Minsk, the beautiful capital of Belarus, is an ancient city with a rich history, traditions, culture, and arts. It is situated in Eastern Europe, 340 km (213 miles) northeast of Warsaw and 120 km (75 miles) southeast of Vilnius. Minsk was almost completely destroyed in the second world war and was rebuilt during the Soviet time. Till 1991 it was the capital of the former Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, so Minsk has lots of nice Soviet-block style buildings. While Minsk is one of the least visited capitals of Europe, it has a lot to offer and it is incredibly inexpensive. From a thriving cultural scene with opera, ballet, theater and a circus to its charming old town, old churches, many museums and leafy parks. Check out our Top 9 Things To Do In Minsk.
Church of Saints Simon and Helena
This Catholic church (better known as «Red Church») was built in 1908-1910 by a noble Belarusian family upon the premature death of their two young children. The church with red-brick towers, spires, and pitched roofs became a symbol of inconsolable grief for those who died untimely. When the Bolsheviks came to power, the church became a cinema then a film studio. Only not long ago, in 1990, the church was given back its original status. Services here start at 7 p.m. Source: hotels-minsk
National Library of Belarus
National Library of Belarus is an architectural symbol, features a stunning form and an eye-catching led display that shines at night. It stands 74 meters (242 ft) tall with 23 floors and a capacity to store over 14 million books. On the top floor of the building, there is an open-air observation where you can get a great view of the city.
Victory Square is located in the center of Minsk at the intersection of Independence Avenue and the streets Zakharova. In the area of an installed granite obelisk 38 meters high, topped with a three-meter image of the Order of Victory. The monument has an eternal flame at its feet, which has been burning since 1954. Victory Square was originally a round shape. In 1984, in connection with the commissioning of the Minsk subway, it was redesigned and became oval.
National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Belarus
The National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus is located in a park in the Trinity Banlieu and began performances in 1933. The theater building is an example of the pre-war Soviet constructivism and has the status of an architectural monument of national importance. Nowadays there are more than 240 performances a year.
Island of Tears
A small, quiet and peaceful island in the middle of the city, with a tall, chapel-like symbolic monument, created to commemorate the Belorussian soldiers who died in the war the Soviet Union fought in Afghanistan. There is a small bridge separates it from the mainland. Situated in the middle of the park.
The area of Independence Square (before 1991, Lenin Square) is in the center of Minsk. The only building survived from the beginning is the Church of Saints Simon and Helena. Nowadays the square includes the House of Government, the Minsk Executive Committee, University and Belarusian State University, Belarusian State Pedagogical and huge central post office. There is a huge shopping center underground.
Belarusian State Circus
At the behest of Vladamir Lenin, Russia provided the means necessary to elevate the circus to a national art form, comparable to the opera and ballet. During the Soviet era, this playful performance art leaked into all the block countries, yet it flourished most in Belarus, where the Belarus State Circus building was opened in 1959, the first permanent circus facility in the USSR. Today, the Belarus State Circus is an award-winning, internationally recognized group which performs all over the world. It is also a place where international circus groups make guest appearances so that in Minsk, there is always something new to witness. Source: trekity
The Ferris Wheel in Gorky Park
Gorky Park is a beautiful public park, located near the Victory Square and the Yanka Kupala Park. Take onThe perfect place to experience great views of the city is on the ferris wheel.
Located on the banks of the Svislach River, the Trinity Hill is the oldest surviving district of Minsk with beautiful 19th-century houses and charming views of the city. It is a calm place to watch the sunset or take a pleasant stroll.
Just So You Know…
- Minsk has quite an impressive Metro, be sure to check it out.
- There are over a hundred big and small fountains. The oldest fountain in Minsk was opened in 1874, to mark the opening of the water supply system of artesian water.
- During the long history, Minsk was burned to the ground 18 times.
- There was a significant amount of Jewish people living in the city in the late 19th century. According to the 1897 Russian census, 47,561 out of 91,494 of the civilians were Jewish. Due to the Nazi occupation of the city in World War II, many Jewish people who were living in the city passed away.
Get Some Culture:
- Belarusian State Museum of the Great Patriotic War – One of the research centers about the Great Patriotic War. The museum has 24 exhibition halls.
- The National Art Museum – With the largest collection of artifacts in the country.
- Dudutki Open-Air Museum – an open-air museum of Belarusian rural culture, which represented many national crafts, 20 minutes drive from Mink.
Grab A Bite:
- Il Patio – The best pizzeria in Minsk.