Backstory

The village of Plissa is located on the territory of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania, today it’s the territory of the Republic of Belarus, Vitebsk region, Glubokoye district. In Belarus, other villages, lakes and rivers also bear this name. Local historians say that the “Plissa” toponym is derived from the term “ples”, which stands for a quiet, overgrown place in a pond with a calm current. The ancient town of Plissa was founded on the shore of the like-named lake that is 6 km long and 1.5 km wide. Mnuta river outflows from this lake and joins the Disna. And local countryside amazes visitors with it’s indescribable beauty both in winter and in summer. Near the lake there is a castle hill that has a legend to it: once upon a time there stood a castle that belonged to a duke who had two daughters - Mnuta and Lyutitsa. And not far from the castle there lived a fisherman who fell in love with Mnuta The duke found out about this and turned against their love. Then, after a while, the fisherman vanished. And next Mnuta went missing, too. Lyutitsa wandered off in search of her sister and also disappeared never to be seen again. Since then, they say that the river Mnuta flowing out of Lake Plissa and the river Lyutitsa that is flowing into the lake are the two lost sisters who can never meet, because one sister always comes into the lake and the other comes out of it. The area is filled with ancient and historically prominent places. The village stands on the way from Vilnius to Polotsk, a road that used to be called the Great Trade Route or the Algerdov way. Back in the days there were stone crosses along the entire length of this road, one of them still stands in the center of the village. Our ancestors installed these structures at the points of trade routes crossing, near major cities and in places where milestone historical events took place. People believed that they protected the neighborhood from scoundrels, epidemics and diseases. This cross was previously directly on the Algerdov way, up on the hill, but in Soviet times it was cast down from there, and after that the locals placed it within the limits of the village.

People choose good places to live like bees choose flowers to pollinate. And since the old days, Polotskian Krivichi settled in the Plissa lake area and near the Mnuta River. During the excavations, Belarusian archaeologists discovered many ancient burial mounds here that allowed them to assume that people had settled here almost 3000 years ago.
Since the beginning of the XVI century, the village became the property of Konstanty Ostrogski, who sold it to a nobleman by the name of Nikolai Petukh, the deal was fixed by a charter signed by Zygmunt I on July 7, 1507. This date is considered to be the day of the settlement’s foundation. The Royal Charter gave Nikolai Petukh and his descendants the eternal right to use both Plissa and the surrounding territories. In 1552 there were 63 houses in Plissa, which by those times standards was quite a lot. In 1579, Pakholovitsky, the royal cartographer, received a Royal Command to draw up a map of the Polotsk province. He arrived in Plissa, plotting it on the map as a large settlement.
In 1602, Plissa became the property of Jozef Ivanovich Korsak, who was a very pious ruler. This marks the golden age of the Christianity in the area. And local folklore received a new amusing legend, according to which some local monks caught a beaver in the lake during the Lent and couldn’t decide whether it was possible to use it’s meat for food or not, because it was both a water and an earthly inhabitant.
In the XVIII century Plissa was passed into possession of the family of Polish gentlemen who went by the name Podbipent. The rapid development of the land and the location of the village on the major trade route from Vilnius to Polotsk (the Great trade route or Algerdov way) became the reasons for one of the most significant events for any settlement at that time: in 1788, King Stanislaw August Poniatowski signed a chartered right for the Podbipents to allow weekly fairs to be held in Plissa. Now trade and crafts blossomed here like never before.
During the riot of 1831, the Podbipents joined the banners of the rebels who fought against the Russian army forces. Because of this, many of those who were on their side, including the noblemen themselves, were repressed, sent into exiles or imprisoned. Romuald Antonovich Podbipent, who was the foreman of the insurgent committee, was imprisoned under the travel ban in his own estate where he spent his last years of life. Later on, Plissa passed into the hands of the famous Belarusian noble family of Despot-Zenovich. At that time (in 1887) an Orthodox church was built here. According to local rumors, it was founded on the site previously occupied by a former Uniate church. Saint Paraskeve the New is considered to be the intercessor and patroness of women here. At the end of the 19th century there were 75 houses and 650 inhabitants in Plissa. There was a master's court, a small distillery, 6 shops, 2 taverns, a mill, a Catholic chapel and a synagogue. The settlement’s last owner was Pan Pavlovsky.
Like so many other Belarusian villages, Plissa went through many misfortunes in the twentieth century. During World War II, Plissian Jews did not abandon their homes, and on June 1, 1942, a horrendous tragedy took place - German fascists executed Plissian Jews not far from the village where an old Jewish cemetery is now located. In the 1960’s, the local Orthodox church was closed by the Soviet authorities, which led to a decline in religious life in the area. The Bolsheviks turned the building into a club with a dance floor. However, after numerous insistences of the local residents, the church building was returned to the eparchy, but required a large-scale reconstruction.
The history of Plissa is rich in milestone events, full of incredible ups and overwhelming downs. And the locals even have their own unique folklore: their own sayings and proverbs, tales, legends and songs. It is here, with the help of local natural resources, such as therapeutic mud and mineral springs, as well as centuries-old natural monuments and the history of Belarus, we have founded our “Plissa” sanatorium-and-spa resort, which, with the help of modern treatment technologies and excellent leisure facilities, will breathe a new life and bring new excitement into this wonderful land.