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Best attractions in Belarus: Top 15

Belarusian sights are a tidbit for those who collect vivid impressions. The originality of this country lies in the peculiarity of national traditions and rich culture. Travelling to Belarus will give you many fascinating acquaintances with historical and cultural monuments.

What to see first of all in Belarus

For your trip to bring only positive emotions it makes sense to plan the route beforehand, and guides in Belorussia will help you to find your way around. Please note that some of the monuments of nature and architecture are located in one city or in neighboring settlements - it will allow you to see as much interesting things as possible in one visit.

1. Brest

Holm Gate of Brest Fortress

If you’re thinking about what to see in Belarus, the legendary city of Brest should be your first choice. It is a quiet and tranquil city that is lost in the southwestern part of the country. The cultural life of Brest is rich and its economy is developing dynamically.

A geographical peculiarity is the fact that Brest stands at the confluence of the Western Bug and Mukhavets. Historians have established that the first mention of the city dates back to 1019. It was then that a new species of elm - birch bark, which gave its name to the city, was spread in Russia.

Brest has a heroic history. Invasions of enemies and raids of nomads many times destroyed the architecture of the city. Nowadays, a great interest for tourists is the Brest Fortress, which witnessed the heroic battles during the Great Patriotic War. The feat of the people here is engraved in stone.

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2. Nesvizh Castle (Nesvizh)

Nesvizh Palace and Park Complex

The town of Nesvizh is nestled almost next to Minsk. It’s a small provincial town that was once a major principality of Lithuania. Nesvizh Castle is a reflection of the luxury of the Lithuanian nobility. It is large, ambitious and very strict. The architectural structure was built in the sixteenth century.

Originally the project was built of wood. Later the building was many times modernized. In the facing of its facade, as well as in the arrangement of interior partitions had been used stone. The palace complex is decorated in a restrained style. Yellow-brown facades contrast with the terracotta roof. The rounded lattice windows are a direct reference to the style of the old times, when every window had to be secured against unwanted intrusion.

The castle was planned as a fortification structure. Its architecture is subordinated to the idea of protection. For example, it is known that ancient architects strengthened the earth ramparts with a brick wall 4 m high. Deep ditches were dug around the castle, which were filled with water from the local river Osh. In the 16th century, it was possible to get into some fortification structure only by the collapsible bridge. Several more secret passages were arranged in this castle.

As a defensive structure, the castle was quite justified, as it was defended by 30 guns. Those tourists who are solving the question of what to see in Belarus, should definitely get acquainted with this castle and its main attraction - the Golden Hall.

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3. Mir Castle (Mir)

Mir Castle from the side of Mir lake

In the Grodno region there is an amazing architectural structure - the Mir Castle. From the outside it looks like a birthday cake. The cream-brown tones in the facades and the pointed towers make it look festive and smart. And in fact, it is a powerful fortification. The towers of the castle are 25 meters high. Mir Castle has everything for those tourists who are thinking about what to see in Belarus.

Interestingly, the underground part of the castle greatly exceeds its above-ground component. The underground has an extensive system of passages, in which it is easy to get lost without a guide. Directors of adventure films often use the castle as a background for their films.

For tourists the castle is also interesting because, according to legend, it is haunted. Who knows, maybe it is true. Excursion group is necessarily told that at night in the dungeon you can hear the clanking of weapons and groans. The inner courtyard of the castle is lined with large paving stones, which further enhances the impression of an ancient structure.

As for the functions of the fortification, they were reinforced by water protection. The castle now has access roads to make it more convenient for travelers to view it.

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4. Church of St. Simeon and St. Helen (Minsk)

Red Church of Saints Simeon and Helen

The Church of Saints Simeon and Helen in Minsk was built of red brick. It is visible from various points of the city, as the building is quite high. An amazing feature of this monument is that it fills everyone who visits it with kindness and bright thoughts. The church was built at the beginning of the last century.

It has preserved its original architecture, although Minsk was ravaged many times during the war. The church is dedicated to the dead children of the Minsk nobleman Voynilovich. In 1910, the temple was consecrated. It has a second name by the color of the stone - the Red Church.

Voynilovich was a prominent political figure in Belarus in the early 20th century. The church was named after the saints who were the patrons of his children.

The Soviet regime caused the destruction of many historical sites in Belarus. This church was not an exception. However, the authorities are careful with the culture of the country, so the church at different times was restored. The remains of Edvard Voynilovich were reburied there in 2006.

5. St. Sophia Cathedral (Polotsk)

Orthodox shrine Saint Sophia Cathedral in Polotsk

Looking for something to see in Belarus? St. Sophia Cathedral in Polotsk should not be left without your attention. The Christian shrine, erected in the eleventh century, originally served as a fortification structure. The state power had its landmark symbols at all times. In the 11th century such a symbol was the St. Sophia Cathedral. It was on the territory of this cathedral that ambassadors from other states were received.

There were stored religious shrines. Since the 11th century the cathedral had been rebuilt or reconstructed many times. But the global change of its architectural shape has undergone in 18 century. The cathedral was blown up in order to build an even more magnificent structure in its place. Nevertheless, the elements of 11th century architecture in the new structure have been preserved to this day. For example, here you can see the remains of ancient frescoes.

The cathedral is a masterpiece of architectural sights of Belarus. The decoration and geometry of the location of the towers is such that visitors experience a real aesthetic shock. The optical perspective creates the impression of a lacy outline of the towers resembling a crown.

The architectural style in which the cathedral is executed meets the Baroque criteria. Among the many relief compositions the most famous is the “Trinity of the New Testament”. The style of its execution is rococo. Visiting the sights of Belarus, tourists invariably admire the St. Sophia Cathedral.

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See the beautiful places of Belarus in this wonderful video!

6. Khatyn

Bronze sculpture "The Unrepentant" in Khatyn

The Khatyn memorial complex is an iconic symbol of the hot pain of the Belarusian people. Khatyn itself is not on any map of Belarus. The tragedy of a small village scorched by the Nazis is immortalized in the memorial complex. The events of the war are depicted here in harsh and expressive architectural solutions. The memorial complex is designed in black and gray colors, which increases the sense of grief.

The village was completely destroyed in 1943 on March 22. Of all the inhabitants only 3 people survived. Many architects applied for the right to capture the tragedy of Khatyn in stone, so a professional competition was held among them in the sixties in Belarus. Architects Gradov, Levin and Zenkovich, as well as sculptor Selikhanov received the right to work on the project.

The means of representation used are the most concise and realistic. The monument is very emotional, which is provided by the sound accompaniment and a special architectural plasticity. I. Kaminsky, the rescued blacksmith, is carrying his dead son in his arms to the sounds of the bell. There are no architectural excesses here. But the grief of the people-sufferer is conveyed extremely deeply.

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7. Bobruisk Fortress (Bobruisk)

An old map of Bobruisk Fortress

Bobruisk fortress was built at the command of the emperor Alexander 1. The author of the project was K. Opperman, who had the title of count. The count’s professional baggage by that time already had several similar works, as he was a fortification engineer by profession. The beginning of the work is considered June 4, 1810. The citadel in Bobruisk had the first class of fortifications.

In total the fortress occupied the territory of 120 hectares. The defense was provided by the earth ramparts of 10 meters high, and the fortress was also surrounded by water. To defend the fortress, 300 guns of different calibers were placed. The amount of ammunition was brought for about a year. It was Bobruisk fortress in 1812 that first took the blow of Napoleon’s army.

The works were completed only in 1855, when Bobruisk fortress became really fortified. Moreover, by that time the style of classicism was fully implemented in it. Among the attractions of Belarus, Bobruisk Fortress holds a special place. It is a whole city with its cultural and social infrastructure. On the territory of the fortress there was even a paved Botanical Garden and the Cathedral Alexander Nevsky. Since 2002, the fortress is in the state list of cultural values in Belarus.

8. The Berezina Biosphere Reserve (Vitebsk)

Quiet corner of the Berezinskiy Reserve

If you have not yet decided what to visit in Belarus, be sure to pay attention to the Berezinsky biosphere reserve. Excellent conditions for ecotourism and professional hunting are created here. Besides the fruitful nature of the Berezinsk reserve is a guarantee of a good rest with small children.

Many recreation options are offered for guests here: from an introductory excursion to complex ecological tours. Several guest houses are equipped with civilized amenities.

In 1983 an international seminar on biosphere reserves was held here, which was attended by representatives of 50 states. As for the historical significance of the reserve, tourists will be interested to know that the medieval route “from the Varangians to the Greeks” passed through its territory.

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9. Cathedral Church of St. Francis Xavier (Grodno)

Sights of Belarus - St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral Church St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral Church from the side of the square

The sights of Belarus leave an indelible impression on anyone who gets to know them intimately. The Church of St. Francis Xavier has become a remarkable monument of 17th-century architecture. It was once considered the most magnificent in Poland. In the seventeenth century the church occupied an entire residential block. The interior decoration of the church was pretentiously expensive, as Catholics tended to expensive decorations in architecture.

The interiors of the church were decorated with expensive decorations, mosaics, and paintings. As for the fresco paintings, the church is full of a wide variety of compositions of them. The fresco painting flows smoothly from wall to wall inside the church. At the same time, the authors of the project tried to stick to some specific story compositions in the paintings.

The church looks smart and festive. The facades are decorated with white soft plaster. The highlight of the church are the pointed towers of emerald-green color. Under them, there are the oldest European tower clocks. They are still running, even though they were designed back in the 15th century.

10. Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Summer Day in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

When deciding what to visit in Belarus, you cannot forget about Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This is a nature conservation site that was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992. The natural complex is located on the territory of Brest and Grodno regions. There are extremely many species of animals, and many of them are in the Red Book of Belarus. It is believed that the Belarusian bison is the master of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

It is the bison that tourists from all over the world come to see. Unique flora and fauna are kept here in pristine freshness and strength. The environmental situation in the reserve is impeccable. The national park is maintained by specialists whose main task is to maintain both the rich vegetation and fauna at the proper level.

One of the iconic sites of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is the Museum of Nature where one can learn about literally every blade of grass growing there. In addition, the halls of the Museum have realistic stuffed animals of all animals inhabiting the territory of the reserve.

Not far from the museum there are open-air cages with animals. Some of them originally lived here, while some species were brought here and acclimatized in the course of time. In addition, it is in Belovezhskaya Pushcha where the estate of Belarusian Santa Claus is located. All children in Belarus dream to visit this place, and it can be done all year round.

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Belarusian sights: what else to visit, being in Belarus

In fact, there are many more places that can interest travelers, so if the popular excursions in Belarus do not suit you, there is always an opportunity to find an alternative. The main thing - do not forget that time in the country is not infinite, so choose the attractions that impressed you most.

11. Lake Svityaz (Valevka, Grodno region)

Panoramic view of Lake Svityaz

Lake Svityaz is rightfully considered one of the attractions of Belarus. It is located on the Novogrudskaya hill and has amazingly beautiful panoramic views. The crystal clear water of the lake is surrounded by green velvet of sloping shores. For those who like active rest, the trip around the lake will be really fascinating.

Only here you can see century-old giant oaks. And only here you can see through many meters deep sandy bottom, so clean is the water. The lake is unique: it has a lot of alkaline compounds, so the water is endowed with a special softness.

Of course, such a beautiful place should be surrounded by many legends. One of them tells about the mass death of the townspeople in protest against enslavement. The townspeople decided to die all together to avoid the conquerors. The city, according to the legend, fell into an abyss.

However, soon the souls of the dead townspeople were revived by the flowers that sprouted wildly on the shores of the lake. Locals believe that in clear weather in the middle of the lake you can see the cobblestone sidewalk of the city that once was on this spot.

12. Rumyantsev-Paskevich Palace (Gomel)

The entrance part of the Palace of the Rumyantsevs-Paskevichi

The palace of General Field Marshal Rumyantsev was built in the 19th century. The best Russian architects of that time worked on the project: Blank, Mostsepanov, Alekseev. The palace’s main advantage is the splendid panoramic views from its luxurious terraces. The fact is that the palace is located on a beautiful hill on the bank of the local river Sozh.

Being the property of a general-field marshal, the palace was an ordinary dwelling that was characterized by pretentiousness in decoration and peculiar luxury. In addition, the palace was surrounded by a park ensemble, where rare plants were gathered in amazing compositions.

Unfortunately, the palace was looted during the war. Later, however, the individual pieces preserved here were returned. Currently, the palace complex is a modern museum. There are a lot of old printed books belonging to the Paskevich family.

In addition, there are many rare archaeological finds and coin collections in the museum’s archives. Answering the question of what sights to visit in Belarus, the locals immediately name the Palace of the Rumyantsevs-Paskeviches.

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13. Lida Castle (Lida)

Lida Castle on the lake shore

The Lida Castle complements the sights of Belarus with its interesting history and special features. The castle was built in 1323 by order of Prince Gedimin. It is a regular fortification construction of that time. Its functional purpose originally was to protect its owners from enemies.

Natural rock and bricks were used in the construction works. The castle has a shape of a quadrangle, disproportionately elongated to one side. The two corner towers allowed a view of the surrounding area. The two-meter moat served as another means of protection against crusaders.

In the 18th century the fortification was reinforced and an artificial lake was built in front of it. On the territory of the castle there is an Orthodox church and many social facilities. There are also living quarters, they are located on the upper levels of the two corner towers. The history of the castle has a lot of attacks. At different times it was besieged by Crimean Tatars, crusaders and Swedes.

The castle was damaged in 1891, when a fire almost completely destroyed Lida. The city authorities began to sell the castle buildings to somehow support the residents. However, the castle was later partially restored.

14. Naroch National Park (Naroch)

Golden Autumn in Narochansky Park

The sights of Belarus connected with the ecological tourism include the resort settlement Naroch. Here all conditions are provided for lovers of horse riding, fishing and hunting. Lake Naroch attracts by its beautiful landscapes and perfect ecology. Rest here is a real pleasure for those who appreciate the beauty of nature.

There are a lot of historical monuments near the lake. For example, tourists are interested in parking lots of ancient people. Nearby there is also no less beautiful lake Mastro, famous for the fact that in its center there is a fortification of the 11th century. On the shore of the lake Myastro stands the Church of the Most Holy Virgin Mary.

The fertile Belarusian nature is interesting for those who like active rest and appreciate the primeval freshness of the dense forests and clear lakes. Tourist routes passing through the Belarusian Lakeland are attractive for the tourists because they are accompanied by the organized excursions. Professional guides will tell about the peculiarities of the Narochansky National Park and about the variety of historical monuments in this area.

15. The historical complex “Stalin line” (Loshany, Minsk region)

Exposition of the complex "Stalin line"

What to visit in Belarus? First of all, the “Stalin Line” is an open-air museum. The complex was built on the basis of restored fortifications. Its grand opening took place in 2005, it was timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Victory. The initiative to create the historical and cultural complex was approved by Alexander Lukashenko.

The authors of the idea recreated trenches, machine-gun bunkers and command and observation points as realistically as possible. The engineering equipment was recreated according to the real pre-war drawings. In the exposition you can see trenches, trenches, anti-tank trenches. There are also dugouts for the soldiers, and the pillboxes made of wire, metal or wood.

In addition, an open-air museum displays military equipment of World War II period, as well as one of the monuments to Joseph Stalin. History shows that none of the fortifications has played its role to the end. Nevertheless, they had some kind of fortifying function. “The Stalin Line is the unfading memory of the Belarusians of the war victims. It is one of the most visited complexes on the territory of the republic. Next to Belarus is a small but very beautiful country - Lithuania. When traveling in Belarus, think about visiting this country as well. Read about sights of Lithuania and be inspired for your further travels in Eastern Europe!

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