Most of the territory of the Belarusian Lakeland is located in the Vitebsk region. There are numerous lakes surrounded by picturesque nature. On the shores of the lakes there are recreation centers and sanatoriums. This is a great place to relax and one of the most popular places in the country for fishing. The most famous group of lakes in the Vitebsk region are the Braslav Lakes, which are part of the National Park “Braslav Lakes” located on the border with Latvia. Its area is about 700 sq. km, of which 183 sq. km falls on lakes. Half of the protected area is occupied by mixed forests, in which there are about 800 plant species, 20 of which are listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus. 35% of all birds nesting in Belarus are found on the territory of the park, 45 species of birds are listed in the Red Book of the republic. In addition, several dozen species of fish are found in the lakes. The center of the National Park “Braslav Lakes” is the city of Braslav . It stands on the northern shore of Lake Drivyaty. The first mention of an outpost on the Polotsk-Baltic border dates back to the beginning of the 11th century. Today, the remains of the fortifications on the Castle Hill are one of the main attractions of the city. Other sights include the neo-Romanesque city church of the 19th century and the Church of the Transfiguration of the late 19th century. There are hotels in the city to accommodate tourists traveling through the national park. About 30 tourist camps have been built in the park itself, the most famous tourist bases are Slobodka, Drivyaty, Zolovo and Leoshki. Braslav region offers hiking, horseback, car and water routes, which can last from one to several days, tours to observe the animals of the park in their natural habitat, fishing tours, which include both spearfishing and hunting outside the park.
According to Clothes Bliss, the center of the Vitebsk region is one of the oldest settlements in Belarus – the city of Vitebsk . It is located 277 km northeast of Minsk. The first mentions of Vitebsk are found in the annals of 974. The legend says that it was founded by Princess Olga of Kyiv. Vitebsk was a major center on the way “from the Varangians to the Greeks”. The center of the historical part of the city is Millennium Square. It is located on the left bank of the Western Dvina River. The Annunciation Church of the early 12th century stands on the square. It is believed that it was also founded by Princess Olga. According to legend, Alexander Nevsky was married in the Church of the Annunciation. Many buildings of the 18th and 19th centuries have been preserved in Vitebsk. These are the Holy Intercession Cathedral of 1760, the Assumption Church of 1858, the Mitrofanovskaya Church of 1847, the Church of St. Barbara of 1885, the governor’s palace of the 18th century and the Jesuit Collegium of the 18th century. The old City Hall (1775) now houses the Vitebsk Regional Museum of Local Lore. The Local History Museum is in charge of the City Art Museum, which has more than 7 thousand exhibits and is famous for its collection of European art of the 18th-20th centuries and the collection of works by Marc Chagall’s teacher – Yu.M. Pan. Of the museums under their care, the Vitebsk Museum of Modern Art, the Literary Museum, the Museum of Private Collections and the Museum of the Memory of Patriots of the Vitebsk Region are also of interest. Vitebsk and its picturesque surroundings have always attracted artists, writers and composers. And today the city is one of the main cultural centers of Belarus. Every summer, the festival of arts “Slavianski Bazaar” takes place here. Marc Chagall was born in Vitebsk, and 15 km from Vitebsk the great Russian artist Ilya Repin lived in the Zdravnevo estate at the end of the 19th century. Gorodok is located 30 km northwest of Vitebsk. In the first half of the 17th century, a castle was built on the site of the modern city, the ruins of which have survived to this day. The author of the poem “Taras on Parnassus” Konstantin Verenitsyn was born in the vicinity of Gorodok. The local history museum is interesting in the city with collections of items found during archaeological excavations in the region, and materials about the history of the region and the Great Patriotic War. The town is surrounded by lakes, rivers and forests, where you can relax from the bustle of the city. Another picturesque place in the Vitebsk region, suitable for a relaxing holiday in nature, is the vicinity of the city of Shumilino, known as the “city of nightingales”. In the Shumilinsky district there is the largest boulder brought by the glacier to the territory of Belarus. It is 11 m long, 5.6 m wide, and 2.8 m high. The boulder was declared a geological monument of nature. The ancient city of Polotsk is located 100 km northwest of Vitebsk. These places are mentioned in the “Tale of Bygone Years” under the year 862. In the 10-11 centuries, powerful defensive structures called the “Upper Castle” were erected on a high city hill, by the 17th century a new powerful fortress was built in the city, which was called the “Lower Castle”. Some buildings of both “castle complexes” have survived to this day.middle of the 11th century. The cathedral was built in the image of the Kyiv St. Sophia Cathedral and became the most grandiose building of the city, which, among other things, also performed defense functions. Inside the cathedral, you can see the hall with the organ and the Museum of the History of Architecture of the Cathedral, which demonstrates a model of its original appearance.