In the center of Minsk, you can find many sights of Belarus with an interesting history. One of them is Alexander Square, located in front of the Palace of the Republic, near Independence Avenue, Marx, Engels and Krasnoarmeyskaya streets.
Minsk squares: the history of the Alexander Square
In 1836, there was a wasteland in the place of the well-known square. This area became a public space. In the late 60-es and early 70es, a boulevard had been transformed into a square. It is important to note that it was named in honor of Alexander Nevsky.
Mayor Leopold Delpats decided to build a public garden. Thanks to him, a modest alley was enclosed with a fence. In that time such streets as Marx, Engels, Yanka Kupala and Krasnoarmeyskaya appeared near the square. Spiritual consistory, bishop’s house and Intercession church were located near Alexander Square. A chapel of Alexander Nevsky was erected at the entrance to the alley in 1869.
The alley played an important role in the city – people came here to rest and relax after a hard day. It is not surprising, that over time its appearance has become better and more beautiful. Gradually, new flowerbeds, benches, and paths appeared.
In 1890, the Minsk city theater (today it is the National Theater named after Yanka Kupala) was built in the public garden. A bust of the writer appeared at the entrance later, in the middle of the XX century. However, it was moved to the native settlement of Kupala, the village Vyazynka.
The historical fate of the Alexander Square in Minsk
After the Second World War, in 1955, one side of the public garden was enclosed with a granite wall, the other side – with a solid metal fence. Columns, updated benches, granite vases appeared, the number of entries was increased, new flowerbeds and lawns were added.
During the Great Patriotic War, Isai Kazinets, the leader of the Minsk Underground City Committee, was hanged not far from the square; there was erected a memorial monument.
The sight of the Alexander Square: the fountain "The Boy with a Swan"
Alexandrovsky Square is also called “Panikovka”. It is linked with a fountain “A boy with a swan” which is associated with a character from the famous book “The Golden Calf”, written by Panikovsky.
The construction of the fountain was caused by a city water supply system in 1874. Thus, it is one of the oldest fountains functioning in our country. It was designed by Theodor Kalide
It is important to note that in the world there are many reproductions of “A boy with a swan”: in Berlin, Wroclaw, several of these statues were acquired by Prince Albert and Queen Victoria during the 1850s for the gardens at Osborne House. The idea appeared in the 30s of the XIX century, in 1851, Kalide was awarded in London.
Initially, the fountain was decorated with funny frogs and fish swam in the water. However, during the First and Second World Wars, the monument was damaged and could even be destroyed (in its place, it was planned to put a monument to the fighters for the revolution). Its reconstruction and restoration were carried out by Zair Azgur, a Belarusian sculptor.
Minsk sightseeing tours with a visit to the Alexander Square
Alexandrovsky Square is one of the most interesting sights of Minsk, in many respects thanks to the original fountain and sculptures installed in it. With Minsk sightseeing tours from VETLIVA you will not only visit the famous square of Minsk, but also get the opportunity to capture one of the oldest fountains of the capital of Belarus.