Vitebsk Attractions

Town Hall

The town hall was constructed in late baroque and classicism in 1775 to replace a wooden town hall built in 1597. The three-storey building features a three-level tower with a clock in the center of the façade. In 1924 the building became home to the Vitebsk oblast local lore museum.

The museum has five branches:

  1. an arts museum;
  2. a literature museum;

-   a museum of private collections
-   I.E. Repin's Zdravnevo museum-mansion;

an exposition dedicated to the Vitebsk oblast patriots;

The museum features over 160,000 exhibits, including archeological diggings, collections of numismatics, sphragistics, porcelain, weaponry, glassware, writings on birch bark.

Address: 36 Lenina Street;
Phone: (+375-212) 36-47-12, 36-05-87

Church of the Annunciation

The Church of the Annunciation was built in the 12th century and is a unique specimen of old Russian architecture. It is situated on the left bank of the Western Dvina. It was the first church in the town built of stone. For many centuries the Church of the Annunciation remained the most revered place in the town. In 1622 it fell into the hands of the Unites who had two towers attached to the façade to make it look like a Roman-Catholic temple. In 1831 the church was given back to the Orthodox Church, which had major repairs done and towers demolished. An eight-faceted dome was constructed to give it the Orthodox looks.

In 1961 the temple was demolished. In 1977 the ruins were conserved. In 1993 a decision was taken to reconstruct the church. By mid 1998 the church was fully restored and is now open for public.

Address: Millennium Square 

Cathedral of the Patronage of the Mother of God

The Cathedral of the Patronage of the Mother of God was built in 1806-1821 by the monks of the Holy Trinity Order. In 1858 it was turned into an Orthodox church. The building of the present-day church of the Patronage of the Mother of God was built in 1821. In 1858-1865 the temple was rebuilt. The second time the church was redeveloped was in early 20th century (by the 300th anniversary of the Romanovs in 1913).

In the 1930s the church was closed down and was given back to the Orthodox Church only in the early 1990s (the church was reopened for a short period of time in 1941). The restoration works were finished in July 1992.

Address: 2 Shubina Street 

Former Governor’s Palace

The palace is a specimen of the Classicism architecture. It was built in 1772 on the bank of the Western Dvina. In the summer of 1812 Napoleon stayed in this place as Commander-In-Chief of the French army heading towards Moscow.The palace was a residence of all governors of the Vitebsk Gubernia

Address: 18 Sovietskaya Street

St. Barbara’s Roman-Catholic Church

The church is a specimen of neo-Gothic architecture. Designed by architect V. Petrovsky, the church was built in 1884-1885. In the 1990s the church was restored. The church holds Sunday organ music concerts jointly with the Vitebsk oblast philharmonic.

Address: 25 Leningradskaya Street

Land Bank

The Land Bank is a specimen of neo- Russian architecture. The building was constructed in 1917 by architect K. Tarasov. The elements of the old Russian architecture were used to décor the façade exterior. The main entrance is decorated with mosaic panel. Today the building is home to the Vitebsk State Academy of Veterinary Medicine.

Address: 7/11 Pervaya Dovatora Street

Summer Amphitheatre

The Summer Amphitheatre is one of the biggest concert platforms in Europe. It was built in 1982 under the project by architect V.Babashkin. Designed for 6,000 seats, the amphitheater occupies two hectares. The place where the amphitheater is located has long-standing artistic traditions. Lerry’s circus was stationed there one hundred years ago. The circus is depicted in one of the pictures of Yehuda Pen, Marc Chagall’s first teacher.

The first concert in the Summer Amphitheater took place in 1988. Since then the stage has hosted around 500 events.

The roof of the amphitheater is a unique work of art - an openwork metallic structure which 120 meters long and 25 meters high. The amphitheater is the main stage of the Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk international festival of arts. The festival has been held there since July 1992.

The festival features pop art, children’s art, folk, crafts, movie-making, theatre, circus, fine arts, fashion and many others.

Address: 13a Frunze Avenue

Old Town

A historical old town has survived in the center of Vitebsk, within Lenin, Kupala, Suvorov, Politechnicheskaya and Tolstoy streets.

This historical and architectural zone includes Tolstoy Street with the former Land Bank and City Hall square and Holy Resurrection Church. Suvorov Street is home to Vitebsk arts school No.1 (3 Suvorov Street, a species of the early 20th-century Modern style architecture), a garden named after the 1812 war heroes, Governor’s Palace, Marc Chagall’s art center and Sollertinsky music college.

Two former tenement buildings, specimens of the modern style architecture, (27 and 29 Suvorov Street) are connected with a wrought ironwork fence. The ensemble of historical buildings survives in Krylov street. There is the Cathedral of the Assumption at the end of the street.