate with their grandeur and monumentality.
The history of Belarus can be traced by Miory: in 1793 the town was included into the Russian Empire, then, almost two centuries later, Miory appeared to be a part of Poland and afterwards it became a part of the BSSR. Interesting is the fact that about 800 people lived there by the middle of the 20th century, whereas 600 of them were Jews. Unfortunately, all of the local Jews were herded into concentration camps and executed during the German occupation. That is why native people are extremely rare here.
In ancient times a pottery craft, famous for all the neighborhood and called «Disna» ceramics, was wide-spread in the area of Miory district. Cutlery and household appliances made by the technology of Disna craftsmanship, which have survived until present days, take an honorable place in museums and private collections of Miory residents.
MIORY IS THE EPITOME OF NATURE
Even those tourists, who happen to travel through Miory, cannot but notice the unique natural features of this town. One can often see local artists seeking inspiration in the natural beauty of greenery and smooth water surface near the Hill of Fame, beside the lake or next to the forest.
Preserved since 1907, the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s ascension and the buildings around it create a very special mood and unique atmosphere of this place. So it can definitely be called a historic highlight of Miory.
Thanks to the preserved planning of the old streets that have formed the basis of the modern city center, it is easy to imagine fairs and festivities being held here twice a year in the old days. Of course the town has experienced many changes as time passed.
New buildings, restored squares, architectural and historical monuments have influenced the modern appearance of the town, but the heart of Miory still breathes and gives off the particular flavor of the local lakes and forests.
Today numerous country homesteads are offered for tourists to stay in the town of Miory. They attract foreign guests not only with their reasonable prices but also with the unique atmosphere of nature. Have a nice stay!