Independence Square in Minsk

Independence Square in Minsk

Everyone knows that the central part of Minsk is recognized as Independence Square. Many people know that it is considered to be the largest city square. Do you know that until 1991 it was called "Lenin Square"? You will be interested to know that the beginning of its construction is considered to be 1933. The project was designed by the architect I. G. Langbard. It was assumed that this place would be a social center, and would kick start to the formation of a new architectural appearance of the city. At the time when the country was involved in military actions, the red army soldiers set forth from Independence Square to the front. In peacetime meetings and parades has been held there.

Independence square was repeatedly altered adjusting to the growing city. In those days, until the end of the 1950-s, in its territory there were located a park and stone buildings. In 1963-1964 in order to increase around the surrounding area buildings of the old housing development were demolished. The trajectory of road transport movement has also repeatedly changed. Today the architectural appearance of Independence Square presents one complex of retail and entertainment and historical and cultural buildings with excellent infrastructure.

In the territory of the square the Government House of the Republic of Belarus was built. It was designed in the style of constructivism by well-known I. H. Langbard and is the largest public building. The process of its construction lasted from 1930 to 1935.

Upon the constructive initiative of I. G. Langbard, a monument to V. I. Lenin was installed in 1933. It was made by the sculptor M. Manizer. This structure was erected in honor of Lenin's speech to the red army soldiers who went to the Soviet-Polish War in May 1920. In July 1941, when Minsk was captured by German troops, the monument was destroyed. It was recreated in 1945 according to preserved models. At the same time the official installation of the monument on its former site was held in coincidence with the celebration of the 1stof May.

Another famous structure among the buildings in the square is the building of the Minsk City Executive Committee. This five-storey building in the shape of a rectangle was constructed between 1963 and 1964. The architects were S. S. Musinsky and G. V. Sysoev.

The most famous Catholic church building in Minsk — the Church of St Simon and Helena or the Red Church, also constructed in Independence Square. It was designed in neo-Roman style, made of red brick. The construction of the church was started in 1905. The building was built under the leadership of the nobleman Edward Voinilovich. In September 1910 the church was consecrated by the Archbishop Klyuchinsky. In 1932 the current government stopped religious activities of the church and all valuables were expropriated. Only in 1990, when the attitude of the government to religion changed, the temple was returned to the Catholic believers. In 1996 near the church there was built a sculpture depicting Archangel Michael piercing the serpent. Not so long ago, in 2000, the memorial monument "the Bell of Nagasaki" was installed there.

Besides, in the territory of the square there are located underground exits, namely, of the station "Lenin Square", the main post office, the hotel "Minsk". In the underground part that has recently been extended there was opened a new shopping center "Stolitsa" that has three floors and a four-storey parking.