A monument to Francisk Skorina in Polotsk

A monument to Francisk Skorina in Polotsk


Sculpture, monuments, memorials

Polotsk is a city of Vitebsk region and one of the most ancient cities of Belarus. The first mentions of it were dated to 862.  The whole epoch of Polotsk Principality and the dynasty of its princes are connected with the city. Since the 16th century Polotsk was a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later it was passed to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1772 the former center of Polotsk Principality joined the Russian Empire. When Soviet power was established in the Polotsk, it became a part of the BSSR.

At present Polotsk is the historical and cultural center of Belarus with a developed transport system and infrastructure.


In the ancient city of Polotsk there are many interesting places which attract tourists every year. One of them is a monument to Francisk Skorina.

Francisk Skorina is the most famous personality in Belarusian history. An authentic date of his birth is unknown, but we can say with certainty that Francisk Sorina was born in the late 15th century in Polotsk. The son of a merchant received his primary education at school under a monastery. In 1504 Skorina chose Krakow Academy for further education. After graduating fr om the department of liberal arts he received a Bachelor’s degree, and later the title of a Doctor. Moreover, in Krakow Academy Skorina got knowledge in medicine and the degree of a licentiate. He became a Doctor of Medicine in Italy where Skorina received this title after successful passing of exams in the University of Padua.

 The most legendary event was a publication of the first printed book “The Psalter” on the territory of Belarus by Francisk Skorina. The first book printer founded a printing house in 1520 in Vilnius, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Here were published such books as “The little travel book” and “Apostol”.

In 1535 Prague became a new home of Francisk Skorina, wh ere he was living until the end of days, practicing medicine. The scientist, philosopher and writer died in 1551.  

A monument to the legendary countryman was erected in Polotsk in 1974. It was the result of hard work of A. Glebov, I. Glebov, A. Zaspitsky, V. Morokin. The base for the monument to Skorina is the upper surface of a stepped base, the size of which is 6.8 meters. The sculpture of the first book printer is 5.5 meters in height and is set on a granite pedestal with a height of over 6 meters. Therefore, the size of the monument (with a total height of 12 meters) says about the importance of the personality of Francisk Skorina in the history of Belarusian people.

In the sculpture the great Belarusian figure is depicted dressed in a flowing robe, he holds a book, the symbol of knowledge, in his left hand. The philosopher thinks over something with concentration, propping up the head with his right hand.

In 2015 this attraction was restored, and now everyone who comes in Polotsk can pay tribute to the first book printer Francisk Skorina, having visited his monument.  

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