How street in Minsk inspired director Steven Spielberg

How street in Minsk inspired director Steven Spielberg

Correspondents of the program Big City went on a tour of Sovetsky District of Minsk.

The famous Komarovsky market is the pride of not only the Sovetsky district, but the entire Minsk. Every day thousands of buyers and tourists visit it. As befits such a famous place, Komarovka has its own legends and interesting pages of history.

Do you know that the first plane in the sky of Minsk appeared just above the Komarovsky swamp?

On May 24, 1911. Crowds of people gathered here, on the outskirts of Minsk, to see the famous Sergei Utochkin's flight on the Farman plane.

Sergei Busko, guide, candidate of historical sciences:
Especially for him, artillery brigade No.30 cleared the territory on the Komarovsky bog, made a good, compacted strip with a length of just over 100 meters and began selling tickets. Almost like today.

A ticket cost 1 ruble - the price was quite high for the beginning of the twentieth century.

75 years after Utochkin's flight, the well-known producer and director Steven Spielberg produced the cartoon An American Tail. It tells us a story of a mouse family that goes on a long voyage. But what does this have to do with the Komarovsky market?

It turns out that distant relatives of the Hollywood star lived on Zakharievskaya Street of Minsk. Then they told the boy the legend of the huge mouse that lived on Komarovka. Later the story was reflected in the cartoon.

There is a street in the Sovetsky district with a beautiful name Zolotaya Gorka [Golden Hill]. There is a reason for its appearance.

In the nineteenth century, diseases were raging in the Minsk province. Not knowing what to do, the locals gathered in this place. There was a doctor among them. He laid a small blanket and offered to raise a little money to fight the plague. Soon a golden coin mountain rose.

Among the houses, hidden from prying eyes, is one of the oldest churches in Minsk, the defender of the plague - the Church of St. Roch.

In the right altar, there used to be a statue of St. Roch. Thousands of pilgrims came to it. But in the 1930s the church was closed, and the statue disappeared.

Sergei Busko:
In Soviet times, thanks to the fact that there is a good and level ground here, two tower-jammers were built here. Now we see such points as mobile carriers' towers.

In the post-war period, they were used to silence the Voice of America.

The military cemetery of Minsk keeps many interesting stories, too.


Many outstanding personalities are buried here. But one grave every year on August 4 attracts representatives of the American embassy. This is the grave of Ruth Waller. The 24-year-old girl died in 1946.

They came to Minsk with the humanitarian mission of UNRRA, which helped to restore the post-war city.

Once Ruth noticed how the children built a raft and went on a voyage. The construction began to collapse, and the children began to sink.

Sergei Busko:
She was an athlete, at one time she was a champion of the State of California in tennis, she jumped into the water to save the children. She saved the children, but she herself became ill. And, unfortunately, medicine could not help her. We did not have penicillin at those times.

It so happened that after the death of Ruth Waller, even more people were saved - her husband made sure that penicillin did appear in Belarus.