Churches hill and Varšavas street

Located just north of Downtown, Church Hill and Varšavas street had some of their iconic buildings spared of (post-)WW2 destruction.

Surviving old villa in Varšavas street
Old building in Varšavas street (now a Polish consulate helping the city’s massive Polish minority). ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

The Church Hill is crowned by historic houses of worship four different Christian denominations that stand side by side, signifying the multireligiousness of both Daugavpils and Latgale.

Russian Orthodox Cathedral of SS Boris and Gleb on the Churches hill
Russian Orthodox Cathedral of SS Boris and Gleb on the Churches hill. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

The churches are Lutheran Cathedral (1893), Roman Catholic Church of Blessed Virgin Mary (1905), SS Boris and Gleb Russian Orthodox Cathedral (1905; once a garrison church), Old Believer Church (1928).

Lutheran and Catholic churches at the religious center of Daugavpils
Lutheran and Catholic churches at the religious center of Daugavpils. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Nearby Varšavas street hosts multiple 19th-century villas and a lead shot factory with period technology saved by Soviet economic backwardness and now converted into a tourist-oriented place of industrial heritage, with regular guided excursions available every day.

A lead shot machine in Daugavpils
One of the outdated machines still used for lead shot production in Daugavpils. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

The factory still uses its Lead shot tower, where pieces of lead are thrown from above in order to attain a perfect form because of gravity before hitting the ground. Back in the 19th century, this was a commonplace lead shot production but it seems like out of this world these days.

Varšavas street with lead shot tower
Varšavas street with the lead shot tower. A massive effort was needed to wash its interior from metal pollution before opening up for tourists. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Between the churches and lead shot factory Varšavas street hosts a Russian culture center where information about various aspects of Daugavpils Russian culture are presented (Othodox and Old Believer faiths, Daugavpils fortress history).

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