Honouring 1150th anniversary of city with 1,150 kind deeds

Polotsk residents conduct 1,150 kind deeds to honour their city — as part of jubilee celebrations

By Darya Kurilova

The kind deeds include artistic contests, sports tournaments, festivals and fund raising events. For example, the young people of ancient Polotsk have decided to make a playground inside a city courtyard. By the time of the city’s 1150th birthday, 1,150 such deeds will have been completed and those who have achieved the most remarkable deeds will receive recognition.

Jubilee events are to take place in Polotsk from May 25th to June 5th, including a concert entitled Masterpieces of Opera Art by the Walls of Ancient Sophia, the Rubon festival of medieval culture, a historical performance by the Pilgrim People’s Theatre (featuring artistes from the Yakub Kolas Theatre), a children’s open air art workshop, and an international scientific-practical conference organised by the National Academy of Sciences and Polotsk State University. Under the aegis of the Orthodox Church, a festival of bell ringing is being organised in the city, in addition to a concert of church music and canticles, a religious procession, and a joint divine service by bishops, devoted to the memory of St. Yevfrosiniya Polotskaya. Other events are to celebrate the interests of children and young people, as well as literature and folklore.

UNESCO has included Polotsk’s 1150th anniversary on its 2012-2013 list of memorable dates and is to launch a thematic exhibition at its Paris headquarters in October 2012. In addition, UNESCO is to provide financial support to Polotsk in organising a conference entitled The History and Archaeology of Polotsk and Polotsk Land.

The city has a rich and glorious history, being among the most ancient cities in Eastern Europe. It was first mentioned in 862, in the Tale of Bygone Years. Its advantageous geographical location on the ‘Varangians to the Greeks’ route helped make Polotsk a significant cultural and trading centre in medieval Europe. Yevfrosiniya Polotskaya, Frantsisk Skorina and Simeon Polotsky, General Roman Kondratenko (a hero of the defence of Port Arthur) and Yuri Tarich (a founding father of Belarusian cinema) were all born in the city. About 150 historical treasures are located in Polotsk, including beautiful St. Sophia’s Cathedral and the Holy Transfiguration Church.

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