Lower Castle with the shaft of Ivan the TerribleTo book a tour
Majestic reminder of the tragic events of Polotsk's Livonian War 1558-1583 is the shaft of Ivan the Terrible - a unique monument of military fortification. The shaft was filled in the years 1563-1564 during the construction of the Lower (Archer) lock on the direct orders of the Russian tsar, who personally supervised the start of engineering work.
Capturing Polotsk in 1563, Ivan the Terrible had hoped with additional fortifications ever to consolidate the city as part of the Russian state. Archer Castle Square, designed to accommodate the Russian garrison of six hectares, on its perimeter housed seven wooden towers. However, the most time-consuming work on the construction were shaft, which is well preserved to this day. For the application phase of the shaft of Ivan the Terrible in the 10 meters in height in such a short time it has been moved 230 thousand. M3 of soil.
Despite this enormous effort, the real benefit is not brought to the Lower Castle, and in 1579 the Russian garrison surrendered almost without a fight, it forces Stefan Batory. A century later the castle completely lost its military-strategic importance.
Now on the territory of the Lower Castle is the stadium "Spartak", known not only for sports achievements Polotsk, but also the fact that in 1984 here, right on the football field, was discovered a unique treasure of gold products IX-X centuries.