Chashniki District – A Stone's Throw To New Experiences

There are many beautiful places in Vitebsk area. Ancient architecture and picturesque ruins are full of interesting and exciting secrets. Today we invite you to view a virtual tour of the Chashniki District, which is called the land of vast lakes, where skilled potters live, and which is the birthplace of the Belarusian book printer Vasily Tyapinsky, the writers Yanka Zhurba and Gennady Pashkov and the Nobel Prize winner Zhores Alferov.‎  

Help for Travellers


The first geographical point of our route is the ‎tourist information centre that is ‎physically based at Skina‎‎ Regional ‎Sports Club. It is here that tourists and local residents can get all information they want to know about the sights, tourist routes, cultural events held in the district, and order excursions and organise their leisure time. The centre offers to buy booklets, maps, and guidebooks, including those that ‎contain GPS coordinates of tourist ‎spots and agricultural and ecological farm stays.‎ 

The employees of the tourist information centre have developed more than a dozen bus and walking tourist routes, bicycle tourist routes, and hiking tourist routes. That is why it will not be difficult for every tourist to find something that will captivate and please them.‎ In addition, the district residents can visit this centre to order excursions not only in their small motherland, but throughout Belarus. They will include visiting the main attractions, among which there are theatres, museums, the circus, etc. 

We have decided on our route. Let's go! 

Belarusian Energy Sector Flagship

The Lukomlskaya GRES branch of Vitebskenergo RUE is the flagship of the Belarusian energy sector. Three tall chimneys (250 metres each) are a kind of hallmark of the district. They can be seen from afar, so they attract the attention of visitors to the city. More than 1,500 people work for the flagship of the Belarusian energy sector today. 

 The story of the power plant dates back to 1969. It was in this year that the first power unit was launched. Your guide will talk about the main milestones in the development of the state district power station and show how electricity and heat are generated. When tourists enter a spacious room, a huge iron “cabinet” immediately attracts their attention with its buttons and toggle switches. We are talking about the central control panel which is a kind of brain of the entire power plant. It is from here that the operational control of all power units of the state district power station is carried out. The state of the power units, and load and fuel consumption are monitored by the instruments.

An interesting fact about the boiler installed at the plant is that if you add up the length of the pipes that are connected to the boiler, you get the distance to Minsk and back. 


Lake Lukomlskoye is a natural cooling pond for the state district power station. The guide will talk about not-easy-to-be-understand things in plain language, including about the cooling process itself. So, reservoir water enters the by-product-recovery department, where it is purified from impurities. After that, the purified water enters the boilers through the pipes, where it is heated to the required temperatures. The resulting steam drives the turbine.

In 2014, the 9th combined cycle power unit was put into operation, and its installed capacity is 427 MW. A Chinese company was engaged in building and putting into operation of the unit. By the way, all the workers were trained in China. The new combined cycle plant allows saving 242 thousand tons of reference fuel per year. By the way, the block control panel differs from those shown to us earlier. Everything here is computer-assisted: the previous mnemonic diagrams and sensors have been replaced with modern monitors that display information about the operation of the power unit. 

But Lukomlskaya GRES is more than electricity. The employees of the plant have all the conditions to work and rest comfortably. The Sosnovy Bor recreation facility offers an excellent opportunity to fully relax and recover on the shores of Lake Lukomlskoye, which is the fourth largest water reservoir in Belarus, the second largest water reservoir in terms of water volume, and the eighth water reservoir in terms of shoreline. The health resort is located about 10 km from Novolukoml in the very centre of a centuries-old coniferous forest.

The crown jewel of Sosnovy Bor is a present-day diagnostic and treatment facility. One of the high-demand procedures is speleotherapy, which uses certain microclimate conditions specific to salt caves for treatment. The procedure is as follows – a sea salt aerosol is fed into the halochamber, which saturates the patient's body with useful sea ions and microelements during the time spent in the “cave”.

By the way, on the territory of the recreation facility there are two mineral water wells; one well contains mineral water for human consumption, and the other one contains bath salt brine. 

Carboxytherapy is another procedure that is not offered at all Belarusian health resorts. It is a dosed subcutaneous injection of carbon dioxide for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes. It enhances microcirculation and improves lymphatic and venous outflow. This is due to the fact that oxygen starvation occurs at the injection site, and the body begins to resist and increases metabolic processes.

The list of sanatorium-and-health-resort treatment methods that recreation facility uses in practice is quite broad and, importantly, this list is constantly updated. Hydrotherapy (all kinds of therapeutic baths, showers, hydromassage), inhalations, magnetotherapy, phototherapy, laser therapy, electrotherapy, acupuncture, and cryotherapy. These and many other services can be used by the employees of the plant and anyone else.

In Search of the Lost

It is a must for visitors to the Chashniki District to see the ruins of Belaya Tserkov (White Church), which was built in the centre of the peninsula on Lake Chereyskoye. The distance from the district centre to this place is just over 30 km by transport.

The church is actually called the Holy Trinity Church. The name Belaya Tserkov (White Church) refers to the village, which was named after the church. Why white, you ask? Initially, the church walls were indeed plastered and whitewashed. But the years have taken their toll – the plaster fell off, and now the church is brick-coloured. But even today, the dilapidated religious building is of great importance for Belarusian history, because it is a unique monument of early baroque architecture. 

The stone Holy Trinity Church was built in the last years of the 16th century at the Basilian monastery. There is the belief that the monastery appeared thanks to the chancellor Lew Sapieha, and his parents are buried in the church itself. 


The temple was closed in 1834. By the way, narrow loophole windows, fairly thick walls, and the three-tier strong lucarne belfry indicate that the church has pronounced features of a defensive structure.

But even now the ruins of the church impress tourists, because they are located in a picturesque place – on a hill surrounded by water on three sides.  

Recreation in Kamennaya Gorka

In recent years, city dwellers are increasingly choosing weekend vacations in the picturesque places of the lake area. Farm tourism is a promising direction in the development of the Chashniki District. We visited the agricultural and ecological farm stay, Kamennaya Gorka.

By the way, the name was suggested by the vacationers themselves. The owner, Irina Agarak, explained that the farm stay could have been named Semeynaya. Why Kamennaya Gorka? Because the house is located on a mountain, and a lot of stone was used in the construction.  

Immediately, as soon as you step into the courtyard, you feel peace and comfort. All the disturbing thoughts that worried you just a moment ago disappear instantly. There is a river within walking distance, and a spring forest is visible on the horizon. The owner of the farm stay spoke about how the story of the family business began.

“The agricultural and ecological farm stay is our family business. All household members are involved – husband Nikolai, son Nikita, and daughter Alina,” Irina continued to talk about the farm stay, “Construction started in 2018. The idea to create an agricultural and ecological farm stay arose by itself. We bought a small house and decided to upcycle it. And we had the first visitors in the fall of 2021.” 


The farm stay consists of two parts – an events hall and a sleeping area. There is access to the river (there are impressive views from the balcony, but words can't do it justice!). Fishing, catamaran riding, extreme off-road riding on transport specially equipped for this type of recreation, routes for cycling, and a ski track in winter. By the way, you can watch the birds in the Kamennaya Gorka. So, nearby there are three types of ducks, swans, egrets, and warblers. 

The farm stay is designed in a style that represents the owners' vision of comfort. Here, almost everything is done by hand, they only used services of specialist builders in case of emergency. The conversation made it obvious that Irina is the “perpetual motion machine” of the family business. The plans include not only the arrangement of the farm stay itself, including the construction of a bathhouse and a barbecue area, but also holding themed nights, by the way, an accordion player can be invited. 

“I found a samovar among my mother's things and thought that it would be nice to find a second one to arrange tea parties with pastries and have heartfelt conversations,” Irina admitted, “I plan to provide a place for the elderly population absolutely free of charge, so that they can converse in confidential tones for a while and talk about life. We also plan to organise a mini-exposition of retro cars in front of the house.”

Irina and Nikolai also breed geese and have a small apiary. Homemade honey is a favourite delicacy of vacationers. There are many fruit bushes and trees on the territory of the agricultural and ecological farm stay. In summer, children of vacationers are frequent visitors to that place. But Irina doesn't mind, and she says that there are enough healthy and full of vitamin products for everyone.

In short, Kamennaya Gorka offers you impressive views, fresh air, as well as funny pictures of the life of pets.  


As you can see, tourists can get a lot of impressions after visiting the Chashniki land. Any chosen route will surely surprise you, because there is so much to see and learn! So, go on a trip by car, bus, bicycle, or on foot. The main thing to remember is that the beauty of the Vitebsk area is near you and around you! 

Проект подготовила Екатерина Ляховская,
видео Александра Ходюкова,
фото Дмитрия Осипова,
web-верстка Чимковский Пётр

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