Stationary Exhibition Walk on Nizhne-Pokrovskaya
Belarus, Polock

The unique historical territory should have such places where a resident of the city or a tourist could feel the spirit of history. In this regard, the stationary exhibition “Walking in Nizhne-Pokrovskaya” became interesting and timely. It opened in May 1998 in a monument of architecture of the XVII century - "House of Peter I". The exposition was created on the basis of a valuable and substantial museum monument of 1910 - the “Guide to the City of Polotsk”, published in Polotsk in connection with the transfer of the relics of St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk from Kiev, and is the first and only exposition in Belarus dedicated to the history of one street at a certain time (1910 year).
The exposition introduces the history of Nizhne-Pokrovskaya Street, talks about the people who lived on this street, about the buildings and institutions that were there at that time. The exhibition area is 97 square meters. 227 museum items are exhibited. The name of the street - Nizhne-Pokrovskaya - appeared after the Pokrovskaya church was built at the end of the former Velikaya street in 1781. At the end of the 18th century, on the map of Polotsk, lower and higher, the church stretched towards ancient Sofia, parallel to the Western Dvina, Verkhne-Pokrovskaya and Nizhne-Pokrovskaya streets. The church burned down during the great Polotsk fire in May 1900. Several times, measures were taken to restore the temple. Only in October 2004, the inhabitants of Poltava managed to carry out their plan. The Intercession Church exists, and the street on the banks of the Dvina River regained its former name.
The house of Peter I deserves no less attention than other architectural monuments of Polotsk. Over his nearly 380-year history, he has seen many historical events. Its study today allows you to better understand the design features and structure of urban development.
The construction began in the middle of the 17th century, probably after the fire of 1643. Initially, it was a wooden building on a high, possibly whitewashed brick basement with an extensive basement and garbage chute. The building was facing the red line of the street that led from the river. Next to it was an old wooden house on a high basement with an attached barn and another house. Together they formed a manor. During the Russo-Polish War of 1654–1667, the estate was badly damaged. So, wooden houses were destroyed, and the House of Peter the Great was damaged. The wooden floor was destroyed, newly rebuilt only in 1692 already from brick. At the same time, the basement walls were partially shifted, the shape of the basement window and doorways was changed, the brick pediment with stucco completed the top of the building. The entrance to the House could be from the north side through a wooden extension. Behind the building, a new house was built with a stove, the walls of which were used tiles made before the war. The new house was a lined log house and no longer had a cellar. At the same time, after the extension of Velikaya Street (the future Nizhne-Pokrovskaya Street) and cross-section of the remaining territory, the entire estate was redeveloped and expanded due to the liquidation of the neighboring estate adjoining from the south. Judging by the finds of tiles with the Ostoya coat of arms in place of wooden houses, the House of Peter the Great could belong to the Grebnitsky family, known on Polotchin. The new repair of the House of Peter I is connected with the arrival of Empress Catherine II in Polotsk in 1780. He dealt mainly with the replacement of furnaces and the installation of a memorial plaque dedicated to the stay of Peter I. By this time, the Jesuits had created a myth about the Russian emperor living in this house. They had to earn her favor, for which they chose a demonstration of the preservation and veneration of memorial sites associated with the first Peter. Such a grandiose and successful creation of the Jesuits was promoted by a number of reasons. None of the buildings of the former "modest collegium", which the Russian Tsar visited at the Jesuits by this time, has not been preserved. This building was very suitable for these purposes. On its pediment was the date of construction in 1692. The unusual architecture of the building, which distinguished it from other buildings of Polotsk, attracted attention. So, in the report of 1837 it was directly called Dutch (as you know, Peter I loved Dutch architecture, and the Jesuits knew firsthand his tastes and inclinations). Thus, the Jesuits had the possibility of very plausibly falsifying the evidence base that the king supposedly lodged in this building. The current appearance of the building was formed during the second half of the 19th - beginning of the 20th centuries. At that time, from the building of "Dutch architecture" on the "red line" it turned into a more modest residential building. The entire estate, the center of which it was, underwent no less changes. Its borders were again expanded. Wooden buildings burned more than once and rebuilt again, and in the middle of the 20th century completely disappeared. Architectural and archaeological research made it possible to reconstruct the likely appearance and stages of the restructuring of the House of Peter I, to find the remains of wooden buildings of the burned manor, to determine the name and social status of its probable owners.

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