A monument to Euphrosyne of Polotsk in Minsk

Minsk

Sculpture, monuments, memorials

This woman, known for her philanthropic activities, is considered to be one of the first educators not only on the territory of Belarusian lands, but throughout the whole of Eastern Europe. Many monuments around the world are devoted to her. Two of them are in Minsk.

The most famous woman in Belarus

Predslava (that was the name of Euphrosyne before she took the veil in a convent) was born in 1110 year, in quite a wealthy princely family. Being a gifted and unusual child since childhood, the young girl in the prime of her life made a shocking decision for all the relatives to become a nun. The Cathedral was the place, where her educational activity began, affecting not only Belarus.

She has initiated and sponsored the construction of such famous structures as the Church of the Savior’s Transfiguration, the first Belarusian school, a large convent. Many prayers and sermons belong to her authorship. Euphrosyne of Polotsk was not just a prominent figure in the religious life of Orthodox and Catholic Christians, but she also had a serious impact on the cultural life of the country, being one of the most educated women of her time.

The monument at the Belarusian state University

This monument appeared in the courtyard of the educational establishment in 1999. Today it has a pretty interesting company of monuments and busts dedicated to such famous personalities as Francis Skorina, Simon Budny, Cyril of Turov, Nikolay Gusovsky and Basil Tyapinsky.

The patron and inspirer of the project was the historian Yuri Ivanovski, and the work was performed by the Belarusian sculptor Igor Golubev.

Another unusual piece of art

In 2002 the second monument to Euphrosyne of Polotsk  appeared next to the scientific-production Association "Agat". Today many people consider it to be one of the most interesting and original ones.

The reason for that is that the author of the sculpture Anatoly Artimovich, was able to realize the idea to show the double nature of that historical figure. On the one hand, she is a canonized Saint, the sample of infinite love and sacrifice, the symbol of faith, beauty and wisdom. On the other hand, she was an ordinary woman. These facts are embodied in the monument with the help of not one but two doves on her shoulders. It is well known that one bird symbolizes the Holy Spirit. In addition, one can see a cross in the hands of Euphrosyne, named in her honor. The cross was created at her request by Lazarus Bogsha as long as in 1161, but, unfortunately, it was lost during the great Patriotic war. There is a fern flower, the symbol of paganism in Rus, behind the figure. Her apparel is also worth noting; simple and unremarkable, Euphrosyne’s dress looks  as if she is really just an ordinary woman.

Such an interesting composition is always of keen interest among tourists. They tend to see it both as a part of tourist routes, and independently.

While being in Minsk, be sure to visit both attractions, which are genuine samples of true art.

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