The coat of arms of Vitebsk: its history and modern embodiment

The modern coat of arms of Vitebsk is famous for itsan interesting history that began with the reign of the ruler of Polish and Lithuanian lands, Sigismund III Vaz. Thanks to the decree of his Grace in 1597, the city received the right to self-government. Also Vitebsk was endowed with all symbols of state power. His emblem was the image of Jesus Christ in a profile, depicted on the bright blue shield of Spain. For the city on the Dvina it became the first officially recorded in the annals documents. Scientists still can not give an exact answer, why exactly such an image formed the basis of the symbol of Vitebsk. Most agree that it was a request of the residents of the city, because it was such an image for them native. Earlier similar symbol became a basis for the press of Vitebsk.

coat of arms of Vitebsk

Features of the national symbol of the city

The coat of arms of Vitebsk is one of the brightestexhibits in the historical and heraldic treasury of the country. It differs from others in that it contains both defensive and Orthodox symbols. The sword speaks of the willingness of the inhabitants to fight for their native land. Spas means a reverent attitude to the church. The reason for their unification was the fact that Vitebsk was located on the eastern edge of the kingdom, preserving the inviolability of borders, and took Christianity among the first.

emblem of Vitebsk photo

Formation of history

In less than a century, Vitebsk was deprivedMagdeburg law. Along with this, the arms were also declared invalid. The reasons for such harsh measures were the rebellion of the inhabitants of the city and the death of the Uniate bishop at the hands of the rebels. Only a decade later, the king changed his anger to mercy and in 1633 returned the Viteblians the right to self-government. The emblem was rehabilitated only in 1641 thanks to the decree of Vladislav IV.

In 1781, the Empress Catherine II approvedA new symbol of the city on the Dvina. It had nothing to do with the previous version. The difference with the coat of arms of the Polotsk lands consisted only in the fact that in its lower half alternated stripes of scarlet and silvery colors. It did not contain symbols reflecting the position and traditions of Vitebsk. He once again reminded residents that they were once subjects of the Principality of Lithuania, and was soon replaced by the more familiar symbol of the Savior and the sword for the Vitebsk.

Modern interpretation

The current symbol of Vitebsk got its officialstatus in 2004. As a basis, the coat of arms of the 1597 model was taken. Five years later, the image of the city's symbol underwent a change. The red part of the sword, located in the lower half of the coat of arms, has become silver. Above it is crowned by an angel, as if blessing the city and protecting its open wings from all ills. On each side are two cherubim, which with the help of blue ribbons hold the arms of Vitebsk in their hands.

emblem of the city of Vitebsk photo

In 1997, on the 400th anniversary of the Magdeburg Right toCity Hall of Vitebsk installed a coat of arms about two meters in bronze. The author of this majestic copy was Valery Moguchy. During the planned reconstruction of the building, the symbol was moved to the museum, where it is now located.

Interesting Facts

Today, philatelists can find the coat of armsVitebsk, whose photo is shown on the stamp. In 2008 the Belarusian post issued a whole series with the coats of arms of the cities of the country. In the stone version, the coat of arms of Vitebsk can be seen in Minsk, on Independence Square, where it is located in the company with the coats of arms of other major cities of the country.

coat of arms of Vitebsk

The most original way to "perpetuate" the symbolthe city on the Dvina distinguished participants of a large flash mob CreativePelmeniParty, which covered more than 10 countries. The coat of arms of the city of Vitebsk (photo of which served as the basis) was made in the form of a huge half-meter dumplings! To cook such a giant delicacy there was no suitable dish, so it was cooked in the oven.

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