The 10 best places to visit in Belarus

 

In the far west of the country, near the town of Volkovysk close to the Polish border is the Volkovysk Chalk Pit, what the locals call the Belarusian Maldives. Quite frankly that's overselling it, though it is a pretty landscape in its own right. When the quarry fills with water, the white chalk creates a clarity that appears aqua marine like the waters off a paradise island. During the summer months the pits are filled with swimmers and bathers.

10. Volkovysk Chalk Pit

 

Completed in 1969 to the north east of the capital, Minsk, is the Mound Of Glory, a memorial complex honouring Soviet soldiers who fought during World War II in the liberation of Belarus. Standing on a mound surrounded by open country, this striking Soviet styled monument makes for an unusual and fantastic sight.

9. Mound Of Glory

 

North east from the capital, Minsk, in the city of Barysaw is the Borisov Orthodox Church, one of Belarus' most stand out structures. This large colourful building was built when Belarus was part of Soviet Russia, which is evident in the buildings design.

8. Borisov Church

 

In the far north east of the country close to the border with Russia is the city of Polotsk, one of the most ancient cities of the Eastern Slavs and said to be the oldest city in Belarus. With a 1,200 year history, it is famous for its number of cathedrals and monasteries that have survived from as far back as the 10th century. The cities most famous landmark is the St. Sophia Cathedral, dating from the 11th century it was named in reference to the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, modern day Istanbul, and remains one of Eastern Europe's oldest cathedrals. Inside are some original murals and works from Leonardo Da Vinci.

7. Polotsk

 

In the far south west of the country, straddling the border with Poland is the 1,500 square kilometre (579 square mile) Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, protecting Belarus' portion of the Białowieża Forest, one of the last and largest remaining parts of an immense primeval forest that once stretched across the plains of Europe. Home to Europe's heaviest land animal, the European Bison, the untouched nature of this huge historical woodland has earned it inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

6. Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park

 

In the extreme south west of the country on a little river island near the border with Poland are the ruins of the Brest Hero Fortress, today operating as a memorial complex. Along with what's left of the original star fortification there are also many large Soviet style statues and memorials, including the giant star entrance and the huge centre piece statue known as 'Courage'. Depicting the head of a soldier next to a hammer and sickle flag, it measures an enormous 30 metres (98 ft) high. Beside the monument stands a 90 metre (300 ft) titanium steel clad obelisk known as the Bayonet Obelisk.

 

Pictured is 'Courage'.

5. Brest Hero Fortress Memorial Complex

 

In the far north east of the country, close to the Russian border is the city of Viciebsk, also known as Vitebsk, the fourth largest city in Belarus. Home to a wealth of wonderful ancient buildings and churches, the city boasts the magnificent six pillared Annunciation Church, originally built in the 12th century, though unfortunately what stands today is only a reconstruction of its presumed original appearance.

 

Pictured is the Assumption Cathedral.

4. Vitebsk

 

First constructed around 1584 AD to the south west of the capital, Minsk, Nesvizh Castle has had many additions to it over the years with varying architectural styles. From 1921 to 1939 the complex fell within the borders of Poland where it was considered the finest castle in the country. Today within the borders of Belarus it is likewise considered one of the finest castles in that country. Its proximity to the capital has allowed it to become one of the most visited attractions in Belarus, thanks in part to the ornamental lakes and landscaped gardens that surround the palace. The estate, known as the Architectural, Residential and Cultural Complex of the Radziwill Family at Nesvizh is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3. Nesvizh Castle

 

South west of the capital, Minsk, in the town of Mir is the Mir Castle Complex, certainly one of the finest castles in Europe. As with the nearby Nesvizh Castle, Mir Castle belonged to Poland from 1921 to 1939 and just as with Nesvizh it too has become one of the gems of Belarus. Built in the 16th century in a Belarusian Gothic style, the later Renaissance and Baroque additions have only added to its aesthetic beauty. Regarded as an exceptional example of a central European castle design, the Mir Castle Complex has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2. Mir Castle Complex

 

In almost the exact centre of the country lies the city of Minsk, the capital and largest city in Belarus. Home to a number of historical churches, some of the most important include the giant Cathedral Of The Holy Spirit, the striking white Church Of All Saints and the Red Church on the cities central Independence Square. With more and more visitors heading to Eastern European capitals, Minsk is becoming a major tourist attraction, with visitors enjoying landmarks such as the Belarusian Great Patriotic War Museum and the Station Square Twin Towers.

 

Pictured is Independence Square.

1. Minsk

© 2019 Black Taxi Adventures

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Instagram