Backfill question from VETLIVA: what do you do first of all when you decide that it is time to go on a trip? Choose a country? Raking a bunch of money from business lunches? Convulsively run to sign up in a gym to conquer the beauty of the locals and put photos on the envy of friends?
Do not forget to add to this list the most interesting sights: local parks and castles, museums and sculptures, entire historical areas within cities and the most incredible churches. Oops, we just spoilered to you the story of today's guide! It doesn't matter: are you ready to play quest to find the most iconic tourist attractions in the country? Take out notebooks, pens and navigators: VETLIVA presents a grandiose list of the most interesting and beautiful places in Belarus!
Top sights of Belarus
- Belovezhskaya Pushcha
- Brest Fortress
- Struve Arc
- Braslav lakes
- Mir Castle
- Nesvizh Castle
- Gomel Palace
- Ruzhansky Palace
- Church of the Holy Trinity
- Trinity Suburb
- Kamenets tower
- Narochansky National Park
- Museum of WW2
- Town hall
5 points for investigation
On the border with Poland and not far from Bialowieza, in the Kamenetz district, amazing in its natural content Belovezhskaya Pushcha is located. More than 1.61 thousand km2 in this area are set aside for green hills, woodlands and endless meadows. The richness of the fauna in Belovezhskaya Pushcha is explained historically: in ancient times, the space around the hill was filled with water and turned into a real sea, all animals sought salvation on a small island covered with trees.
Today, the reserve allows tourists to enjoy the views of nature and the richness of the animal world: bison, deer, wild boars, wolves, foxes. Many of the species are listed in the Red Book and you can see almost extinct animals only here: black storks, bearded tawny owl, eagle owl, three-toed woodpecker and many others. People go to Belovezhskaya Pushcha for the most vivid impressions and quiet pastime alone with nature. Farewell, dusty gas city!
+1 point from VETLIVA: and here is the residence of Grandfather Frost! He's like Santa Claus, but... different. Find out who he is!
5 points for historical education
Filled with cozy low houses made in the charming architectural style of the Polish grotesque, Brest attracts all travelers by no means: a famous Brest Fortress is located 20 minutes walk from the railway station. On the square of 4 km2 there is a memorial complex consisting of several parts: the Citadel, 5 defensive gates (remaining from the original 8), the central square, the park and much more.
As in Paris people flock to the Eiffel Tower, so in the Fortress all invariably begin their journey from the monument "Thirst". As a result of defensive operations on the territory of the current complex, about 2,000 people died and everything ended with the capture of the Fortress by soldiers of the Third Reich, but there is one important note: the Nazis were going to seize the Fortress for several hours and attacked on June 22 at 4 am. Meanwhile, the sport lasted 32 days with an unequal number of combatants.
There are still legends about the defense of the Fortress: it is said that the river flowing through the memorial acquired a red color from the blood of soldiers dying in it and still has not regained its natural color. There are also several churches on the territory of the memorial, and if you approach the Eternal Flame, you will hear church chants. This is an amazing place and we want to tell you about it so much, but it's so scary to think about the horrors brought by that war.
5 points for helping science
A piece of the scientific world can be found in the small town of Ivatsevichi: here there are three of the 265 triangulation (measurement method in geodesy) points, which are dug into the ground two-meter cubes. This seemingly unremarkable cube is part of the Struve Arc, a project by the Russian scientist Struve, which was engaged in measuring the shape and size of the earth.
The Arc itself became the most important discovery in the world of cartography, astronomy, geography and geodesy: it is believed that Struve's measurements have such small errors that now it is his data in astronomy that modern scientists use. In total, there were 31 points on the territory of Belarus, only 19 of them have remained intact. Fans of science and investigations, do not pass by this tourist attraction!
5 points for rafting
The triumph of nature is reflected in this place as well as possible: in the Vitebsk region, an area of 71500 hectares occupies the chain of Braslav lakes, which became the basis for the current national park. On the shores of crystal clear waters there are ancient settlements and ritual monuments, local health centers are proud of the special purity of the air.
Botanists counted in the park about 500 species of flora, 20 species of them are rare for Belarus.
Scientific activities are conducted in the national park "Braslav Lakes", as well as work on nature conservation. The center of the National Park is the city of Braslav, where the leadership and the scientific base are located.
The national park has a rich and numerous composition of the animal world: 189 species of birds are found here, of which 45 species are rare and endangered.
Among the animals listed in the Red Book of Belarus, stand out: badger, lynx, brown bear, mute swan, gray-headed gull and dunlin.
+1 point from VETLIVA: there really is a large number of spas and recreation areas. Want to relax in the virgin nature and at the same time improve your health?
5 points for solving secrets
Mir Castle every year appears in all the tops of the most beautiful places of Europe and Belarus in particular. And it’s for the reason: this complex, consisting of a castle, a park area, a tomb, an entrance gate and hundreds of legends around it all, attracts more and more tourists, and the people of Belarus come here to discover new secrets of the castle.
The construction of the defensive building began in 1520 on the territory of the current Grodno region, and since then the Belarusian Gothic has kept the secrets of many generations of the nobility: the White Virgin, the magic head of a ram, a dead apple orchard and other myths still waiting to be confirmed. Are you ready to help us to uncover the centuries-old mystery of the Mir Castle?
5 points for ghosts
Along with the Mir Castle, the Nesvizh Castle has for many years been conquering the lists of the most interesting castles on the planet and the most beautiful attractions of Belarus and the Minsk region separately. The architect of this baroque masterpiece was none other than Giovanni Bernardoni, and the complex is famous not only for its mysterious castle with richly decorated halls, but also for its stunning parkland full of centuries-old trees and sculptures made of white marble.
The Radziwill family, who became the masters of the castle, left millions of secrets to future generations of historians and gold diggers: treasure tunnels, the secret of the real origin of the castle, the history of 12 golden apostles, the mysterious death of Barbara Radziwill and many still undiscovered mystics. You can always find out the necessary basic information from the locals and guides in the castle, but you will have to get to the truth yourself!
+1 point from VETLIVA: do you know that these castles are not the only secret places of the country? Learn more about the mystical centers of Belarus!
Gomel palace and park ensemble
5 points for rest
The Gomel palace and park ensemble adorns the city center from the 18th century and contains the history of many years: there is an ancient settlement, the Winter Garden with a viewing tower, the tomb of the Paskevich family and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. The compositional center of the ensemble is the palace built in the style of classicism, which embodied the spirit of the Catherine's era in artistic form.
The pearl of the complex is a park zone, spread out over the floodplain of the river Sozh on 34 hectares and seizing the attention of hundreds of thousands of tourists and residents of the city. For them, this place is special: on the Kiev descent of the Gomel park there is a bronze sculptural composition “Boatman” in the form of a man standing in a boat, next to which sits a lynx. This sculpture symbolizes the first Gomeler-man who sailed to these places. The park has about 5 thousand trees. Linden, acacia, birch, chestnut, ash, Norway maple, etc. mainly grows. In summer time, on the left side of Sozh, people relax on the beach, and in winter they arrange ice fishing and feed well-fed ducks.
5 points for the world and war
Another black spot on the map of Belarus was the village of Khatyn, burned in 1943 by the German fascist invaders. By order of the battalion commander, the police drove the entire population of Khatyn into a collective farm barn and locked them in. Those who tried to escape were killed on the spot. Among the villagers there were large families.
Barn was overlaid with straw, doused with gasoline and set on fire. The wooden shed quickly caught fire. Under the pressure of dozens of human bodies they could not stand it and the doors collapsed. In burning clothes, horrified, gasping, people rushed to run; but those who escaped from the flames were shot from machine guns and rifles. Shooting stopped only when the cries and groans subsided, and until the roof of the barn collapsed.
149 villagers burned in the fire, 75 of them are under 16 years old. In 1969, on the site where the village was located, a memorial complex was opened. Khatyn has become a symbol of mass destruction of civilians. The current Khatyn is a partial reconstruction of the village: black houses, snow-white land to match the dust and ashes and the bells of the central chapel.
5 points for the incredible photo
This palace is sometimes called the Belarusian Coliseum: the once grandiose and monumental building is now gradually being destroyed, but still looks majestic and powerful. The reason for the unusual broken lines interspersed with smooth transitions was the choice of the architectural style: baroque, turning into classicism. The palace complex was burned down in 1914, partially restored in 1930, in 1944 completely destroyed. Only remnants of the main buildings (main and eastern buildings), arcades, entrance arch and wings on its sides are preserved.
After the Great Patriotic War, the state of the Ruzhansky Palace for a long time remained depressingly deplorable. The palace was not restored. The remains of the palace walls were destroyed, partly dismantled by local residents into bricks for the restoration of farms in the postwar period.
However, in 2008, restoration work was resumed: the outbuildings and some statues were completed from scratch, a park was planted, and a museum of the Sapieha family was opened inside, in honor of Lev Sapega, Lithuanian chancellor and the first owner of the castle.
Church of the Holy Trinity
5 points for higher forces
The Church of the Holy Trinity is hidden in the small agro town of Gervyaty, which is in the Grodno region, but you cannot pass by this masterpiece of Catholic architecture: this is a typical example of neo-Gothic style.
The temple has three naves and a small transept, the naves are separated from each other by two rows of five columns each. The apse for the presbytery is missing. A characteristic element of the architecture of the temple are multi-stage buttresses, turning into arch-butane. The walls of the temple are cut by narrow lancet window openings in niches.
Majestic spiers pierce the sky, and the view of the temple inspires genuine delight and involuntary desire to quote a few lines from the “Notre-Dame de Paris” of Hugo.
+1 point from VETLIVA: do you know that this temple was included in the list of the most beautiful churches in Belarus? You cannot even imagine what beauty still awaits you here!
5 points for bypassing all the streets
Practically, the first attraction that foreigners are recommended to visit in Minsk is the Trinity Suburb, the historical district of the capital, the center of the cultural life of Minsk residents. Each building of this quarter has its own historical and architectural value, and together they form a continuous complex of the Old City.
The first Catholic church in Minsk was located on the territory of the suburb. Here were also the Holy Ascension Monastery with the church of the same name, the St. Boris and Gleb Church, the Basilian Convent of the Holy Trinity, and the Catholic Monastery of the Order of the Marianite, which has not survived to this day.
5 points for touching the walls
It is time to open the doors to the 13th century: the Kamenets tower in the Brest region will perfectly cope with the role of the time machine. This is the most well-preserved defensive tower of the Volyn type, a branch of the Brest Regional Museum, a Romanesque monument with early Gothic elements and a peculiar lighthouse for tourists. In the XIV century the tower withstood the attacks of the Crusaders, the storming of the troops of the Polish and Lithuanian princes. In the XVII century near the walls of Kamenets castle, merciless battles unfolded between the armies of the Commonwealth, Sweden and the Russian state.
The tower served as a warehouse and arsenal — in the lower, coldest tiers, they stored provisions, in the upper, near the battle ground, weapons and ammunition. Free space occupied by the fighters. The tower withstood many raids, but suffered not from warriors, but from marauders, who in the 18th century got into the habit of breaking bricks out of it. Inside the tower is now destroyed, but anyone can touch the centuries-old structure and feel the vibration of steel swords and hear the clash of armor.
Narochansky National Park
5 points for a rare animal photo
And back to the roots — to nature. Narochansky National Park is a reserve in the Republic of Belarus, covering the north-western part of the Minsk region, the western part of Vitebsk and the northern part of the Grodno region and covers an area of 97.3 thousand hectares. 40 lakes, virgin forests with rare species of animals, 900 species of higher plants, 30 of which are on the verge of extinction.
All this is in a place where the main role is given to Lake Naroch. This is the largest natural reservoir in Belarus. Tourists come here to not only enjoy the stunning views, but also to get acquainted with unusual living creatures: the white partridge, the gray crane, the osprey, the badger, the black-throated loon, the big bittern, the gogol, the trout, the chub, the minnow, charr, stickfish, whitefish a lot others.
There are also several architectural sights (including the Church of Our Lady Scapularia) and a large number of sanatoriums and recreation centers, whose guests do not even need complicated procedures: here all the work is done by nature and local beauty.
Museum of the history of the Great Patriotic War
5 points for researching relics
All the horrors of that war are beyond words, so they need to be seen to see for themselves: the main priority of humanity must be the preservation of peace on earth. The museum of the history of the Great Patriotic War in Minsk copes with the task of the largest repository of relics of that period: about 141,000 storage units are used to display the exposition, hold mass events, and study materials from the war period. So that is the most famous and interesting museum to visit in Minsk.
Several floors of incredible exhibitions await their viewers: planes under the ceilings, tanks in the middle of the usual hall, projections of fire in the aisles between the halls, whole rooms of concentration camps, and under the very dome of the building — a huge white and gold hall with memorial signs of war heroes.
+1 point from VETLIVA: is everyone already aware that Minsk is hosting guests at the European Games in 2019? It's time to learn the details and prepare for the new quest! And remember that you do not need to worry about accomodation: we have already collected offers for you that you cannot refuse!
Town hall in Mogilev
5 points for reconstruction assistance
The center of the city of Mogilev has become a classic town hall with its long history. In 1578, one year after the city received a diploma in Magdeburg Law, the construction of the town hall began in Mogilev. Initially, the town hall was wooden, therefore it was repeatedly burned to the ground, and its location changed. And in July 1957, it was completely blown up.
Talk about the restoration of the town hall was repeatedly raised, but only on May 23, 1992, the symbolic laying of the 1st stone at the old site of the future town hall and its consecration at a solemn prayer took place. In reality, the project and construction started only in 2007. In 2008, the grand opening of the city took place.
The Town Hall is a kind of lighthouse for tourists and local residents: concerts are held on the square next to it, fairs are opened, musicians play here and local talents organize shows.
The best sights of Belarus: where are other 20 points?
We know that you didn’t have exactly 100 points, but it’s not time to be sad! Just imagine: this is not even half and not a quarter of the attractions you can see in Belarus! Incredible library in Minsk, the monumental House of Soviets in Mogilev, the stunning railway station in Brest, hundreds of various recreation parks, museums of various types, historical centers: all this is located in the territory of a seemingly so small but so roomy Republic of Belarus!
Are you ready to complete the quest to find the most interesting places to visit in the country? The game continues! Put your likes, check our Blog, tell friends about us and go on adventures with VETLIVA!