Early 20th century dwelling houses in the district Grushevka in Minsk

Minsk

Architecture, Industrial buildings

Contemporary Grushevka is a district of contrasts. Certainly, it couldn’t avoid high new buildings, modern trading platforms and other attributes of the XXI century as any other part of Minsk. However, you can still meet original wooden and stone buildings of the previous decades and even centuries only here and perhaps, in several other places of the capital.

Beginning of the history

The area of Grushevskaya Street, as well as, Khmelevsky, Shchors, Dekabrists, Razinskaya and near lanes in the XIX century was the outskirts of the city, constructed for the housing of railroad workers. Right at that time Libavo-Romensk and Moscow-Brest roads came to be actively used. It is noteworthy, that it was quite a respectable district initially. Stone paving, founded beneath the modern asphalt roads, which at that time had been used for affluent area facilitation is a proof of it.

The houses and structures, dated to the early XX century, which preserved until today, and practically didn’t change its appearance for these years are of great interest. Wooden housing is the predominating architectural decision here. Especially there are a lot of them on Dekabrists, Shchors and Papanin Streets. Broken-backed wooden structures, one or two-storey shops of Soviet type, old sheds located near huts and built on the place of the dilapidated houses – all of it draws tourists attention as something original and unique in the quickly developing modern city with furious pace of life.

There is an old air-raid shelter miraculously preserved in wartime near modern dwelling houses. Though, the Germans themselves were the initiators of its construction according to some sources.

A small slightly known lane of Phabritsius, once leading to the city centre, has its own history too. There were even tram lines here, as well as quite a large for that time Surazhsky market.

Grushevka has a kind of its historical landmark – one of the oldest preserved fountains of the Soviet period, which was laid in the 50s of the last century already. Certainly, it was on several renewals and renovations over time and it is not a replica of the original now, but it is due to the local residents’ efforts, that a decision to preserve it in one of the district yard was made.

Grushevka today

Luckily, almost all of the old houses are preserved. Fighters for this are the local resident, who came here in the majority in the second half of the XX century already, and who don’t want to lose such a home and cosy atmosphere. Some of the houses stand empty, some of them are redesigned under culture and art needs. For example, a small house on Shchors Street is outstanding, where the House of Culture “La Mopa” functions today. Progressive youth likes to gather here, arranging alternative exhibitions and literary meetings.

For some time a local park was popular, which today represents a deserted and overgrown area. Probably, the second life will be gifted to it in future.

Excursions along the streets of Grushevka are not held as such, but proximity to the centre allows any willing to drown into unrepeatable atmosphere of the Soviet epoch. 

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