About Belarus

Why Belarus

1) The bright and attractive capital of Belarus – the city of Minsk.

 Minsk is a beautiful and bright city. The fast rhythm of life and constant movement, mesh here with quiet corners where it is possible to have a rest from vanity and look at city from another point of view. One of such places is the National library of Belarus, and in particular — the viewing platform located on the 22nd floor and a cozy park behind the library. Minsk is a city with a rich historical heritage. Even the most tempted traveller can find something here that will amaze him. Starting from the center of the city which is living a buzy life where modern patterns  live together with such historical monuments as the Church of Saint Simeon and Elena, and ending with silent parks and avenues.

 2) The Museum of ancient national crafts of Belarus – the Dudutki.

In 40 kilometers from of Minsk, in a picturesque place near the river Ptitch in 1994 on the place of the ancient manor is located the Museum center of ancient national crafts and technologies which not only popularizes the Belarus national crafts, but also the original life of ancient manors. The manor in Duduchi is known since 1600. In 18 century this place becomes the local center of crafts, fairs and commerces. Here and now it is possible to get acquainted with the live of a country yard, to observe work of masters, to try traditional Belarus dishes.The Museum of Dudutki includes a windmill, the wooden church of Ioann the Prophet, a craft court yard, a stable, a zoo and a garage.

3) The heroic and tragical heritage of times of the World War II – Khatyn.

A memorial complex «Khatyn» is a monument devoted to hundreds of destroyed, burnt Belarus villages and to the victims of Belarus. On March, 22nd, 1943 there was a tragedy which has become a symbol of sufferings of civilians during the war — the village Khatyn together with 149 residents has been burnt.  In 1968 on this place the majestic memorial famous in the whole world has been created. The memorial engaging the area about 50 hectares, was built at the place of the former village Khatyn. In the center of a composition rises the six-meter bronze sculpture « the Unsubdued person » — the father with the killed child in his arms. Nearby are located the granite plates symbolizing a roof of a shed in which fascist chastisers have burnt the residents of village. On a communal grave from a white marble is placed the Wreath of Memory. Here is also a unique Cemetery of villages.

4) The castles of past of Belarus – the Mir, The Nesvizh.

The castle of Mir is the first monument of national culture which has been included into the list of a world heritage of UNESCO. The Mir is located in city with the same name. The castle has been constructed by prince Ilinich in the 15 – the beginning of the 16 centuries. The city of Nesvizh was a residence of princely family of Radzivil. It is located in 34 km from the Mir. For the first time the city is mentioned in historical chronicles in 1446. In 1513 the city of Nesvizh becomes an official residence of princely family of Radzivil – the biggest and the most powerful in Belarus at that time. It is unique possibility to see these monuments, which are included into list of the world heritage. Not only these castles are of historical value, they also attract with the extraordinary beauty and mystery. Many beautiful myths and legends were created about the castles and their owners –the Radzivils.

5) One of the most beautiful and ancient cities of Belarus – Grodno.

Grodno is the most beautiful city of Belarus. One can’t argue with this statement. It is about Grodno that many authors compose legends and write poems. This city personifies the history of Belarus better than any other. It is possible to see a lot of interesting in Grodno: the places of interest, ancient architecture, beautiful natural sights, smiling and hospitable local residents.  Grodno is one of few cities of the country where the historical lay-out was practically completely saved. Here are situated the monuments of the old Russian architecture, the gothic style and the Renaissance, the Baroque, the Classicism, the pseudo-Gothic, the pseudo-Russian architecture, the modernist style and the constructivism. Grodno is a cradle of the Belarus culture, once in two years in the beginning of June a republican festival of national cultures is held here.

6) The beauty and magnificence of a untouched forest – the National park Belovezhskaja puscha.

The National park «Belovezhskaja puscha» is one of the largest tourist centers of Belarus. Tourists from all world come here each year. On the territory of the forest are located a museum of the nature, open-air cages with animals, comfortable hotels and guest lodges, a restaurant, a sports fields and many other objects of an infrastructure. To make visiting of theN ational park «Belovezhskaja puscha» unforgettable, there are special tourist routes (the pedestrian, the horse riding and an automobile).«Belovezhskaja puscha» is one of the oldest reserves in the world. Its history includes not one century. Officially it is considered that the National park has been created in 1409 when prince Jagajlo has declared it to be preserved and reserved the right of hunting for himself and  his brother Vitold. The fact that it is saved belongs to the fact that the bisons (the zubrs) which face  extinction live here and the desire to keep them in the Europe provoked first the Lithuanian princes, then Polish and later Russian to keep it save from the harmful actions of people. As an old virgin forest the Puscha is first mentioned in the Ipatiev annals in 983.

7) A unique taste of traditional Belarusian cuisine.

The national cuisine of Belarus has developed through centuries. Cooking traditions of the people of Belarus include the simplicity of national recipes and a refinement of dishes for aristocrats, varied use of local products and unusual ways of preparation.Ancient recipes of the Belarus cuisine were kept up to now, and interest to them among visitors of the country grows.At the restaurants  you will not be only offered the national cuisine, but also the refined dishes which came from the tables in residences of the Belarusian magnates.It is possible to try national cuisine in local propeties where for the preparation of dishes – quite often unique, widespread only in one district – the freshest rural products are used.Here people bake bread according the ancient recipes and technologies, prepare home-made meat delicacies, cheese from the cow or goat milk, sweets from honey, apples, cranberries.In the home cuisine of the Belarusians the national dishes also are popular. Among the most preferred are mochanka, vereschanka, home-made sausages, draniki, kolduny, cletski, the potato babka, cold beetroot soup from sorrel, mushroom soups. For those who like strong drinks, there is a unique opportunity to try traditional Belarusian vodka – samogon.

8) The extraordinary charm of the Belarusian culture.

The Belarusian culture occupies its own – a special place among other East European cultures. Here, despite of the centuries of Christian domination, ancient pagan rituals have been preserved from the ancient times. Maslenitsa, Kupalye, Kolyadi, Dozhinki – in each of these holidays, as well as in one thousand others, you can find the elements of ancient pagan beliefs. These beliefs were very naturally placed in Christian belief, and as a result the unique and picturesque Belarusian culture was born.Belarusians from the immemorial times loved and appreciated their mother — nature therefore a large number of the rituals connected with grain crops, haymaking, harvesting came to our times. Practically in all of these rituals the nature appears at us as a living being.The pride of the country is also perfectly saved folklore – songs, dances, games, fairy tales, legends, riddles, proverbs and sayings of ancestors came to the present times, practically without any changes. The same can be mentioned about national crafts: pottery, wickerwork from rod and straws, weaving, embroidery, painting on glass and other kinds of activity are based on those art laws that were hundreds years ago. Of course, now these occupations gain exhibition and souvenir character, but all this even helps to preserve the remarkable samples of the Belarusian folk art.