The Republican Landscape Reserve "Svityazansky"
All Belarusians know the phrase "blue-eyed Belarus". And, of course, all Belarusians know that our country is called so due to the large number of swamps and lakes, which are located in the territory of our country. One of such lakes is located in the Grodno region between the Novogrudok and Korelichi districts. This lake is Svityaz, which is a beautiful picturesque center of the Republican Landscape Reserve "Svityazansky".
The history of the reserve dates back to 1970, the year when Lake Svityaz and surrounding area was recognized as the State Landscape Reserve "Svityazansky". This was done with the aim of preserving the unique for our country nature around the lake. There you can find 14 species of plants and 6 species of animals that are included in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus. Do you know that, walking along the banks of the lake Svityaz and the surrounding ring of forest, you can see up to 515 species of plants and meet about 144 members of fauna? It is just as many species of flora and fauna that can be found in this unique place. And besides, scientists have discovered some species of flora and fauna that are not typical not only for the nature of our country, but also for the surrounding areas.
Geographically, the reserve is located on the southern slopes of the Novogrudok hills which began to be formed about 200 thousand years ago, during one of the glacial periods. On account of this Lake Svityaz has got its interesting shape — it is almost a perfect circle which is bordered by hills that are about 10-15 meters high. The maximum height that can be observed in the vicinity of the lake is 262 meters. The lake has not got any tributaries; that also brings some mystery about its origin.
Do you know that there is a legend about the origin of the lake Svityaz? Our compatriot Adam Mickiewicz told it in his ballad "Svityaz". It says that in the place where now the lake Svityaz is located there originally was a homonymous town. It was in the XIII century, when the Grand Duchy of Lithuania governed by the first great prince Mindovg was formed. All the warriors of the town under the lead of Prince Turan came to defense Novogrudok from the army of the Russian princes. And the town Svityaz was attacked by enemies. Old men and women that remained in the town could not defense the town and set it on fire. Due to some reasons the town sank into the earth, and on its site there appeared a lake, around which beautiful flowers began to grow. It is believed that the flowers represented the dead townsmen, and, according to the legend, enemies who touched them died.
The Republican Reserve "Svityazansky" offers its guests the possibility to gather wild berries, pick up mushrooms and plants. While hiking in the forests you can see one of the monuments of nature. This is an oak-tee which is more than 300 years. And there are also ancient burial mounds that are recognized as archaeological monuments. For fishing enthusiasts rich waters of the lake are provided. Besides, everyone can spend time on the beaches of the lake and use floating crafts in the lake.