|Country: Belarus||Metal Purity: 925||Box: No|
|Year of Issue: 2000||Weight: 33.63 g||CoA: Yes|
|Face Value: 20 rubles||Dimensions: 39|
|ID: BY0044||Quality: Proof|
|Mintage quantity: 2000 pcs|
Vitebsk is one of the most ancient Belarusian cities. It was first mentioned in the records as far back as the 10–th century.
In the 12–13 centuries it was a major trading and artisan center on river routes between the Baltic, the Black & the Mediterranean seas. All principal urban life issues were decided by veche (popular assembly in ancient Russia). In 1240, warriors from Vitebsk, together with those from Novgorod and Pskov, were fighting the battle on the Neva River and in 1242 – the battle on the Ice (between the army of Alexander Nevsky and the Teutonic Knights). In 1597, Vitebsk was granted the Magdeburg Right. Schools were set up at Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant churches and monasteries of the city which were to preserve Belarusian culture and language.
During numerous wars, Vitebsk suffered from fires and destruction. However, affection of inhabitants towards their native city and its advantageous geographical position contributed to the revival of Vitebsk.
Modern Vitebsk is a large industrial and cultural center of Vitebsk region. Since 1992, an International festival of arts "Slavic Bazaar" has been held annually in the city with "Days of Culture" of the founding countries (Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine), folklore festivals, and art exhibitions. Vitebsk is the home city of Mark Shagal, world–renowned painter, whose works are permeated with recollections of his Motherland.
On the coin obverse within the circular geometric ornament – the relief of the State Coat of Arms of the Republic of Belarus; beneath – year of issue, fine silver content and alloy standard; inscriptions along the rim – on top: "РЭСПУБЛIКА БЕЛАРУСЬ" (REPUBLIC OF BELARUS), at the bottom: "ДВАЦЦАЦЬ РУБЛЁЎ" (TWENTY ROUBLES).
On the coin reverse in the top left–hand part – the city's coat of arms; in the bottom left–hand in the background the relief of the Blagoveschenskaya church; in the bottom right–hand in the background the relief of the city hall;inscriptions along the rim: "ВIТЕБСК" (VITEBSK) and "ГАРАДЫ БЕЛАРУСI" (BELARUSIAN CITIES).
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