The Museum of Ancient Belarusian Culture
The Museum of Ancient Belarusian Culture is without any exaggeration the most significant museum complex, founded in 1977. On the first day of its work one could see an impressive set of exhibits collected by employees of the Institute of Arts, Ethnography and Folklore during the expeditions. And in 2001, the Museum of Ancient Culture is declared a national scientific domain, because it is not just a place to store vintage items, but it is also an important research center. Extensive researches are being carried out here, dissertations and theses are painstakingly being written, and visitors are not only scientists, cultural experts and travelers, but also pupils, students, who came to Minsk fr om different cities of the Republic.
Why the Museum of Ancient Belarusian Culture is so interesting and amazing? The museum collection includes more than 30 000 exhibits that make up the 14 thematic collections, 3 exhibition halls and large fund storage.
You can look at the instruments of labor, jewelry, household items found during excavations of ancient type sites in the archaeological collection. The ancient Slavic collection includes handicraft products, household utensils, weapons and military uniforms of the 13th-17th century, as well as the Scandinavian runic texts. More adept articles such as Brest painted chests, wind and stringed instruments; you can find at the ethnographic collection of 19th-20th centuries.
In different periods of history there was a complex religious situation in Belarus that was clearly reflected in the iconography. The collection includes a set of works of Belarusian icons and altar paintings in different styles: exemplary Classicism, freaky Baroque and luxury Renaissance. Of particular interest are the following works: "Mother of God Hodegetria", "Adoration of the Magi", "Saint Nicholas", "Mother of God of the Scapular". These icons at different times and in different cities were considered to be miraculous, genuine works of art.
One of the most colorful exhibits of the museum is the complete collection of folk fabrics, wh ere you can admire the traditional Belarusian clothing, tablecloths, Slutsk belts. Pottery and polychrome tiles, amazing in their quality and forms, are stored in a separate hall of the Museum of Ancient Culture. The majority of ceramic exhibits were created by folk artists from Ivenets and Rakaw, but in the collection you will see samples of dishes from different pottery centers of Belarus: Gorodok, Ganevich, Mir as well.
You can admire the masterpieces of arts and crafts in one of the halls of the museum: straw and wooden figurines, a collection of “vytynanok” (cutting things of paper, e.g. snowflakes), toys, knitted and lace charms. A special place in this collection take things collected in the 1991-1999 in places of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
The collection of sculptures, including wood carving of the 16th-19th centuries is also striking. You can look at the most ancient sculptures of the 16th century: "The Apostle John," "Mother of God", "Paul Sapieha" tombstone, which depicts Golshanskiy magnate Paul Stefan Sapieha, surrounded by his three beautiful dead wives.After visiting the Museum of Ancient Culture in Minsk, you'll discover a wonderful world full of historical mysteries! Admission is free, but we recommend you to use the services of a guide to learn more interesting facts about the history of ancient Belarus.