Polack (also spelled Polotsk)

Come to Polack to see St. Sophia Cathedral. It is one of the first stone churches on the territory of Belarus. In fact, there are only three of this kind in Eastern Europe, the other two are the St. Sophia Cathedrals in Kyiv and in Veliky Novgorod. Another true landmark is the Boris Stone that was excavated from the bottom of the Dvina. It is one of the seven 12th century boulders inscribed with religious texts and images of crucifix. Two more religious sights are the former Holy Epiphany monastery  and the St. Euphrosyne convent. The 12th century Church of Transfiguration is one of the most ancient in the country. It was here that the Cross of Saint Euphrosyne, the most venerated Orthodox Christian relic in Belarus, was kept until its disappearance during World War II. The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross gives an insight into the history of the local architecture, particularly through the interiors and frescoes.

Polack State University now occupies the buildings of the former Jesuit college. Its compact buildings and the courtyard with an unusual clock still preserve the spirit of the 17th century. Take a walk to the Plošča Svabody / Svobody square with the 1812 Napoleonic war memorial. At the Belarusian Book Printing Museum, you will get to know all about one of the most famous people born in Polack, Francysk Skaryna. The Padova University alumnus became the first book printer in Eastern Europe in early 16th century. The Ivan the Terrible rampant is also noteworthy. It provides an example of military fortifications of the times of the Livonian War. The Ў letter monument is as unique as the letter itself.  You can also only find this letter in the Belarusian alphabet.

Walking Nižne-Pakroŭskaja vulica / Nizhne-Pokrovskaya street will make you feel transported back to the early 20th century.

A trip to Polack will give you unforgettable impressions of this land of Belarus's most historical and venerated places.

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