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Polotsk

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Polotsk (officially transliterated as Polack) is a city in Belarus, in Viciebsk voblasć . First mentioned in 862, it is the oldest city in Belarus. Now it is a city of local importance with 82000 inhabitants and with considerable architectural heritage from the times of old Rus as well as from the later periods.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The easiest place to fly to is the capital, Minsk. From there you can easily get to Polack by road or train. As well you can fly to Vilnius or Riga and then travel to the city by bus.

By train[edit]

Polack is a fairly important railway centre. There are regular direct trains from Minsk and from Viciebsk. In principle there are also direct trains from Vilnius, Riga, and other Belarusian cities, but these can be less frequent and sometimes only on alternate days. However if you can't find the train you want, consider changing at Viciebsk or at Minsk, to which trains from other cities are more frequent. The train station in Polack is to the north of the centre, on Kastryčnickaja Street. To get to the centre of town and the Dvina hotel, simply come out of the station, cross over the main road and continue straight (along Hohalia Street (ulica Gogolia) to the fountain; the hotel will be on your right just as you get to it. To get to the Parus hotel continue all the way to the end of Hohal Street and then turn left.

By bus[edit]

Bus is the quickest way to get to Polack from nearby cities like Minsk or Viciebsk (though more expensive than the trains). Bus tickets can be bought from the bus station, and they don't sell out in advance so you can buy them on the day of departure. There are also inter-city minibuses known as a маршрутка (marshrutka), and the Polack-Minsk route is particularly frequent (the journey takes 3 hours). Seats on these need to be reserved by phone. The bus station in Polack is next to the train station, when getting off the bus, continue straight (in the direction the bus had come from) and you will reach some traffic lights where the train station is on your right. Then follow the directions as above to get to the centre of town.

By car[edit]

Bear in mind that driving in Belarus can be more difficult than in the west as drivers can be fairly reckless.

If you're driving from Minsk, follow the M3 towards Viciebsk until just after Liepieĺ, and then the R46 (Р46 in cyrillic) to Polack. For the centre of town, take the first exit at the big roundabout just after entering Polack and cross the bridge over the River Dzvina. For the centre of town, take the first left down the dual carriageway. For the Parus hotel, take the first left after this and it'll be right in front of you; for the Dvina hotel, carry on straight until you get to the fountain, where it will be on your right.

From Viciebsk, follow the R20 the all the way. Take a left onto the R24 just before you reach Polack and continue all the way along this road and cross the Red Bridge over the River Palata. At the end, take a right and then first left, following the one-way system round the square. This is the main road and will take you to the centre of town. The Dvina hotel will be on your left as you pass the fountain. Continue past it and turn around at the next crossroads to be on the right side of the road. To get to the Parus hotel turn right at the same crossroads and it will be in front of you.

See[edit][add listing]

Historical Buildings[edit]

  • The Cathedral of Saint Sophia. This medieval building was completely redecorated during the Baroque period.  edit
  • Transfiguration Church. A well-preserved building from the times of old Rus', with some later alterations.  edit

Museums[edit]

  • Museum of Belarusian Printing. The collection includes some rare 16th century editions.  edit
  • Museum of Traditional Weaving.  edit


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