"Dukhovskoy Kruglik" – at the crossroads of the centuries.
If you travel in the Northern Capital, but want to see the most famous attractions, museums in Vitebsk, if you study, live here and just wonder what to see in Vitebsk, certainly visit "Dukhovskoy Kruglik". This building is one of those that quite easily combines Vitebsk historical and modern.
The history of the building which would later be called "Dukhovskoy Kruglik" begins in the middle of the XIV century, in the reign of Prince Olgerd, whose initiative built this in fact a watchtower of the Lower Castle of Vitebsk. its height supposedly reached 12-13 meters and width of the walls - from 1.1 to 1.8 meters. During its "violent" history the tower has repeatedly been destroyed and built up with wood structures, and in the second half of the XVII century it was purely made of wood, and wood, you see, is not the most durable material. It is therefore not surprising that, until 1984 there were no real evidence except for the documentary sources that "Dukhovskoy Kruglik" ever existed. That year, as a result of archaeological excavations M.A.Tkachev and T.S.Bubenko opened the broken foundation of the stone tower of the XIV century and proved the existence two of castles in Vitebsk - Upper and Lower.
The tower acquired its modern form only in 2007 during a series of works on reconstruction of the Summer Amphitheater. Now it is a five-level building, something between a museum and an exhibition hall (for more details about the architecture and history of the tower, see article "The visitor from the past" on the site of Vitebsk).
If you have time, certainly take a full tour in this Vitebsk museum: the tickets cost a penny, and tour guides are highly qualified. At the first level of the building you can see that broken ancient stone foundations of the tower in the XIVcentury and the remains of the defensive walls. By the way the tour guides will tell you why "Dukhovskoi Kruglik" is called "Kruglik" ("Round") rather than, for example, "Kvadratlik" ("Square") - the foundation of the tower is rectangular.
And there you cannot steal a stone, this is not the ruins of the Acropolis, the number of is not enough, but you can buy souvenirs with symbols of "Slavonic Bazaar", views of Vitebsk, etc.
The second level is an exhibition dedicated to the city of Vitebsk: the plan of the city, known for "Big drawing of 1664," architecture and views of the old town, Vitebsk historical in drawings and photographs...
The third and fourth levels are unique object of the culture of Vitebsk, Belarus and all over the world - a museum of "Slavonic Bazaar".
In addition to many photographs of different years, awards of winners of pop song competitions, and awards of the festival, you can see professional studio recorder STM-310 and a microphone that was used in the first "bazaars", significant things, and quite an unusual installation of badges of guests and participants of the festival. Layma Vaikule, Alesya, Dima Bilan, Dmitry Rybak, Petr Dranga, Yuri Luzhkov, Efim Shifrin, Zhores Alferov, Nino Katamadze ... Probably, if you search, you can find any celebrity.
The last level is crowned by a glass dome and is a closed glassed observation deck, ideal for those who are afraid of heights and does not dare to climb the viewing point of the City Hall, open to all winds.
At the height of more than 20 meters you can navigate and understand what else to see in Vitebsk. Since Exhibition Hall "Dukhovskoy Kruglik" is located almost in the heart of the city many attractions of Vitebsk are clearly visible from the observation deck. The Summer Amphitheatre is nearby, the clock tower of Vitebsk Region Executive Committee (formerly Women Dukhovskoe College) is seen behind. Yakub Kolas Drama Theatre, the Art Museum and the City Hall is close at hand; the City Hall hosts the Local History Museum of Vitebsk with many exhibits (see details in articles at VitebskCity.by) ... All of these sights are just a ten minute walk from "Kruglik" Tower, and certainly worth to spend you precious time.
However I still recommend to start your acquaintance with the sights and culture of Vitebsk from a visit to "Dukhovskoy Kruglik".
The Exhibition Hall "Dukhovskoy Kruglik" is waiting for its visitors from Wednesday to Sunday (Monday and Tuesday - according to preliminary applications) from 10.00 AM to 6.00 PM. Phone: +375 212 358138.