From Chagall to Repin: Along the Roads of Belorussia

Tags: smolensk
Fortress wall
Vitebsk – Polotsk – Zdravnevo (Ilya Repin’s Estate) – Smolensk


A guided tour with a comfortable ride on a high-speed train will introduce you to the ancient history and remarkable attractions of the cities of the western confines of Russia. The city of camel-back streets called Vitebsk will amaze you with the mysticism of Chagal, tenderness of its churches and the melancholy of nature, masterfully captured by Repin. The city of Polotsk, which has been Russian, Lithuanian, Polish and Belorussian, will immerse you into the whirlpool of religions and magical mysteries. The phoenix city of Smolensk triumphantly shines with the gold of its domes.  

The introduction to the city of “camel-back” streets, cozy and mysterious Vitebsk, begins with a sightseeing tour. During the tour, you will see the major attractions of the city: the remains of the defensive ramparts, perfectly preserved urban structures from the period between 17 and 19th centuries, the city hall – the symbol of the free city, and the Church of Resurrection - an amazing example of the Vilna baroque style.

Our tour continues in the house museum of Mark Chagall, situated in the house of the painter’s parents, were he spent his childhood. In the rooms of the modest two-story mansion, the atmosphere of the modest Jewish house of the early 20th century is recreated. There you will see household items, reproductions of archive photographs, documents, and the artist’s works.

Departure to Polotsk (100 kilometers). A sightseeing tour around Polotsk will introduce you to the extraordinary destiny of the patriarch city of the eastern Slavs. Its entire territory has been declared a historical and cultural reserve. The first mention of Polotsk in chronicles dates back to 862. It seems as though Sophia Cathedral was moved to Polotsk from a Middle Age fairy tale by the hand of a wizard. It is one of the most ancient Russian temples, and was shaped during the period from 11th to 18th centuries, and features one of the best pipe organs in Belarus. You will be able to enjoy a pipe organ music concert with unbelievable church’s acoustics for an extra payment starting from 180 Rub.

During a visit to the Polotsk Jesuit Collegium of the 18th century you will have a mini-tour of “The University Backyard” to let you discover the musical clock with the academic procession, the old well of the 18th century and the art gallery. Our animation tour The Conversation with the Mechanical Head (reenactment of the project of Gabriel Gruber “The Mechanical Head”) will convince you that mysticism doesn’t only belong to Vitebsk. The tour will continue in the Spaso-Evfrosinievsky Convent, which features the Spaso-Preobrazhenskaya Church built in the 12th Century, and commissioned by Evfrosinia of Polotsk. She was the first eastern Slavic woman to be canonized.

Return to Vitebsk: You will be able to measure the excellent quality and attractive prices of the Belarusian made products - so popular in Russia - during a visit to the outlets of renown Belarusian brands.

Following the guide around the territory of the estate, you will visit its main structures: the mansion, which very much resembles an ancient log cabin church, the administrator’s house with an exhibition hall, and the renewed cellar.

For guests staying from the 23rd to the 25th of February after the tour of the estate there will be an entertainment program called “Maslenitsa”: There will be Maslenitsa pancakes, a souvenir fair, games and contests, the burning of the Maslenitsa effigy, and a surprise in the administrator’s house.
Smolensk fortress

The Upon the Hills of the Dnieper sightseeing tour will introduce you to the glorious history and landmark attractions of Smolensk. The city’s heart is the unyielding Smolensk fortress of the 16th century, a masterpiece of military architecture. It’s walls are 6.5 kilometers long, with 38 towers!