Blown by the breath of a new time
Minsk, the interesting capital of Belarus, has recently opened the door more than a crack. Citizens of the European Union can visit the country for four days without having a visa. Undoubtedly, Minsk has recently changed its face. With pompous and renovated buildings from another era, with numerous monuments and above all with a remarkable art scene.
The “Urban Art Festival”
Anyone who was in this city in earlier years can feel the new era. Although Belarus still has a dictatorial form of government, a touch of liberal thought wafts through Minsk. This is particularly evident where artists work and create amazing things. For example at the “Urban Art Festival”. There is a kind of competition between the best contemporary street artists. And their works can now be admired on the walls of the houses in Minsk.
The largest mural in the world
As part of this festival, the Brazilian Ramon Martins created the largest mural in the world in the Vulica Kastrycnickaya in 2016. Those who are enthusiastic about graffiti and colorful pictures should also look around the area around the Pervomajskaya subway station. The citizens of Minsk soon felt sympathy for this type of art, as new bars and charming cafes gradually sprang up around the huge mural. One of the bars in the industrial district is called “Hooligan” and has become something of an institution.
An opera house with stucco and gold
The opera house in Minsk has a legendary reputation. With its remarkable stucco and gold decorations, it dates from 1938 and has recently been modernized. The city of the metropolis is something like a reflection of the old Soviet architecture. The main artery winds its way through a collection of rather monotonous buildings for over 15 kilometers. Sights include the government building, the headquarters of the science academy and the botanical garden.
Polotsk is the oldest city in Belarus with almost 90,000 inhabitants and is located on the banks of the Daugava in northern Belarus. It is the capital of Polatsk district in Vitebskaya Woblasz administrative district. The metropolis used to be the headquarters of one of the three principalities that were on Belarusian territory. Due to the long and varied history, tourists will find many places and buildings in Polzk that serve as contemporary witnesses. If you want to learn more about the tradition of the country, you have to see Polotsk and get your own impression.
The interesting and moving story
The city name is derived from “Polota”. This river flows close to the urban area and then flows into the Düna. The first mentions come from the year 862 and indicate a settlement that was excellently fortified and armed against attacks.
In the next centuries a flourishing trading center developed there, which is why the citizens came to great fortune. There were always attacks by neighboring rulers, but all of them were repulsed. The capital available there resulted in many buildings that showed visitors how powerful Polotsk is.
On June 30, 1941, the German Wehrmacht conquered the region and sent most of the Jews living there to their deaths. At that time, over 60 percent of the population was Jewish.
The Red Army liberated the city on July 6, 1944, almost 90 percent of which was destroyed in the fighting.
The St. Sophia Cathedral, built between 1044 and 1066, which is very similar to the house of the same name in Kiev, is a popular destination and indicates how powerful the princes ruling there were.
In addition, visitors will find the Polotsk Regional History Museum and the Museum of Book Printing there. In the converted Simeon Polazki library, those interested can find out more about the traditionally practiced weaving art and view many high-quality pieces.
Grodno is a city and the regional center of the Grodno Region in Belarus. The city occupies a special place in the cultural and historical heritage of Belarus. There are many sights and attractions in Grodno, several of which are indispensable for the whole country. The Grodno region borders on Poland to the west and Lithuania to the north. It is a popular international trading partner with both Europe and Russia.
lots of interesting sights
One of the main attractions of Grodno is the Catholic Church of St. Francis Xavier, which was built in 1703 and is an architectural monument. The church is one of the largest and most beautiful churches in Belarus. This church used to be located around the entire building complex of the Jesuit monastery. Many of these buildings have been preserved and are now used for different purposes. Another significant attraction of Grodno and a very important architectural monument is the Orthodox Church of Saints Boris and Gleb. The church, also called “Kalozha”, was built in 1183. It is one of the oldest stone structures in the country.
Another attraction of Grodno is the old Grodno Castle. This castle was not preserved, only ruins remained. The first stone fortresses were built on the site of the castle in the 12th century. After that, the castle was repeatedly destroyed, rebuilt and destroyed again. Significant changes to its appearance were made in the 19th century. The castle and the city are connected by a stone arch bridge, which was built in the second half of the 17th century instead of a wooden bridge.