The foundation of the town Vitebsk is one of the most ancient towns of Belarus. It lies on the beautiful banks of the Western Dvina river where the Vitba and Luchesa rivers flow into it. It is one of the largest economic and cultural centres of Belarus. Vitebsk city was founded by Princess Olga in 947. The Vitebsk region, a land of blue lakes and beautiful pine forests, lies in the north and north-west of Belarus and has a total area of over 40000 square kilometres. During the centures Vitebsk played an important economic, political and military role and constantly developed.