The Museum of Yakub Kolas in the city of Minsk
Yakub Kolas (the real name is Konstantin Mikhailovich Mitskevich) was a writer, a social activist and a humanist. The last years of his life Konstantin lived in the house on 5 Academic Street, located in the city of Minsk. When the writer was living there, the house was the city’s spiritual center, it brought together renowned critics, artists, writers, actors. There was always an atmosphere of friendliness and creativity, current issues of art were discussed, important matters were solved, works were taken out for criticism, and new literary works were read. In 1959 a museum to the Belarusian figure opened in this house.
The museum is a united composition, which includes not only the house where the writer lived and worked, but the area around it as well. The trees, which once were planted by Kolas, still grow on this territory.
Today the museum's collection includes more than 30 thousand pieces of the exhibits.
On the ground floor we can get acquainted with the poet’s life and work, his literary and scientific activity. It is important to say that all the exhibits retained their original appearance.
On the second floor of the house there is a bedroom, a living room, a dining room, a study as well as in the writer’s lifetime. Getting into this atmosphere, you can easily imagine what life of Yakub Kolas was like, where he was sitting and thought about, creating masterpieces of Belarusian literature.
Now in his private office things lay exactly as they were in the writer's life. For more than 50 years once unfinished letter has still been lying at his desk. 13 August, 1956, when he was overtaken by a heart attack, Kolas hadn’t have time to finish it – death came to him too suddenly.
Yakub Kolas is known outside the bounds of Belarus as the author of such famous works as "New Land" and "Symon the Musician". These poems are rightly considered to be the masterpieces of Belarusian literature for many decades.
Yakub Kolas has made an invaluable contribution in the Belarusian culture and literature, he introduced Belarusian books for other people. The author’s works have been translated now into different languages of the world.
Since 1972, every two years a prestigious literary prize named after Yakub Kolas is awarded for the achievements in Belarusian literature, prose and poetry. Streets in cities and towns are named after the writer, monuments and plaques are set up.
The museum’s workers hold lectures, classes, excusions, quizzes and competitions. It has become traditional for pupils and students to visit the museum. Not only the general excursions, acquainting with the writer’s life and work are held for them. The museum’s staff form small individual topics related to the writer's life and give lectures on them with demonstrations of visual material.
It has become traditional to hold literary and music festival "Kolasoviny" by the poet’s birthday.
People of all ages can visit the museum. They will get acquainted with the writer’s life and work, learn interesting facts from the biography. Plunge into the preserved atmosphere of Yakub Kolas’s life is a huge honour for foreign tourists who are interested in the history of literature in Belarus.