Belarus' Defense Ministry building near Svisloch River
It’s not for nothing that the Ministry of Defense’s building (former building of the Belarusian military district’s headquarters) in Kommunisticheskaya Street has been declared one of the most beautiful architectural works in Minsk.
It became the first large-scale construction in the post-WWII Minsk and set the architectural style for all the neighboring buildings on the bank of the Svisloch river.
Did Vladimir Karatkevich's Olshansky Castle really exist?
The novel by Vladimir Karatkevich The Olshansky Black Castle has always fascinated the reader. But did this castle really exist?
When Olshansky Black Castle was picturized the scene of action was immediately correlated with ancient ruins of the magnificent castle.
Halshany is a small village in the Oshmyany district of the Grodno region. Prince Golsha gave the name to these lands. Eduard Korzun found the answer to the question “Did Vladimir Karatkevich copy off his novel from Halshany?”.
Minsk inns of 18-19th centuries
The first mention of Minsk inns dates back to 1494. Inns were divided into 2 types: “lodging” (close to modern hotels), with accommodation and a stable, and “non-lodging”, where you can only have a meal.
At the end of the 15-16th centuries “non-lodging” inns prevailed. They were simply built and contained 2 or 3 bedrooms, a brick oven for cooking, tables and benches. Inns were built at drive ways, at important trade roads crossing, at town gates and markets.
Ivyanets village: Museum of Belarusian traditional culture
This museum has been functioning for more than 55 years. In the Soviet period, its exposition was mostly devoted to Felix Dzerzhinsky or Iron Felix. The ethnographic section describes the life and culture of Ivyanets inhabitants. Here you can find books, photos, documents that are more than 200 years old.
Duke Tyszkiewicz and Konstantin Poplavsky are well-known Ivyanets residents.
Minsk authorities announce competition for the best cow sculpture
A monument to a cow will be put up in Minsk. The Minsk City Executive Committee has announced an open competition, in which professional architects and sculptors can participate.
An unusual monument will be put up in Very Khoruzhei Street, near the Komarovsky market in Minsk.
Applications are accepted until March 17, 2015, to the department for ideological work, culture and youth affairs of the Minsk City Executive Committee.
Chereya village: Sapiehas’ residence and French poet’s motherland
The Chereya village is located in the Chashniki district, the Vitebsk region. There are several theories about the origin of the name. Some scientists believe that it derives from the Finnish word “Keraya”, which means “ a meeting”. Other scientists say it means the place where the carex plant is growing.
Bocheikovo village and Chronicles of the Estate
The village is located in the Beshenkovichi district, Vitebsk region, the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania and today the Republic of Belarus. There exist many versions of the name of the village. One of them is that the word Bachnіk in the Old Belarusian language means a wise and intelligent person. Maybe once, there lived a man who gave a lot of advice.
Orekhovno Village: Remains of 18th century buildings
The Orekhovno village is situated in the Ushachy district, the Vitebsk region. It used to be a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Nowadays this is the Republic of Belarus.
The location of the village lies in the place of a “gostinec” (an old Russian name for a big drive way) from Lepiel to Polotsk. They say the name of the village has come from hazel wood that used to grow there.
The history of Pervomaisky quarter in Minsk
Let's stroll along the Pervomaisky quarter and explore its history.
From the center we are walking down along Krasnoarmeiskaya Street. In the course of two centuries it has changed about four names, and all were connected with the army.
The street got its present name Pervomaiskaya in 1923. The name of the street has not changed since those times.
Dudy Village: 200-year-old Catholic church
The Dudy village is situated in the Iwye district, the Grodno region, which earlier was a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and now is a part of the Republic of Belarus.
Minsk residents about city’s squares
Minsk is a spacious and wide city due to its squares.
Nezavisimosti Square takes a place of honor among Europe's largest squares. It occupies 7 hectares and is famous for the largest monument to Lenin in the countries of the former USSR.
Let's see if citizens of Minsk know where the largest square of our country is.
Unique bread museum opens in Motal village
Now a new museum is functioning in the village of Motal. Its exposition includes household utensils and agricultural devices. The ceremonial bake (loaf “Gaspadar”) is in the center of attention. Here, in Motal, the loaf plays a special part: the ceremony, which is passed on from generation to generation, can be endowed with the status of UNESCO world heritage. The locals claim that today ceremonies are not as popular as before.
Experienced bakers claim that the ceremonial bread came out so big that they had to disassemble the oven.
The history of Ruzhany Castle (Ruzhansky Castle) dates back to the 16th century, when its construction began to last 200 years.
Ruzhansky Castle is a palace worthy of kings and it is called a Belarusian Coliseum. The destroyed walls strike people by their greatness.
State landscape reserve Selyava
Selyava Lake is one of the largest water reservoirs in the northeast of Belarus. It is located on the territory of the Krupki district.
As much as 1.5 thousand hectares of mirror-like water surface are under the state protection.
The national landscape reserve Selyava was established here in 1993.
Ecologists and environmental services are watching over the safety of the unique natural complex with populations of rare and endangered species of plants and animals in the natural state.
Town Malorita: Unique collection of Belarusian folk clothing
The town Malorita is located in the Brest region, Belarus. Formerly, it was just a village.
First people settled in this place a long time ago. In 1965, archeologists found a flint dagger there. Scientists determined that this dagger belongs to the Corded Ware culture (1800-1500 BC).
Malorita first appeared in the chronicles in the middle of the 16th century. It was first mentioned in the Revision Act of boundaries between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish Crown. At that time, the village was named Rita Malaya and belonged to King Sigismund Augustus.
Rogachev: Here Vladimir Korotkevich started writing "The spikes under your sickle"
It remains unknown whether the town had Magdeburg Rights. However, in 1781, Rogachev received a coat of arms.
In the late 18th century, Rogachev became one of the largest centers on the way along the Dnieper River from Kiev to Mogilev. At the end of the 19th century, a theater called "Modern" was built in Rogachev, which has not been preserved to the present day.
In the mid-19th century, the population of Rogachev was over 4,500.
Animal sculptures in Minsk
Magnificent animal sculptures appeared in Minsk streets relatively not so long ago and became magnets for passers-by.
Compared to languorous Venuses, graceful Apollos or buxom female rowers, modern urban architecture embodied in bronze animal sculptures is more elegant and simple.
Of course, sculptors used animalistic motives in their works before. For instance, Gorky Park was full of animal statues, such as the swan splashing in the fountain. At the beginning of 1970s, it was surrounded by green frogs.
Creative groups of architects from all over Belarus to work over Minsk's appearance
Creative groups of architects from all over Belarus will work over the appearance of Minsk. This was announced by Minister of Construction and Architecture, Anatoly Chernyi. It is about creating a complete image of the Belarusian capital with European gloss.
According to the head of the department, Minsk can be proud of the new sports facilities. Historical buildings create appropriate atmosphere and comfort.
The secret of Niasvizh Castle
The Castle of Niasvizh keeps many secrets, riddles and legends. Let us explore some of them.
Niasvizh was once called the uncrowned capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. For four centuries, the owners of the castle, a Polish noble family, the Radziwills, were called the uncrowned kings. The most powerful member of the family was Mikolaj “the Black”, while Stanislaw Radziwill was called the most eccentric –. He was known as “Panie Kochanky” with a reference to his idiolect that means “My Dear Sir”.
Village Bytcha: birthplace of a Belarusian children’s literature
The village Bytcha is located in the Minsk region, Belarus. Near the village, an ancient settlement is located. In 1882, this settlement was included in the list of archaeological sites, but no excavations were carried out on its territory.
The settlement has existed for about a thousand years or even twice longer.
Bytcha appeared in the chronicles in 1582.
Peter and Paul Cathedral in Minsk
Having gone through its Catholic and Uniate periods, Peter and Paul Orthodox Cathedral is one of the oldest temples in Minsk.
At the end of the 18th century, after Russian Empress Catherine II donated to the restoration of the temple, it carried her name for a while.
The history of the church dates back to the Tatar invasion time. In the 16th century, the Crimean Khan burned Minsk down leaving almost all the inhabitants dead.
What you did not know about houses in Victory Square
Houses with turrets, which are located on both sides of Victory Square, continue a solemn system of buildings along Nezavisimosti Avenue and are familiar to every citizen of Minsk.
The architectural complex around Victory Square (up to November 1958, it was called Kruglaya Square) was already formed to the mid-1950s. Houses were built gradually. And the houses №34, 36 and 38 were built much faster than the twins on the opposite side.
The last place on earth where epical heroes lived
Staraya Volotova is a village located within the city of Gomel, but it has not lost its village colouring until now.
According to Gomel paranormal researchers, just above Staraya Volotova people often see UFOs. The researchers are not surprised and say that there you can see anything at all. Even the name of the village has a mythological origin. A myth is something unusual, fantastic and incredible.
Dedino village (Vitebsk region): The healing spring
The Dedino village is situated in the Miory district, the Vitebsk region. It was a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and now is a part of Republic of Belarus.
”Dedino” is a an old Belarusian word which means ”grandfather`s heritage”.
The first documented mention dates back to the 16th century (1517).
In the 17th – beginning of the 18th century, the owners of the Dedino village was the Rudominy family.
It was a nice Belarusian family.
The members of the family were merchants, diplomats and military servants, and even literary talented persons.
Starodevyatkovichi Village: Unique Church of St. Paraskeva-Pyatnitsa
The village Starodevyatkovichi is located in the Grodno region, Belarus. Once there was one village, named Devyatkovichi. But later it was divided into two separate villages: Starodevyatkovichi and Novodevyatkovichi.
In the chronicles, Starodevyatkovichi appeared in 1492, but historians found out that the village had existed for more than 100 years earlier.
In 1350, this village became the property of the Meleshko family.
Negnevichi village: Monument to tractor
The village of Negnevichi is located in Novogrudok District (the Grodno region). People who lived here were religious and counted on God in all their deeds. The name of the village figured in the chronicle of the 14th century and is connected with the name of Pavel Obukhovich.
Small chapels were built here and in surrounding villages. In 1428 Vytautas, the ruler (1392–1430) of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, presented this village for his wife Sophia of Halshany. They didn’t have children and after their death, Negnevichi became the ownership of the state.
Monument to Henry Dunant in Minsk – one of two in the world
The bronze bust located at the intersection of Karla Marksa Street and Lenina Street is in honor of Henry Dunant.
It was created by a well-known Belarusian sculptor Oleg Kupriyanov in May 2010 to become the second monument to Dunant in the world with the first one in Geneva.
Henry Dunant is the founder of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, social activist and humanist.
The most famous clocks in Minsk
The clock in 16 Independence Avenue is the oldest in Minsk. It is about two hundred years old. But it still shows absolutely precise time.
The clock with the 2 meters’ minute hand is placed on one of the towers of Privokzalnaya Square. This clock Belarusians see on TV on the New Year's Eve.
The history of building at 44 Nyezalyezhnastsi Avenue
In the late 19th century, the building of house No. 44 was located in Minsk’s outskirts known as Zolotaya Gorka (Golden Hill) at the intersection of Nyezalezhnastsi Avenue and Kazlova Street. Minsk city began to develop only in the 1930s.
According to the capital’s first redevelopment plan, the construction of architectural complexes that were supposed to go along a three-kilometer main street of the city – Sovetskaya – started here.
The history of Minsk between WWI and WWII
Unfortunately, there is not enough information about interwar Minsk. We can learn about the period of the 1920s-1940s with the help of several documents. For example, Sergey Pisetsky, a Polish writer who was a spy, made a very interesting and accurate description of interwar Minsk. Minsk became the center of belligerent Europe.
Initially destroyed by war, Minsk was lawless. Goods were in short supply in stores. Markets were empty, too. A kilo of salt was sold for a kilo of sugar and butter. A monthly salary of a working man was not enough to pay for a meal.
Minsk monuments devoted to children
The subject of children takes a special place in Minsk city sculpture. The CTV crew asked some passers-by whether they know any monuments dedicated to children.
Minskers:Devoted to children? Urinating boy.
In Minsk? I don't know. I know those outside Minsk.
I know, but I can’t remember.
In Yakuba Kolasa Square. There is a monument.
No, I haven't heard.
There's a girl with an owl.
Wilhelm Kube and Heinrich Himmler in Minsk during WWII
We are still not aware in full about Wilhelm Kube’s stay in Minsk. Few people know that Heinrich Himmler, who was considered the most fearsome after Adolf Hitler, visited Minsk.
Arthur Nebe, the commanding officer of Einsatzgruppe B, welcomed Heinrich Himmler, the leader of German punitive instrument, at the Minsk airport. Heinrich Himmler had a rich program of his stay in Minsk. He visited the Soviet State art gallery, the Opera House and the village of Novinki. Himmler expressed a desire to observe the execution of the Minsk Ghetto prisoners.
History of Rakovsky suburb
The aroma of sweet rolls and the smell of fresh watercolors, narrow streets and the brick architecture of the 19th century. Rakovskaya Street is the favorite place of filmmakers and the cradle of Belarusian painting.
The history of the Rakovsky suburb goes back to the 11th century. During the time, a chain of houses formed a street. Locals called it Rakovskaya not without purpose.
Belarusian scientist about research in Antarctica
Antarctica marks 195 years today. For all time of its existence, it has been visited by 150 Belarusians.
Your first impression when you first saw Antarctica?
Oleg Borodin, director of the Scientific and Practical Center for Bioresources of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus:This was like another planet. And forever! It is always inside my heart.
The temperature is about -75 degrees. Is this true?
Designer, Hero of Belarus Mikhail Vysotsky memorial plaque unveiled in Minsk
A memorial plaque was mounted in honor of the outstanding designer Mikhail Vysotsky in Minsk. The leading scientist a person of world reputation in the field of mechanics passed away a year ago. Mikhail Vysotsky created a domestic school of designing of trucks. He worked 50 years at Minsk Automobile Plant, 35 of which he was the chief designer. Under his leadership, dozens of automobile models were developed, which have become symbols of the Belarusian industry.
Scarlet Minsk: house with mezuzah and bank
Brutal and elegant red-brick ensembles make a positive impression.
A red-brick style became the most fashionable variant of low-cost architecture. The red laying decorated Minsk’s central street. A terra-cotta house in Rakovskaya Street is considered to be the most sophisticated.
You are impressed by every detail: a luxuriant cornice, chiseled balconies, mirrors and choke stones. The windows have individual framing. Architects managed to create the relief effect of the foreside. In the first part of the 20th century, a hostel was located in this building.
Vereskovo village: Estate of Irish count
The Vereskovo village (Grodno region) was a possession of the Radziwill family and an Irish count, and the local church was built by Irish people.
They say that heather herb (in Russian: veresk herb) was once in abundance in these places. That’s why village was named Vereskovo.
The Vereskovo village is surrounded by forests. Up to this day, these places are called Nemirovschina, because in the 16th century, they belonged to the Nemirovich gentry and Vaclav Nemira governed here.
Leonid Levin’s contribution to Minsk architecture
Leonid Levin, whose most remarkable achievement is the national war memorial of Khatyn, has played a key role in the Minsk modern view as an architect.
Leonid Levin, honored Belarusian architect:When I was younger, I always felt like working on the historical city spot of Trinity Suburb. We designed every single thing out there to create the right atmosphere. We had ups and downs, but practice makes perfect.
Leonid is determined to be open about his job, but underlines that his comments should not be taken to heart.
Secret underground passages of the Upper Town of Minsk
In the 17th century, in the Upper Town, predominantly Catholic and Uniate monasteries were built. The existence of mysterious underground passages in Minsk is linked to their activities.
Sergei Tarasov, a historian and archaeologist, was lucky to visit one of these passages. It happened in the late 1970s, during the excavation of the historic center of Minsk. A scoop actually fractured the top of an underground passage. A research team managed to go 5-7 meters in one and the other side.
Arc-shaped houses No. 37 and 40 in Minsk’s Victory Square
The design of a new city square began in 1939 with the construction of house No. 40 located at Nyezalezhnasti Avenue. The idea of the two arc-shaped houses belongs to architect Roman Stoller.
He used one of the first successful standard designs in the Soviet Union as a basis.
Minsk Gorky Park construction
Back in the middle of the 20th century, Gorky Park in Minsk looked so much different from the one we got used to and was known as Governor's Park with its current playground and amusement area project under way. However, some projects aiming to improve the park’s infrastructure remained on paper.
In the early 1950s, the Minsk legislature settled upon the Governor's Park site for the creation of Amusement Park, after an abortive attempt to designate the Kuibysheva street area.
Voyenproyekt Institute. Military architecture in Minsk
The military Minsk history of the 20th century is found in the documents ща Voyenproyekt, the architectural institute. During more than 90-year history of Voyenproyekt the company participated in the post-war reconstruction of Minsk and other cities, developed a whole series of special objects required for defence purposes and designed the projects of the military compounds.
Unusual houses in Minsk
Architects try to introduce new and unusual elements into their works.
Such houses exist only in Paris and Moscow. The first four sections of the unusual building are already built in Minsk. The house was popularly called "Catamaran" for its innovative design: stairs and elevator units are located in separate blocks.
The unusual form opens up new possibilities. For example, additional lighting of kitchen and living room is made possible.
Thanks to the houses’ planning, the residents get a small isolated courtyard.
Bernardine Monastery turned hotel
The complex of buildings of the former Bernardine Monastery in Minsk was redeveloped into a hotel. The foundation of this monastery was laid in 1628.
Originally it was built of wood, but later all the buildings within the monastery were rebuilt in stone. The monastery repeatedly suffered from fires, but over and over again the Bernardines restored it.
History of Belarusian Fashion Center
Not only was the architecture of the disrupted postwar Minsk restored, but also life itself. At this time, people were to think about how to feed themselves, rather than what to wear. In 1948, the first and still the only Fashion House was opened.
The life of the enterprise as well as life of Belarusian fashion developed rapidly. Each year more than 2,500 models were developed and introduced. In the 1960s, footwear and knitted goods were added to the list of products.
Krasnaya Dubrova Village: Unique underground church was earlier located here
The Krasnaya Dubrova village, Kopyl district, Minsk region. The village was earlier called Mokrany.
In the 18th century, the owner of the village was the Radziwiłł family.
In the second half of the 18th century, the cornet Vladislav Vaynilovich bought this village.
Saveriy Vaynilovich(Vladislav Vaynilovich`s son) built a small castle in the village. It stayed there until the Bolsheviks came to power and destroyed the building.
Belarusian air carrier buys Boeing 737-800 for $28 million
A liner for $28 million joined the Belarusian fleet. This is Boeing 737-800. On January 23, in the morning, it arrived from Turkey. This is most popular model of passenger liners in the world. Primarily due to its capacity: it can carry up to 189 passengers, in economy and business classes.
Boeing will be able to reach far destinations. This will expand the airport's route network and reduce ticket prices.
Children Philharmonic Hall at the site of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Minsk
The Church of the Holy Spirit was built in the 17th century. Today it is reconstructed and serves as the Children’s Philharmonic Hall.
Several years ago, there was nothing at the site of the old church. Only stones that were laid out on a green lawn outlined the contour of the vanished temple. On the one hand, to build here something new was considered blasphemy. On the other hand, there was no money to renovate the old church. The place was “reserved” for the church for more than 70 years.
Central Post Office in Minsk
The Central Post Office in Minsk, commonly known in Russian as Glavpochtamt, is the central post service in the city. Its construction started in 1947. The Central Post Office organizes the post service within the city; it leads communication facilities and post offices. Moreover, the Central Post Office provides post and telegraphic services as well as internet services. It receives and processes parcels, packages, letters and money orders.
The history of VDNKh building in Minsk
The abbreviation of VDNKh doesn’t need to be explained to Belarusians. Foreign tourists often ask what it means. The abbreviation can be translated as the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy. The regular exhibitions reflect the past and the present of the building itself.
Address: 27 Yanki Kupaly Street
In 1968, construction works were very intensive in Minsk. New residential areas sprung up one by one. They were similar in appearance and hardly belonged to any style.
Restaurant Belarus had face-control 50 years ago
In the distant 1930s at the intersection of Kirova Street and Volodarskogo Street was the hotel "Svisloch"; the building was burnt during the war. In 1947, the hotel was restored and named "Belarus".
You could always meet famous people in the center of the city, where now a five-star hotel is located. It isn’t surprising, that on the ground floor in the "Belarus" hotel was restaurant with high level service. The restaurant had the same name as the hotel.
Minsk's gratings and railings
There are a lot of things in Minsk that we don`t notice in everyday life.
Among them are forged fences, railings, and gates. Thanks to these details, the city comes alive, becomes comfortable, charms townspeople and guests memorize the city itself.
These urban details are remains of the past. A tour of the city named “A forged Minsk” could be arranged for the guests of the city. And this one will bring them much more fun than the traditional tours.
In terms of the number and beauty of forged gratings Minsk can compete with the leader – St. Petersburg.
Liberation of Minsk in 1944
During three years of WWII, Minsk suffered under the Nazis. The city was damaged and desecrated. Nevertheless, the citizens were undaunted. All the cultural and scientific institutions, theatres, museums – everything was destroyed and deliberately desecrated by the Nazi barbarians.
The German occupation lasted 1,100 days. In order to crush the German Army Group Centre, the Supreme High Command devised a plan of the Operation Bagration – the USSR’s largest summer military operation during the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945).
“Generals’ houses” in Minsk
“Generals’ houses” is a name given to several residential constructions between Kalinina Square and Tolbukhina Street. The distinguished title is merited. Their architectural image, purpose and significance speak for themselves.
In 1939, the construction of the houses was started under the auspices of the architects Morduch Livshits and Valentin Gusev. Within two years, two new buildings appeared. A U-shaped house was supposed to become a link between them.
However, the design remained ink on paper.
Minsk. Unique house where only artists live
Viktor Gromyko is a people’s artist. He works and lives in the only house-workshop in Minsk.
This building was erected in 1977. It was the first one of this kind in Minsk. Before, such workshops were popular in Leningrad. The history of the building’s emergence turned into a legend. It dates back to 1968, when Viktor Gromyka was invited to Pyotr Mironovich Masherov (the first secretary of the Communist party in Belarus).
Minsk tour with your eyes blindfolded
The guide Lyudmila Skradal teaches citizens to see Minsk with eyes closed!
The extraordinary architecture, numerous historical monuments and clean streets - this is a picture familiar to any citizen of Minsk. It has become so usual that we do not notice all the beauty of our city.
If we’ll take at least Svabody Square what comes to mind first? Many will remember the Town Hall and the Holy Spirit Cathedral, someone new sculpture "City scales."
How do Belarusian pilots work?
National Airport Minsk is the main airport of Belarus. It is located 42 km away from Minsk.
The symbol of the airport is a control tower, in which 4 air traffic controllers monitor takeoffs and landings of aircrafts. Though they are not pilots, their working place is located at a height of 50 meters.
Snowboard in Belarus: how to choose the right board and how to replace it in summer
Yulia Krepchuk, correspondent:Despite the fact that there was little snow this winter, the ski season is open. It is high time to develop new sports. For instance, snowboard. The head coach of Belarus snowboard team, Leonid Melnikov, will be our instructor.
Leonid Melnikov, the head coach of Belarus snowboard team:Snowboard appeared in Belarus about 10 years ago. The sport is effective in engaging youth.
How many light bulbs illuminate Minsk?
More than 120,000 lighting points in Minsk, including projectors and lamps, are used for facade illumination. From 20 to 30 lamps of different colors and shades give each building a unique image.
Today Minsk residents and guests feast their eyes on the works of architects and electricians. Energy efficiency technology is the main advantage of the new lighting system of the city. LEDs are an essential part of Minsk’s lighting equipment. Electric energy consumption of these lights is ten times lower than that of conventional bulbs with the same light output.
Magnificence of Stalin empire style in Minsk
Minsk is a rapidly developing city. It is recreated from the post-war ruins and architects from all over the world admire it. First of all, one is usually surprised by the architecture of the empire style. Stalin's empire, to be exact. The city architecture came under powerful influence of this well-known style, which approved idea of imperial greatness.
Stalin’s empire style in Minsk architecture
Minsk architecture was influenced by this famous style, which consolidated the idea of imperial grandeur.
Stalin’s empire style was spread during Stalin’s rule (1933-1953). Some researchers consider it as a variation of art deco. Obviously this architectural style was derived from the French empire style of Napoleon Bonaparte. In the first part of the 19th century, French authorities tried to give the splendor of ancient Rome to their towns.
Myths connected with Minsk statues
Minsk has its legends. Some of them have existed for a long time, others have been created only recently.
The bronze carriage near the Minsk City Hall sends newly wedded couples to a happy life and, as many other Minsk monuments, brings luck.
The bronze Minsk inhabitants are full of legends. For example, a sculpture of a horse (created by Vladimir Zhbanov), which is located near the Komarovsky market, is believed to fulfill wishes. You just need to mount the horse and touch a sparrow on his mane.
Zabalac village (Grodno region). 200-year-old Catholic church
The first Christian temple – a wooden church of the Holy Trinity – was built in Zabalac in 1622.
In the 17th century, there were fierce battles between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Grand Duchy of Moscow.
As a result, the village and the church were damaged.
In 1803, Ludwik Tyszkiewicz, a Polish-Lithuanian nobleman, ordered to build in Zabalac a new church made of stone.
Kurenets town: Reminder of Kastus Kalinouski uprising
The agricultural settlement of Kurenets is located in the Vileika district of the Minsk region. In Kurenets, an archaeological site dating back to the 4th-2nd millennium BC is situated. The annalistic history of the town goes back to 1355. They say that the first church was built in the mid-16th century. Unfortunately, it was destroyed during the Soviet era.
Zhodishki village (Grodno region): 400-year-old Calvinist cathedral
Zhodishki is located in Smorgonsky raion [Smorgon district]. The name is of the Baltic origin and it means “flourishing banks”. The village is really situated on the beautiful and flourishing banks of the Viliya river.
In 1511, a landowner built there a castle and founded a townlet Zhodishki. In 1567, the following landowners established here the first Christian church.
Parichi village. Only Parichi and Sweden have such a unique coat of arms
The Parichi village is located in Svetlogorsk District on the marvelous bank of the Berezina river. This is the longest river on the territory of Belarus. Its length is more than 600 kilometers.
The first mention about Parichi dates back to 1566, but the first inhabitants settled here in the 5th century. Near Parichi was founded ancient site, which belonged to the Neolithic period.
Prozoroki: Homeland of the National Belarusian Professional Theater
The village Prozoroki is located in the Vitebsk region, Belarus. It stands on the ancient road that once connected two towns: Polotsk and Vilnius. The road is called Algerdova, in honor of Duke Algirdas, who restored it after a long undermaintenance.
In the chronicles, this village appeared in the 16th century.
Telusha village. Burial place of Alexander Pushkin’s grand-daughter
The Telusha village is located in Bobruisky raion [the Bobruisk district], the Mogilev region. Once this village was a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and now it is a part of Belarus.
Where does the name come from? In former times, there was someone with the family name Telekh and it influenced the village name. Another opinion is that the name could come from the word “zelyakhi” (it means “uncouth logs”).
Zakaziel (Brest region): Residence of renowned Belarusian Orzeszko family
The famous writer Eliza Orzeszkowa used to visit village Zakaziel. At that time, she was not famous yet. She lived near the village with her husband, Piotr Orzeszko.
The village is located in the Drahichyn district, the Brest region. The name Zakaziel means “behind the goats”. They say that in the past there was a meadow where goats pastured. Over the meadow, there was a settlement. When a settler was asked where he is heading to, he would answer: “I am going over the meadow where goats pasture”.
Molyatichi village and its replica of Roman Cathedral of St. Peter
Molyatichi is a small village located in the Krichev district of the Mogilev region.
The history of the village goes back to 1639. According to written sources, in those days, 13 huts with 28 male inhabitants were built in Molyatichi. The village was state-owned, and the country was led by Władysław IV Vasa, the son of King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Sigismund Vasa.
Naroch village: German casino stood here on Meer Platz during WWI
The Naroch village is located in the Myadel district of the Minsk region. Formerly, it was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and today it is the Republic of Belarus.
This settlement called Naroch is only 47 years old. Earlier it was called Kobylnik. In Soviet times, someone apparently didn’t like the ancient name. In 1964, Kobylnik was renamed Naroch. But the locals didn’t refuse from the initial name.
Ozernitsa village: Birthplace of Belarusian national theater
The Ozernitsa village is located in Slutsky Raion [the Slutsk district], the Grodno region.
Why is the village called Ozernitsa? Once it was surrounded by lakes (“ozero” means “lake”). But today you would not find those lakes. All of them were drained and only swaps remained till nowadays.
Village Mogilno: Here lived philosopher Solomon Maimon, who criticized Kant's ideas
The village Mogilno is located in the Uzda district, Belarus. Here Solomon Maimon, a prominent Enlightenment philosopher, lived up to the age of 25.
First time this village was mentioned in the chronicles in connection with the legendary battle that took place in Mogilno in 1284. This village is located on the bank of the river Neman, which once formed the border between tribes of the Balts and the Russ.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau monument in Minsk
Minsk received such a gift from one of the students of the Minsk Art Academy in honor of World Oceans Day.
The half-meter bust was located in the Minsk Center of Oceanography.
By the way, together with the bust, bloodthirsty marine inhabitants - red-bellied piranhas - were brought here.
Bershty (Grodno region): Royal village
Bershty is one of the oldest places in western Belarus that used to be a part of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
For the first time, humans started to settle down near the Kotra river long ago.
Face of Jesus Christ appears on wall in school in Belarus’ Pustynki
Today there is not a single house left in the Pustynki village. The name Pustynki means “desert”. The place takes its name from the old days when the village was populated mainly by monks who lived in mud huts. They say the monks arrived from the Kiev Monastery of the Caves.
Parafyanovo village (Vitebsk region)
The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary has stood here for several centuries.
Parafyanovo Village is considered one of the most ancient settlements in the Dokshitsy district.
The name of this village comes from the word “parishioner”.
The first documented mention in the chronicles dates back to 1435.
Dubrovno. Catherine II presented the town to Count Potemkin
Dubrovno belonged to the Sapieha family till 1772. After the first partition of Rzeczpospolita (when the town became a part of the Russian Empire), Catherine II presented the town to Count Potemkin.
When Potemkin came here and saw that there live a lot of hard working people, he decided to found in Dubrovno several manufactories. One of the first was a clothing factory.
Pietrykaŭ: A place where the Grand Duchy of Lithuania repelled Tatars' attacks
Pietrykaŭ (Petrikov) town is located in the Gomel region. This is one of the most mysterious places of Eastern Polesie settlements.
The legendary Yotvingian duke Piotr founded this place. Historians say that in the religion of pagans, there was no such a name – Piotr. It stressed one more the fact that this is an ancient and enigmatic place.
The first documented mention is the 16th century and it was then a small town in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Petrikov was one of the most important trade centers on the Pripyat River and it belonged to the Olelkovich family.
Chausy: Native land of Michael Douglas' father
Everybody knows about Zaporizhian Sich, Ukrainian Cossacks, Don Cossacks and Kuban Cossacks. In the 17th century, Belarus had its own autonomous republic of Cossacks. The former capital of Belarusian Cossacks is the Chausi town, in the Mogilev region.
Night public transport in Minsk from January 20
From January 20, night public transport routes will be introduced in Minsk. As an experiment, two areas were selected: Railway Station - Malinovka and Railway Station - Shabany.
Minibuses will run every hour, starting from 1 am to 5am.
If such an experiment is successful and popular with Minsk residents, fixed route buses will service other neighborhoods.
Bragin village meteorites
It is still not clear why the village is called Bragin.
Some historians claim that the village got the name of the Braginka river, some say it derives from the moorland.
Germanovichi village: Belarusian Leonardo da Vinci
Germanovichi village. It is located in the Šarkaŭščyna (Sharkovshchina) district, the Vitebsk region, the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania and today the Republic of Belarus.
According to local historians, this settlement was founded in the 13th century. Officially, the first mention about Germanovichi dates back to 1563.
Belynichi: Religious center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The village Belynichi is located in the Mogilev region, Belarus. The history of this village starts with mountain Ilyinskaya. In 1240, Tatars attacked Kiev and four monks from Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, taking the ancient Byzantine icon, sailed up the river Dnieper. When they reached Ilyinskaya mountain, they decided to land on the bank of the river and stay there overnight.
Barkolabovo Village: The chronicle
The Great Patriotic War didn’t affect the village of Barkalabava because of the Mother of God icon.
The village of Barkalabava, which is located in the Mogilev region, is considered to be one of the oldest settlements in Belarus and can change the Belarusian historical framework.
In 1654 Barkulab Korsak, a cavalry master, ranged eyes round the ancient settlement and decided to erect a castle on these hills to defend eastern Belarusian borders.
Soldiers offered to name the castle in honor of Barkulab with the purpose of frightening the enemy.
Tarnovo Village: Here ordinary people live in the 19th-century palace
Tarnovo is located in the Lida district of the Grodno region.
The history of Tarnovo goes back to the 17th century. It used to be in possession of such famous family as the Zawiszas.
Anna Zawisza married Peter Tarnowsky in 1690. He built an estate and called in Tarnovschina.
In 1711, Barbara Zawisza married Nicolay Faustin Radziwill. So the village became the property of the Radziwills.
Tihinichi village and its famous wine distillery
Tihinichi is located in the Rogachev district of the Gomel region. In the middle of the 17th century, colonel Symon Askerka was granted the village for the liberation of the Nesvizh and Mir castles from the Swedes.
Having appeared in possession of the Askerkas, in 1776, the village received the status of a town. In 1778, thanks to the family, a wooden church was built in Tihinichi.
Unique church in Veyno village
There are several villages in Belarus with the name Veyno. One of these villages is located in the Mogilev region, the Mogilev district.
It used to be a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.Then the village was called Veno. Now it is part of Belarus.
Luzhki village: During WWII, bombs did not explode near the local church
Luzhki village, Sharkovshchinsky raion [Sharkovshchinsk district], the Vitebsk region.
Luzhki is situated on the banks of the Mnyuta river. For the first time the village was mentioned in the beginning of the 16th century (in 1519).
At those times, the village belonged to the famous and glorious family of Sapieha and maybe they often came to the bank and fished for crucians, tenches and pikes and during the hot summer days, they liked dipping into refreshing and pure water.
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky monument in Minsk
Gorky Park, the Svislach, sunny alleys, attractions, the planetarium and the observatory – the Belarus capital takes care of its curious children.
The monument to Konstantin Tsiolkovsky is located at the highest place of the park.
Let’s find out who this person was?
Minsk residents: The monument is located near the planetarium, maybe this person was somehow connected with cosmonautics.
Tsiolkovsky is the explorer of stars and the theorist of astronomy, famous physicist and scientist.
Ded Talash monument in Yakuba Kolosa Square
The name of Vasily Talash is familiar to every Belarusian. He was a scout of the Red Army, a leader of a partisan party, who acted heroically during the Second World War and the Polish-Soviet war.
Talash took part in military actions at the age of 100. Grigory, the main character of writer Yakub Kolas’ “Tryasina” [the Bog], became the prototype of Vasiliy Talash.
Mr Talash was acquainted with Yakub Kolas, who admired his deeds.
Khakhlova village: Humanist Symon Budny lived and worked here
According to a legend, many years ago the current place of the village was occupied by a large lake. And a little boy drowned in it. His mother cursed the lake, which is why it almost completely dried up.
Some people claim a pagan temple existed here. 400 years ago people prayed to Perun (the main pagan god).
In 1839, people decided to construct a storage for potatoes. They found a skull, three times larger than that of the present-day human.
St. Nicholas Church in Lahoysk
The town of Lahoysk (the Minsk region) is called “Belarusian Switzerland”. That’s all because the town is located on picturesque hills.
Lahoysk is one of the oldest towns in Belarus. It was first mentioned in the chronicle of 1078, thanks to Vladimir Monomakh, the Great Prince of Kyiv, who was at war with Vseslav of Polotsk.
During this war he managed to сapture Lahoysk.
Raubichi village: Unique collection of Belarusian national costumes
The village Raubichi is located in the Minsk region, Belarus.
Somewhere in the middle of the 17th century, one of local residents went into the forest and saw an icon of the Mother of God on a tree. He went back to the village and told the rest of the villagers about what had happened.
Leonpol: Monument to Europe's first constitution
Leonpol village, Miory district, Vitebsk region. When Nikolai Lopatinski, famous, educated and wealthy man, came here he was just confused. Not because of the abundance of beavers but because of all this beauty: the Dvina river, fields and forests. What else do you need to have a rest after a good work?
Novy Dvor: Village saved by an icon
Novy Dvor, which is located in the Svisloch district of the Grodno region, remembers much of the history of Belarus. In ancient times, dukes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania feasted there and important trade routes passed through this place. Of course, wars didn’t stay away from this place either.
Gruzdovo: The miraculous Mother of God icon has been kept here since 1433
The name of the mushroom, Gruzd, has no relation to the name of the Gruzdovo village. The thing is that "gruz" is an ancient word that means "ruins". Here and now you can find many stones which indicate that once there was a castle at this place. During WWII, it was destroyed and only ruins were left. So people called this place Gruzovo.