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Vitebsk Regional Museum of Local Lore

Vitebsk Regional Museum of Local Lore

Vitebsk, Lenin street 36


Vitebsk Regional Museum of Local Lore is one of the most interesting places in the northern capital of Belarus. Within the walls of this unique complex you can learn about the history of the city, its culture and life in different eras. It is not enough just to walk through the cobbled streets and beautiful squares to learn the secrets of old buildings or the legend associated with some special place. In Vitebsk local history museum contains all the pages of the city chronicle, which will reveal to visitors many secrets of the region’s sights. You can visit this amazing place during weekend excursions in Vitebsk, or simply while walking with your family or friends.

How did the Vitebsk Museum of Local Lore appear?

The history of the museum goes back to the beginning of the 20th century: the first exhibitions in Vitebsk were held only in the summer of 1919. Initially, the building belonged to the seminary, and after more than 10 thousand exhibits delighted the public eye. 

The museum’s fund at that time contained 40 expositions on various topics:

  • archeology and natural history;

  • numismatics and phaleristics;

  • icons and religious medals;

  • porcelain products, etc.

A little later in 1924, the collection was replenished with objects from the times of the First World War. Many historians and scientists have bequeathed their personal belongings and valuable items to the Vitebsk Local Lore Museum.

VETLIVA tells: In the times of collectivization since 1932, the museum’s unique collections were replaced by socialist propaganda posters and photographs. Expositions and works of art waited in the wings until 1938.

Like many of the sights of Belarus, Vitebsk Regional Museum of Local History has suffered significantly during World War II. At the very beginning of the terrible event was the evacuation of exhibits in the city of Kuibyshev, and after in the city of Saratov. But despite all the speed and efficiency of this rescue operation, not all collections were saved. About 30% of all museum objects were either destroyed or stolen during the occupation.

An interesting fact from VETLIVA: the valiant defenders of the city managed to free Vitebsk on June 26, 1944, and after 5 days the local history museum came back to life from a long sleep. Workers for several days gathered an invaluable collection of military things, their awards, photographs and newspapers, weapons, letters, etc. So, on July 1, 1944, the First Post-War Exhibition was held.

Over time, the museum's collections were restored, unique exhibits returned to their homeland. Today, tourists can see more than 200 thousand items from different historical periods.

What exhibitions today can be seen in the museum?

The modern Vitebsk Museum of Local Lore is located in the building of the town hall. It is in the main three-storey building that exhibitions of unusual exhibits are held.

The museum has permanent collections:

  • Finds from the grandmother's attic;

  • Fire and Sword;

  • Ancient Vitebsk;

  • Nature of the Vitebsk Territory and others.

In addition, the museum hosts exhibitions of private collections, objects from the funds of other museums, paintings by famous Belarusian and foreign artists.

An interesting fact from VETLIVA: One of the exhibitions that are held in the museum is called Giants Farm. The main character of this exposition is Fedor Makhnov - the tallest man on Earth in the entire history of its existence! His data are not entered in the Guinness Book of Records, but so far his height of 2.85 cm is unofficially considered the highest in the world.

Acquainted with the history and culture of the Vitebsk region in the local history museum, you can also see other sights of the city. The unusual Art Center of Marc Chagall, the most beautiful Holy Assumption Cathedral and the Resurrection Church are waiting for you on excursions in Vitebsk!

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, Vitebsk , Belarus
  • Distance to airport: 260 km
, Vitebsk , Belarus
  • Distance to airport: 261 km

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