Posted: 19.07.2023 12:10:00

Risen like a Phoenix

Vitebsk was completely destroyed during the war years, but now it is, without exaggeration, one of the main industrial and cultural centres of the country

Modern Vitebsk Region is a highly developed industrial region. The city with an eleven-century history is attractive at any time of the year. The Vitebsk Region is unique and has a rich historical, cultural and spiritual heritage. This is the birthplace of Euphrosyne of Polotsk and Francysk Skaryna, writer-publicist and teacher Simeon Polotsky, the creator of the first drawing of a multi-stage rocket Kazimir Semenovich and aircraft designer Pavel Sukhoi, artists Marc Chagall and Mikhail Savitsky. Tourists will definitely not get bored here.

Vitebsk is celebrating its 1050th anniversary next year  Depositphotos

Proud of the deeds of the defenders

The northernmost region of Belarus, due to its geographical location, has always been at the centre of historical events. Like the whole country, it courageously passed the tests of the Great Patriotic War and, like a phoenix, was reborn from the ashes. The Victory Square, the largest in Belarus, reminds of the heroic events of the bloodiest war of the 20th century. It is 380 meters in length and 190 in width. At the famous Three Bayonets monument, the Eternal Flame burns in honour of the feat of those who liberated the city from the Nazis. There is an exhibition of military equipment and a cosy park nearby.
The region near Dvina is proud of the deeds of previous generations who defended their homeland from fascist invaders. The events of the war years are inscribed in a special line in the annals of the region. In the occupied territory, 59 partisan brigades and two regiments repulsed the enemies.
Today, multiplying the historical and cultural traditions of the past, the city retains its originality and flavour.
The products of Vitebsk enterprises are well known and appreciated abroad. The regional centre sets the tone for the innovative development of the industrial sector. The city produces dolomite powder, linen fabrics, shoes. Vitebsk producers are trading briskly with 73 countries.

Three Bayonets Memorial on Victory Square in Vitebsk   Anton Stepanishchev

Romance squared

In the twenties, Marc Chagall opened the Folk Art School in Vitebsk, where he, together with Kazimir Malevich, turned the students’ ideas about creativity ‘upside down’. All this is told by the exposition of the Museum of the History of the Vitebsk Folk Art School. The design of the museum is made in the spirit of UNOVIS — the creative association for the exploration of the new art — stylish, modern, minimalistic.
On Pokrovskaya Street, a red brick house built by Chagall’s father over a hundred years ago has been preserved. Now here is a museum, which presents household items from the turn of the 19th — 20th centuries, copies of archival documents telling about the life of the artist and his family.
Not far away, on the other side of the Western Dvina, is Chagall’s art centre. Etchings, a unique series of illustrations for Gogol’s Dead Souls, a cycle of colour lithographs and other works are carefully stored here.

Monument to Marc Chagall on Pokrovskaya Street in Vitebsk   BELTA

Our own carpets

Local craftswomen create stylish ‘outfits’ for the home.
The collection of the famous Vitebsk Carpets enterprise has been replenished with new products. The enterprise is really creative. Last year, the plant presented products based on masterpieces of world art.
This time they present an exclusive collection with recognisable views of Vitebsk. The canvases depict fascinating views of the Summer Amphitheatre, the Town Hall, Three Bayonets, the domes of the Holy Assumption Cathedral, landscapes from the Dvina. Such a creative move is a gift for the 85th anniversary of the Vitebsk Region. Works are compact, 80 by 120 centimetres, and fit perfectly into any interior. Saturated colours cheer up and bring harmony. With such beautiful works on the wall, you can, without getting up from the sofa, be transported to the cosy streets of the ancient city.

Cornflower — a symbol of the Slavianski Bazaar   Aleksey Stolyarov

Vladimir Andreichenko, First Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly, 

“We, Vitebsk residents, are very proud of our unique nature, traditions, names of educators, artists, poets. The Vitebsk Region contributes decisive importance to the development of the country’s economy. Such giants as the Orsha Flax Mill, Lukoml State District Power Plant, Belvest and Marko shoe factories, which have become a brand of Belarus and the Vitebsk Region, work here. The Vitebsk broiler poultry farm, the Yubileiny agricultural complex, the Vitkonprodukt private enterprise, the Mayak Braslavsky agricultural enterprise and many others are successfully operating.”

By Andrei Yuriev