The city located on the banks of two rivers, the source of inspiration for Marc Chagall and the venue for the Slavianski Bazaar — this is all Vitebsk. The Northern Capital of Belarus also boasts the largest square in the country. It attracts with its original architecture and an unprecedented sense of freedom. This main square of Vitebsk occupies 7.22 hectares and impresses with three 56-meter obelisks (they are called Three bayonets). On both sides, there are pylons on which the years of the war are written. But this place hasn't always been like this.
History of origin
The territory began to be built up in the first half of the 19th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, on the site of the square of the city of Vitebsk, there were small streets where barracks and a postal yard were located. At that time it was considered the outskirts. There was a market nearby, so it was quite lively here, especially on weekends.
Looking at Victory Square in Vitebsk today, it is difficult to imagine that near the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross was located a graveyard. After the Great Patriotic War, the churchyard was destroyed. The temple remained until the middle of the 20th century.
In the 60s, the construction of high-rise buildings began in the area of the present Victory Square in Vitebsk, photos of that period can be found in the archives. In the post-war decades, a cinema, a market and a kindergarten were located here.
The project of the country's largest square was supposed to combine a transport hub, a resting place and a memorial complex with the Eternal Flame. The authors are architects A. Danilova, Z. Dovgyallo, R. Knyazhishche, L. Eingorn. Rare trees and flowers were brought here from all over the Union. The construction was completed in 1974 to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the city and the 30th anniversary of the liberation of the Vitebsk region from the Nazi invaders.
The modern look of Vitebsk square
In the 90s, the memorial was supplemented with sculptures. One of them was dedicated to the partisan movement, and the other — to the Soviet offensive and liberation. The park was located here only before reconstruction in 2009. But LED screens, a stage and fountains appeared. Also, thuja was planted here, additional lighting appeared and the asphalt surface was updated.
Victory Square in Vitebsk acquired a new look. In winter, a skating rink is flooded here, and a Christmas tree is erected on New Year's Eve. All events dedicated to holidays and memorable dates are also held in this place.
Attractions of Vitebsk: what to see
The city impresses tourists with its architecture and harmonious combination of different styles. Take a mini-guide to the most famous sites before your trip.
Objects worth seeing:
The Assumption Cathedral;
The Governor's Palace of the 18th century;
The Annunciation Church (the oldest in the city);
The Town Hall of the 16th century;
The Intercession Cathedral.
It will take more than one day to visit museums that will introduce you to the history of Belarus and the Vitebsk region in particular. You can walk around the city for hours, each time discovering something new for yourself. If you have not been here yet or have not been here for a long time, book an excursion or tour. Vitebsk will surely remain in your heart for a long time!