Divers Discover Remains Of 500-Year-Old Bridge In Braslav District

Divers have discovered a 500-year-old bridge at Lake Nespish near the Monastic Island in the Braslav district, the Braslav Regional Development Center reports.

Archaeological digs – on land and under water – have been underway on the Monastic Island since 1 August in the Braslav district, Vitebsk oblast. Volunteers looked for the remains of the cellars of the old monastery.

During underwater research, specialists of the Sea Pegasus diving center have discovered 24 partially preserved piles of a bridge. One of the piles was cut off sent to a laboratory to determine the age of the wood.

According to divers, the bridge was a sophisticated structure that might be about half a millennium. It was about 100 meters long and some 2 meters wide.

“There’s a chance the bridge is still lying somewhere in the silt. If this is confirmed, we will launch a money-raising campaign to lift the bridge and restore it. Belarus has never seen such projects before,” Alena Shevchik, the project manager, said.

The monastery, as well as a church and residential buildings, were built on the island in the 15th century. The monastery owned the lake and several surrounding villages nearby.

The island could be reached via two bridges. Pilgrims went to the monastery to bow to the miraculous Lady of the Lakes icon. There were so many people, services were held on the shores of the lake.

In 1832 heavy fire destroyed the monastery leaving the icon of the Virgin Mary untouched. According to the legend, it was found at the neighboring island of Saint. It is now can be found at the altar of the Braslav Church.