Cities of Belarus

Belarus is divided into 6 regions. The city of Minsk is the capital of Belarus. Other administrative cities are Gomel, Grodno, Vitebsk, Brest, and Mogilyov. They are large industrial and cultural cities with their own history, traditions and numerous monuments.

MINSK

Minsk’s first mention in the "Chronicles" is related to the historic battle on the Nemiga river March 3rd, 1067. Not every city in the world has such a precise date recorded in the historical document!

Today Minsk looks young, but this is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Originated as a fortress of the Polotsk principality, Minsk then became the center of a new state - the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1793 Minsk became a part of the Russian Empire, in 1796 - the center of Minsk province. In 1918 the city became the capital of the Belarusian National Republic.

More than 80 percent of the buildings were destroyed in Minsk during the Great Patriotic War. Architects considered finding a new location for the capital , leaving the ruins as a reminder of cruelty of fascism. Having lost many historic buildings, the city has survived with a new recognizable face. Today Minsk is the capital of the Republic of Belarus, its political, economic and cultural center, one of the most beautiful cities in the country. The city fascinates at first sight with an abundance of greenery and unusually large number of city parks and gardens. Minsk is one of the greenest cities in Europe.

The central part of the city's main highway is the Independence Avenue, built in the style of "Stalin Empire". Its architectural elements perfectly fit the nature environment. Numerous outdoor cafes, shops, including the largest department store downtown - GUM are concentrated at this side of the main street. The Trinity Suburb is situated in one of the city-lovingly resurrected corner of the old Minsk, at the bend of the Svisloch river, attracting tourists and residents with its calm and chick atmosphere of the early 19th century. The development of this district, according to archaeological research, began in the 12th century. In the early 19th century Holy Trinity Church appeared at this place and gave the name of the suburb. There are many museums, galleries, shops, cafes and souvenir shops in the old quarters. Cozy Trinity Suburb is one of the recognizable symbols of the city. Numerous sculptures can be added to the decorations of the city too. The oldest of them and the favorite is «The boy with a swan», more than one hundred and thirty years old. The sculpture is located in Alexander park, which was opened in 1872 and named in honor of orthodox Chapel of Alexander Nevsky, standing at this place. The fountain with the sculpture of the Italian master Lorenzo Bernini in the center of the square appeared there in 1874. According to historians, it was built in honor of the opening of water supply in the city.

Loshitskiy Park is another cozy place of old Minsk. The manor house, surrounded by century-old linden trees, remembers a lot of myths and legends. Romantic park attracts lovers and followers of a healthy lifestyle. Spectacular knightly festivals and folk festivals are carried out on its territory.

There is a modern amusement park, "DREAMLAND" in Minsk, equipped with rides for children and adults, and entertainment center «The planet of the Dinosaurs» in the building of the capital railway station. The oldest park in the city - Gorky Park - has a planetarium, there are numerous rides, including the 56-meters observation wheel, summer stage, indoor ice skating rink with artificial ice. There are 20 museums, including the National Museum of History and Culture, National Museum of Art, Museum of Ancient Culture and many others in the capital of the Republic of Belarus.

Gomel

Gomel is one of the most ancient cities of Belarus. It was first mentioned as “Gomiy” in Hypation Chronicle in 1142. This mention is connected with the fight for the duchy throne in Kiev. Palace and park complex of Rumyantsevyh-Paskevichey is magnificent and the most interesting monument, which is always shown to tourists. There is exposition of the museum in this palace. Shady trees of old park are whispering about great past of bygone epochs. Nowadays Gomel is the second largest city of the Republic. This is a social, political center with developed industry, science and culture. It is also very important transport vessel.
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Grodno

Grodno is an ancient city situated 280 kilometers away from Minsk. It is considered to be one of the most picturesque cities in Belarus. Farny Catholic Church, located in the center of the city, Bernardine Church in the Renaissance style, Church of Saints Boris and Gleb, New Castle, numerous museums are among the most important sights of Grodno. Walking Street Sovyetskaya with cozy cafes and stores is the favorite place for walks of city dwellers and guests of Grodno.

Vitebsk

Ancient Vitebsk is called the capital of music festival “Slavyanskiy Bazar” nowadays. Annual festival gathers thousands of fans of modern music and tourists from all over the world. The city attracts by its art traditions, connected with the names of Repin, Shagal, Kandinskiy, Pen and Malevich.

Brest

Legendary Brest is western gates of our country. It was first mentioned on the pages of Chronicles as Berestye in 1019. The fragment of wooden city of earliest centuries of its existence is conserved. It can be seen in the pavilion of the museum “Berestje”. Nature landscape gives the city special charm: big and small islands, braided with the sleeves of the merging rivers Western Buh and Muhavets. The most heroic pages of the city history are connected with the defense of Brestskaya fortress. Nowadays the Memorial complex is erected there.

Mogilyov

Mogilyov was founded in 1267. But the latest studies of archeologists showed that Mogilyov might have appeared two centuries earlier. The history of the city is very rich and full of exciting events. Catherine II, great poet Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin and the Decembrists visited Mogilyov. There was the rate of the last Russian tsar in the city. Konstantin Simonov described in his works the battle with the fascists at Buynichskoe field.

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