Borisov stone in the village of Druya

Borisov stone in Druya is a famous local landmark, which has important historical and cultural significance. The Belarusian agro-town of Druya is located in Vitebsk region on the border with Latvia. Belarusian citizens need to obtain permission by contacting the State Border Committee to visit Druya. Foreign travellers will need to get a permit for entry or pay a state fee.

So, what are Borisov stones so famous for? What are their purposes and history? According to the legend, Borisov stones (there are also other names - Polotsk, Dvina stones) are 7 large boulders, symbolizing the existence of God on earth. Borisov stones are named after Boris, the son of Grand Duke Vladimir Svyatoslavovich. The stones were pagan objects of worship. They have a picture of the cross and the inscription "O Lord, help your servant Boris". It should be noted that the inscription, engraved on stones, is repeated on coins and official seals of Prince Boris reign time. There are several versions of the inscriptions appearance on the stones. Perhaps, a terrible famine, raging in Polotsk principality in 1128, was the reason. Then, Boris ordered to engrave this prayer and the cross on the stones. Borisov stones might have been places of sacrifices and gifts. And, maybe, the stones symbolized border marks during military campaigns? Each version is partially proved, but the researchers haven’t come to the common opinion.   

A significant contribution to the study of sacred stones was made by historians of different ages and generations: the first historian of the Grand Lithuanian Principality M. Strykovski, scientist and encyclopedist II. Lepekhin, archaeologist K.P. Tyshkevich, Russian statesman N.P. Rumyantsev and the Russian historian and local historian A.P. Sapunov, who discovered the fifth Borisov stone in Druya. The history of this stone is of particular interest. It was found by Sapunov as back as 1896, when the stone stood in front of the Church of Salvation, therefore the people called it "Spassky". In the 1930s a landslide had moved it to the bottom of the Western Dvina river, where Borisov stone had been laying for 74 years. The search didn’t have effect, but in 2002, due to the abnormal heat, the river shallowed, and the Spassky stone appeared from the water... In the process of the stone extraction to dry land, it was split into several parts, and later installed on the central square of Druya agro-town.

In addition to Borisov stone in Druya, there is a number of sacred stones, scattered throughout Belarus by a will of fate. The first stone was discovered on Polotsk lands and it bears the name "Boris-Khlebnik". You can find a pink-red boulder in Polotsk. The stone is located near St. Sophia cathedral.

Borisoglebsk stone laid in the village of Nakovniki, but in 1918, during the destruction of religious objects, a two-meter-high gray stone was partially destroyed, and finally demolished under the Soviet rule. The same fate befell the longest Borisov stone, located near the village of Bolotki, and the boulder of Rogvolod, which laid in the village of Dyatlovo. Only «Vorotishkin Cross» has preserved of the entire collection - the only stone that does not have a characteristic inscription. Now the historical object is protected by the Kolomenskoye Reservation museum in Moscow.

If you happened to be in Druya, you should visit a number of historical sites: the Catholic church of the Holy Trinity, the Jewish cemetery, St. George Church, as well as the ruins of the Annunciation Church. The agro-town of Druya, despite its small area, has a rich history and ancient atmosphere. The town pleases with picturesque landscapes and clean air.