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Verkhnyadzvinsk (Belarusian: Верхнядзві′нск) or Verkhnedvinsk (Russian: Верхнедви́нск) is a city in Belarus in the northwest of Vitebsk Region; it is the administrative center of the Verkhnyadzvinsk Raion. Until 1962, it was named Drysa (Russian: Дрисса, Drissa). It is located at the confluence of the Drysa River and the Daugava River.

Its population in 2009 was 7,600.


Drissa is first mentioned in a chronicle of the year 1386.[1] During the medieval period it formed part of the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. From 1801 it was the center of the Drissa uyezd of the Vitebsk Governorate, and during the War of 1812 it was the site of a fortified camp described by Leo Tolstoy in Book Three of War and Peace.

It became a raion center in 1924. During the Second World War it was occupied by Germany and seriously damaged.


  1. ^ Maciej Stryjkowski. Chronicle of Poland, Lithuania, Samogitia and all of Ruthenia (1582).

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Coordinates: 55°47′N 27°57′E / 55.783°N 27.950°E / 55.783; 27.950