When we were just planning to visit Belarus, everyone asked in surprise: “What to do there?” After all, many believe that Belarus is closer to Europe only geographically, and Minsk is still the Soviet Union. Oh yes, the roads are good, everything is clean, but in general it’s boring and everything is very authoritarian. But all these arguments only fueled the interest to see what was really going on there? Destroying the existing stereotypes of some countries is the main reason why I started writing this blog. We definitely decided to go and see, and when we returned, we didn’t regret what we saw and experienced one bit.
Minsk is a clean, green city with fountains. A minimum of outdoor advertising, more social advertising about taxes, and there are posters all around asking people not to litter. "When you throw trash out on the street, don't forget to grunt! - one of the stands broadcasts. And the best part is that there are practically no traffic jams here. Many police officers in Minsk wear civilian clothes and drive tractors. If a car is parked in the wrong place, it is immediately taken to the fine area.
Getting a bite to eat in the city is not a problem at all. Citizenes are friendly and open: they will immediately tell you how to get to a place and recommend free events in the city.
Minsk is beautiful in the evening. The city begins to illuminate and play with multi-colored lights, a distinct palette of which can be seen on the Svisloch River. You can take a catamaran or boat and take a river trip. The heart is the Upper Town. You need to come here to feel the spirit of old Minsk. And also feel the passage of time by comparing the modern city and the city of the past.
Minsk seemed to be the best example of the socialist system. The 15-kilometer Independence Avenue stretches from the center to the residential areas to the northeast. During the Second World War, only ten buildings survived here, and after the end large-scale construction began. Now it is the largest collection of Stalinist architecture in the world.
Nesvizh Castle is buried in a botanical garden among lakes. In the 16th–19th centuries it was the residence of the Radziwills, the richest and most influential family in the Principality of Lithuania. It was under this name that Belarus was known to the world in the XIY - XYIII centuries. During its existence, the palace has acquired legends. There have always been many rumors surrounding the untold wealth of the Belarusian princes Radziwill. During the Second World War, the castle was practically not damaged.
Here you can not only study the history of the Rodziwills, but also actively swim, sunbathe, ride catamarans, jet skis, a sailing yacht, and Viking boats. This day was memorable for windy weather and perfect sailing.
Clearing your head of thoughts and stretching out on the sun-drenched deck is, in my opinion, the best way to spend time in Belarus.
3. Mir Castle
We saw ahead the brick walls and towers of one of the most beautiful and unusual castles in Belarus - Mir Castle. At one time, the palace was the residence of the famous families of Ilyinich, Radziwill and Svyatopolk-Mirsky. The attraction is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The fortress became one of the symbols of the victory over the Teutonic Order, the Horde troops and the Moscow State. In 1939, after the annexation of Western Belarus to the USSR, Mir Castle became state property. During the war there was a Jewish ghetto here, and after the war just people lived here for a couple of years. At the moment, excavations are underway near the castle. Under the foundations of the former Svyatopolk-Mirsky estate, archaeologists discovered the foundations of the Radziwill palace of the 16th and 17th centuries.
The morning of the last day of travel around Belarus began with a review of the Brest Fortress, which took the blow of the Nazi invaders on June 22, 1941. The defenders of the fortress showed amazing resilience, repelling the onslaught of German troops for long days. The museum has been restored and very well conveys the atmosphere of the horror experienced.
5. Belovezhskaya Pushcha
Throughout the entire
territory of Eurasia, only in Belarus live bison - wild bulls.