Belarus is a country in Eastern Europe with a rich culture and original traditions. Travelers are welcomed here by ancient cities, unusual museums, national parks, as well as various festivals and exhibitions.
Who and why should come here
There are many historical sights worthy of the attention of tourists in Belarus. Guests of the country will be able to see Catholic churches, Orthodox churches, watchtowers and castles. Architectural masterpieces are located in picturesque places that are interesting to visit with the whole family. Many cities have a thousand-year history and are cultural heritage of world importance. In the top attractions of the country: the estates of aristocrats, castles, temples and defensive fortresses.
At any time of the year, Belarus attracts outdoor enthusiasts. In summer, people tend to go to recreation centers, boarding houses, open-air camps. Here you can swim in clean lakes, go cycling, fishing, and walk along hiking trails in local reserves. In winter, tourists go to ski resorts.
Near Logoisk there is another ski center — Silichi. Here you can not only ride an ATV, snowboard, ski, but also buy excellent equipment.
Amusement parks, interactive museums, zoos work for children in Belarus. In winter, be sure to visit with them the Residence of Father Frost in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. A Christmas tree, interesting contests and gifts are waiting for the guys there.
On Ivan Kupala, large-scale festivities are held in the cities in the format of pagan and Christian traditions. In the spring, Grodno invites to the festival of magicians, which attracts illusionists from many countries. In autumn, the Japanese festival opens in Minsk, Mogilev and Gomel. The founders invite those who wish to a tea ceremony, aikido competitions, master classes in ikebana.
Belarus produces high-quality goods, therefore, in between excursions, tourists tend to go shopping. Bed linen, knitted and linen products, and locally produced shoes are especially popular.
The city of Brest was founded at the beginning of the 11th century. Here you can still see the old streets, houses and temples.
In its vicinity are located:
- Trinity Church;
- St. Simeon’s Cathedral;
- Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross;
- Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery.
The main attraction of Brest is a fortress built in the 19th century for defensive purposes. At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the first battles with the Nazis took place here. Now, a monument to the defenders of the Motherland has been erected on the territory of the Brest Fortress and a museum has been opened, where military exhibitions are regularly held.
The city of Nesvizh is located in the Minsk region. The first mention of it appeared in the XIII century. Arriving here, you can see unique archaeological sites. Nesvizh Castle, built in the 16th century, is of particular historical value. The baroque architectural complex belonged to the Lithuanian nobility.
After the revolution, the palace fell into disrepair, many of the treasures stored in it were stolen. Now Nesvizh Castle has been restored and is a museum. The palace complex also has a restaurant, a hotel and a souvenir shop.
Saint Sophia Cathedral
In the 11th century, a stone Orthodox church dedicated to Hagia Sophia was erected in Polotsk. In the 18th century, the building was blown up by intruders. After the reconstruction, the appearance of the building has changed slightly and has become even more majestic. The milky-white towers of the Orthodox Cathedral are crowned with green domes. Inside there is an organ, an ancient altar, a bas-relief «New Testament Trinity». There are frescoes on religious themes on the walls.
Church of St. Francis Xavier
The Catholic church in the city of Grodno was founded in 1683. Initially, it was part of the monastery complex, which occupied a whole block. The towers of the building reach a height of 65 meters — on one of them there is a beautiful clock, considered the oldest in Eastern Europe. The inner walls of the temple are decorated with paintings, frescoes, mosaics. On the main altar are numerous sculptures and decorative wooden columns.
In the city of Lida in 1323 a castle was erected of stone and rubble bricks to protect against the Crusaders. The building had an irregular quadrangular shape with two high towers. Lida Castle withstood many battles, sieges, was captured several times and partially destroyed.
Now in the galleries of the fortress, exhibits of the local history museum are exhibited. Tourists can see the instruments of torture, ancient armor, swords, and then take a walk around the courtyard.
In the Grodno region there is a small village Mir. Here is one of the main attractions of Belarus — the Mir Castle, built in 1527 for defense. Now it is a park and castle complex. The buildings, built in the Belarusian Gothic style, have white walls, brown frames for windows and portals, gabled dark roofs.
Household items, a collection of ancient weapons and armor are stored inside. If you use the services of a guide, you can hear interesting stories about the castle and its former owners.
Museums and monuments
Vitebsk City Hall
The majestic white building, on the tower of which there is a round clock, is considered a symbol of Vitebsk. The town hall was built in the 16th century. Now it houses the local history museum.
His funds contain:
- the rarest birch bark;
- ancient weapons;
- collection of coins;
- paraphernalia of Masons;
- paintings and samples of graphics;
The exhibits located in the town hall can be viewed daily, except Mondays.
Museum of Ancient Belarusian Culture
The collection of the Minsk Museum contains archaeological and ethnographic finds. The exhibition halls feature icons, jewelry, tools, ancient scrolls. During the tour, visitors will learn how Belarusians lived at different times, and get acquainted with the national features of culture and life.
This palace and park ensemble is located in Gomel. The building, made in the neoclassical style, is a fairly large museum of Belarus, which houses rare collections of paintings and historical values. Of particular interest are archaeological finds, jewelry, a collection of coins and early printed books.
Memorial complex Khatyn
The village of Khatyn is a dark part of Belarusian history. During the Great Patriotic War, its inhabitants were destroyed by the Nazis. Of all the people, three children and one adult miraculously survived. In 1969, a memorial complex was erected at the site of the tragedy. Now it is included in the list of historical and cultural heritage of Belarus. About 300 thousand people come here to honor the memory of the dead every year.
There is a museum in the Minsk region near the Ptich River that arouses genuine interest among children and adults. There are exhibits showing the provincial life of people who lived in ancient times. In the manor you can see how the bakery works, bake a loaf on your own, fashion a pot, try your hand at a mill or in a forge.
There is a farm in the Dudutki complex, where it is easy to join the care of animals and just watch them. During breaks, those who wish can sit in a cafe and taste national Belarusian dishes.
Railway Museum in Brest
While in Brest, be sure to go to the Railway Museum. The exposition located there tells how the railway was built. The collection includes old and modern trains. Visitors can touch models of locomotives and listen to interesting stories of the guide.
Children’s Museum in Polotsk
Children really like the exhibits collected in the Polotsk Museum. They can be touched by hand, taken apart and put back together. This is an interactive museum aimed at developing the intellectual abilities of children. There are expositions that introduce young visitors to toys, sea voyages, famous discoveries, the basics of chemistry and physics. Children can learn how cameras, gramophones and other interesting things work.
Belarus boasts a mild climate and good environmental conditions. On its territory there are many forests, lakes and national parks where it is pleasant to relax.
The relic forest, preserved in Belarus, is a protected area. Giant trees grow here, among which there are centuries-old oaks, ash trees, spruce and pine trees. Near the rivers there are many birches, maples, bird cherry, hazel. Birds and animals listed in the Red Book live within the forest.
The Belovezhskaya Pushcha park has been opened in the Grodno and Brest regions. This reserve is the tourist center of the country. There are sports fields and hiking trails. Tourists can visit the Museum of Nature and see animals both in enclosures and in their natural habitat.
Naroch National Park
The park covers an area of 97 thousand hectares. On its territory there are the cleanest lakes surrounded by dense forests. The heart of the Naroch Park is the natural reservoir Naroch, which is the largest lake in Belarus. People who love eco-tourism come here to ride horses, fish, swim, live in an open-air camp or in a hotel, as if lost in the forest.
In the Grodno region, near the village of Valevka, there is Lake Svityaz, surrounded by forest. Its crystal clear water is considered healing. A sanatorium was built on the shore, where you can improve your health and relax. Rare relic plants grow in the lake itself, and raspberries, blueberries, hazel and even orchids are found in the coastal forest.
More than 2,000 species of animals live in the vast area of the Minsk Zoo. Guests can see waterfowl, artiodactyls, predators and marine life. The zoo has a riding circle, a cafe, an amusement park, and a souvenir shop. Master classes, competitions, quizzes are often held here. Excursions are available to everyone, where you can hear a lot of interesting things about predators, snakes or birds.
The estate «Gifts of Veles»
Veles’ estate, located in the village of Bluzha, Minsk region, is suitable for families with children. Here you can have fun celebrating a birthday, Ivan Kupala or celebrate Christmas. Guests can take part in theme parties, watch theatrical performances, taste national cuisine. On the estate there is a hotel, a restaurant, a petting zoo, a shooting range and a sports ground.
Sula History Park
The first interactive park-museum in the country was built 40 kilometers from Minsk.
Here it is easy to plunge into the past and have a great time:
- take a trip on a drakkar — a Viking ship;
- explore the site of an ancient man;
- see the site of Slavic cults and the pantheon of pagan gods;
- see a pottery workshop, a forge, a distillery.
In Sula Park, visitors enjoy riding quad bikes, bicycles, and horses. The most daring can take a helicopter flight.
Park named after Maxim Gorky
A well-groomed large amusement park is located in Minsk not far from the metro station «Ploshchad Pobedy». Coming here, you can ride a fifty-meter Ferris wheel, go boating, feed the ducks in the pond. There is a Planetarium in the park, where interesting lectures about space are given and the starry sky is studied.