St. Sophia's Cathedral

St. Sophia's Cathedral Polatsk

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Ryhor Baradulin

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St. Sophia's Cathedral

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Historical overview


  1. І. І. Каліноўскі, "Полацк і яго ваколіцы"

second half of XI cent.

translated by the site's team

During the rule of prince Usiaslau in the capital of thePolatsk principality the graceful St. Sophia's Cathedral was built on the place of the future city-fort on the Zamkavaja hill. It was the first stone building in Belarus. The stone-architecture record of Belarus began from the building of this temple. Nowadays St. Sophia's Cathedral is the  visit-card of Polatsk. The ancient temple awakes memories about the past, its history has become the record of Polatsk. The temple's story began in the far XI cent. and continues nowadays, getting the new meanings and spiritual value. This is a monument of the XI-XVIII cent. Uladzimir Karatkievich, a famous Belarusian poet and writer asked a poetic question in his poem "Belaruskaja piesnia": "Where is my Place?". And answered himself: "At the place where Sophia sails above the Dvina, like a caravel".

The Greek word "Sophia" means wisdom, mastery. Our ancestors treated it with the broader meaning - this word was about a great human community, the expression of the unity of all inhabitants in the principality. The temple was build with the help of Greek artisans. The limestone with autographs (probably of ancient masters of the XI cent.) was found in the foundation of the cathedral's south wall. Almost  1000 years later this stone  become a museum exhibit and is the monument of the XI cent. written language.

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