The Monument to Francisc Skorina in Lida

Lida

Sculpture, monuments, memorials

Lida is an ancient Belarusian town, the population of which is just over one hundred thousand inhabitants. It is located in the western part of Belarus, in the Grodno region. Many years ago, in 1323, on the site where the Lideya and the Kamenka meet the Lithuanian prince Gediminas built the Lida Castle that served as a shelter during the attacks of the Teutonic knights and Tatars. In the XVIII century Lida and neighboring towns became part of the Russian Empire. During the First and Second World Wars the location was occupied by the Germans. The town is multinational. Until the mid XX century, primarily Jews lived there, and now 44% of the population is Belarusians, 38% of citizens are Poles, and Russians are on the third place– 14%. The town has well developed industry and good infrastructure. Lida is also rich in interesting sights, the main of which is the preserved Lida Castle.

In the beautiful town there are also monuments. One of them is a sculpture of Francisc Skorina, the greatest historical figure. The architect is Richard Grusha and the sculptor of the work is Valerian Yanushkevich. Richard Grusha told that a week before the opening of the monument its pedestal cracked, and he had to go to Ukraine for a new one. The sculpture was installed in the town in 1993 in coincidence with the second anniversary of the independence of the country. The monument was the first statue installed in independent Belarus. The sculpture presents Francisc Skorina in long robes, with his right hand raised, symbolizing knowledge and wisdom – so the scientist of the Renaissance is traditionally presented. They say that a beautiful face of Francisc in Lida reminds of David created by Michelangelo. Not far away there is a book on a high stand. The base of the monument is made of stone. The sculpture is installed in the cozy green park near the Lida Castle.

Francisc Skorina was born in Polotsk approximately in 1490. The Belarusian and Eastern Slavic first printer made an invaluable contribution to the development and history of modern Belarus. Skorina translated the Bibles into old Belarusian language, and then published these books. He had the degree of the Doctor of Medicine, was a teacher, writer, physician, and philosopher. The first printer also created magnificent woodcuts. Francisc Skorina was a true genius! In 1990 the whole world celebrated the 500th anniversary of Francisc Skorina; the decision was made by UNESCO. Monuments to the outstanding historical figure have also been established in Minsk, Polotsk, Prague and Kaliningrad.

Lida is an ancient tow where modern, actively developing industrial objects successfully coexist with its ancient castle, churches and monuments. The town is interesting for its organic architecture, picturesque nature and fine sculptures. Walking through its busy streets and quiet squares, tourists discover with pleasure the desire to learn more deeply the history of this ancient region and want to come here again.

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