The history of Novopolotsk, city of Belarusian oil refining, began in 1958 when on the left bank of the Western Dvina River appeared the first tents of city planners. The town was being built quickly, but accurately as there was an order to build the largest oil refinery in Europe.
Construction sites of Novopolotsk invited enthusiasts fr om the whole country. Later many of them were awarded the title “Hero of socialist labor”. The Streets of the young were named in their honor. It is interesting that a typical building of Novopolotsk does not irritate the eyes. It was possible because that the first town planners loved their work and built the town for themselves.
Enthusiasm and ardor helped young builders to make a real feat of labor. For only five years under the slogan "Give a neftegrad!" a handsome Novopolotsk has grown up on the place of old villages and impassable bogs.
The place for construction was not accidental: the proximity of Northern and Western borders gives the ability to export goods of the core enterprise in Western countries. February 9, 1963 became an important date in the history of the town. On that day the first petrol was produced on the Novopolotsk oil refinery. The flask with this petrol is carefully preserved by workers of the Museum of history and culture of Novopolotsk.
Nowadays the public limited corporation “Naftan” produces more than 70 kinds of petrochemicals. They are petrol, bitumen, lubricating oils, dissolvent, and acids. About 70 % of the plant’s production is exported, mainly to UE countries.
With the years Novopolotsk has become the largest industrial and cultural center in Belarus. Every year here is held the National festival of children's song well-known far beyond Belarus.
Novopolotsk residents are also famous for their sporting achievements: the silver medalists Svetlana Paramygina (biathlon) and Igor Astapkovich (athletics) were natives of Belarusian Novopolotsk.
Monuments of Novopolotsk are urban enough. There is a memorial complex "The first tent" on the place wh ere the construction of the town began. It is a bronze reminder to descendants about the labor feat that was accomplished by the builders of Novopolotsk.
Not far from the Museum of history and culture of Novopolotsk you can see the bucket of the first excavator that was used for construction of the young town. The main pride of the museum exposition is a large-scale model of Novopolotsk.
The model presents three-dimensional buildings as well as train and tram lines with small trams and trains moving on rails. The floor above the model is transparent so museum visitors can imagine how the capital of the Belarusian oil industry looks from the height of bird flight.
Novopolotsk has never been a tourist mecca. Here are neither ancient castles with their legends nor ancient undergrounds keeping treasures. Nevertheless the whole town can be called a monument. It is no coincidence that the national poet of Belarus Petrus Brovka called Novopolotsk “A grandiose monument to people of the 60s”.