Verkhnedvinsk district, bordering on the Republic of Latvia and the Russian Federation, has extensive forest resources; the Western Dvina River with numerous tributaries - a paradise for tourists and fishermen - flows here.
Lake Osvejskoye with an area of 53 sq. km with the largest island in the country is the second largest lake in Belarus.
The wetland complex of the Osvejsky landscape reserve is a natural pearl of Belarus, a benchmark of wooded and lake, and bog landscapes.
Verkhnedvinsk (Drissa until 1962) was first mentioned in the chronicles in 1386. The fortified castle of the Polotsk dukes arose at the confluence of the Drissa and Zapadnaya Dvina rivers.
Two temples are most interesting in modern Verkhnedvinsk: the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary and the St. Nicholas Church.
The Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary is located right in the town centre. The temple was built in 1809 between Dvinskaya, Moskovskaya, and Novaya Kamennaya streets. The church was built and destroyed many times, then restored again and opened its doors to parishioners. So, in 1989, the stone building frame turned into a bright temple with a wrought decoration of the facade and gates.
The external outlines of the church have the form of a hexagon, which a square sacristy adjoins on the eastern side. A five-tier tower covered with a four-sided tent extends upward to the main entrance. The interior of the church has the shape of a circle with a diameter of 12 meters, which transfers from the centre to the tower into a rectangular shape. Lighting is provided through eight windows, in the walls between which semi-circular niches are arranged. The appearance of the temple has traces of the neo-Gothic style with Baroque elements.
The St. Nicholas Church was built in 1819 in Gagarin Street, in the style of classicism. The temple has an elongated-axial composition, in which a three-tiered bell tower with a tent-roofed covering, a monastery canteen, the main premises, and an asp are the most remarkable. In the year of the 180th anniversary, the bell tower of the temple was decorated with a seven-pound bell.
There is a beautiful majestic carved iconostasis with the main shrine - the Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn ( the Christian icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary) - inside the temple.
The church is located in a very picturesque place, near the intersection of two rivers: the Western Dvina and the Drissa. At the end of the XIX century, it became the main cathedral church of the city and a favourite place for parishioners of the Orthodox denomination. The Orthodox Church was functional in the city in Soviet times as well.
The St. Nicholas Church is functional now, attracting tourists with its architectural laconism and home-felt atmosphere.
There are more than three hundred historical and cultural monuments in the territory of the Verkhnedvinsk district, including churches in Rositsa and Sarya, Osvejsky and Sarjyansky parks.
Osveya is the northernmost urban settlement in Belarus. The first chronicle mention of it was recorded in 1503. Osveya experienced its golden age during the time of managing the Gilzens and Shadurskys in the XVIII century. Valuable marks of that time have survived to our time - the ruins of the palace and the old park.
There are several other small architectural monuments in the town of Osveya that complement the tourist atmosphere of the town well.
In the village of Sarya, Verkhnedvinsk district, the main tourist attraction is the Assumption Church, built here in 1857. The building of this temple was built as a catholic church, but immediately after the completion of construction, it was transferred to the Orthodox believers.
At the moment, this temple is considered the most unusual church in Belarus, which draws the particular attention of tourists and travellers to it. In addition, the icons of Saints Peter and Fevronia with particles of their relics are kept in the temple. This factor attracts pilgrims to the village of Sarya.
We assure you that, having visited the Verkhnedvinsk district, you will always remember the hospitality of the inhabitants, the wealth of pristine nature, an infinity of rivers and lakes, the unique aroma of the air, saturated with the smells of forests and meadow grasses.