The Church of the Annunciation in Vitebsk

The church of the Annunciation is located in the picturesque center of Vitebsk city, on the bank of the Western Dvina. Built in the X or XII century, the church is the most ancient and revered among indigenous peoples and guests.

One of the oldest churches of Belarus - the church of the Annunciation

Historians have different opinions about the date and founder of the church in Vitebsk. According to one legend, when the city was founded, the church was built by Duchess Olga. However, the archaeological and architectural research has shown that the church was constructed by the Balkan architects in 1140-s. According to another belief, the church of the Annunciation was built by Duke of Lithuania and Vitebsk Olgerd. During his reign, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was one of the largest European countries. However, according to most historians, during the times of Duke Olgerd, the church was not only built, but partially restored, which indicated that the church had already existed.

Nowadays, the Church of the Annunciation is snow-white. The part of the wall was left unplastered in order to demonstrate to contemporaries how the church looked like during the years of its prosperity.

It is important to note that during the existence of the church, architecture had changed as well as rulers, traditions, and attitude toward the church of God. In 1619, the monarch Sigismund III ordered to remove the domes, well-known at that time I. Kuntsevich hid frescoes under the layer of lime plaster. Being Uniate, the church suffered during the Northern War, it belonged to the Baroque style. Serious damage was caused to the Church of the Annunciation during World War II. During Soviet times, the church was subjected to unthinkable blasphemy – the local authority destroyed it, and the ruins were taken under protection a month later. It is strange and illogical, isn’t it?

Restoration and a new life of the cult sight in Vitebsk

The architect G. A. Lavretsky prepared reconstruction project of the Church of the Annunciation. The layout was almost identical to the construction of the church in the XII century. Restoration works lasted 7 years. The church opened in 1999. Inside, you will see amazing decorations. Painted walls and wonderworking icon of the mother of God will surprise you as well.

You can see the temple in Vitebsk as part of the excursion

We advise you to spend your trip together with New Year's excursions , as well as sightseeing tours . These weekend tours will acquaint you with the sights of Vitebsk, as well as the architectural heritage of Polotsk. The snow-white church is included in the city tour or you can always visit it on your own in Vitebsk. You should visit Orthodox Pokrovsky Cathedral and St. Barbara Church, which will surprise you with its high towers of red brick, made in the classic Neo-Romanesque style. It is interesting to see the place where Napoleon lived during his stay in Vitebsk. It is a magnificent Governor's Palace, built in 1772. If you like avant-garde, you should definitely visit the House-Museum and Marc Chagall Art Center, which you can also visit within the city tour.