Welcome to Belarus, a land of blue lakes and rivers, amazing traditions and the rich history! Pristine nature, ancient castles, unique nature reserves and centuries-old forests attract tourists to the country. The hospitality of local people and their tranquil life will surprise any tourist. In the country, you’ll get unforgettable impressions, as Belarus is known around the world for the beauty of old mansions, castles and churches.
Belarus often referred to as the land of a thousand of lakes and rivers is located in the central part of Europe. Belarus shares borders with Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Poland and Ukraine. Its landscape is mostly flat. However, in some parts of the country you can see uplands. Zamkovaia Mount of 323 metres high and Dzyarzhynskaya Mount are the highest peaks of Belarus.
Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the oldest woodland in Europe, has brought fame to the country. It is home to bison, eagle-owls, foxes, wolves and other wildlife. Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the pride of Belarus.
In the north-west of the country near the town of Braslav, you can see Braslav National Park with its famous lakes – another natural masterpiece of the state. The unique ecosystem includes more than fifty water bodies and thirty lakes. Many interesting monuments of nature, including large boulders, glacial landforms and remarkable islands such as Turmos, Lipovets, Chaichin, Lakino, are located in this area. The Braslav lakes are home to rare species of animals, most of which are listed in the Red Book of Belarus.
Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve, the Miadzel Lakes andNaliboki Forestare also popular tourist destinations. You are well advised to visit Polotsk Lakeland, Lake Narach and the Augustow Canal. These wonderful places offer you to have a good rest while improving your health in numerous health resorts.
Along with its picturesque scenery, Belarus can surprise you with unique architectural structures. Western and Eastern cultures have influenced on the styles of various churches, castles and palaces. Therefore, you can notice elements of Eclecticism, Romanism, Classicism and Modernism in Belarusian buildings. Buildings with unique ornaments in the style of Baroque are located in most ancient cities, such as Minsk, Polotsk, Turaw, Brest, Slutsk, and Grodno.
Belarus is world known for its castles. Mir Castle Complex was built between 1495 and 1502, and it is the most popular medieval fortress in the country. You can recognise elements of Feudal epoch in its architecture. Powerful towers and walls of the castle had once hidden the residence of a rich magnate. Interesting mix of the Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles attracts tourists from all over the world.
St Sophia Cathedral, one of the most famous monuments of Belarus, is located in Polotsk. It was built between 1030 and 1060. Here you will see ancient frescoes and mosaics of the 11th century. Take exciting excursions in order to learn more about the culture, traditions and history of the state.
The capital of Belarus is Minsk. Nearly the century-old history of the country’s cultural centre has left what to admire: Holy Spirit Cathedral, Cathedral of Saint Virgin Mary, Sts Peter and Paul Cathedral. However, the main decoration of the capital is Church of Saints Simon and Helena. You are advised to visit Trinity Hill, a district of the city where charming atmosphere of an old town has been renewed. However, modern buildings, such as the National Library of Belarus resembling a diamond with its shape, the National Art Museum and the Opera House can be noted by you in Minsk.
Forty kilometres southward of Minsk, in the village of Ptsich, the Museum of Folk Crafts and Technologies “Dudutki”, a famous ethnographic complex, is located. There you can discover distinctive Belarus with its old traditions and learn the way of old manors. In this open air museum, you’ll be offered to visit the real smithy, to make earthenware with your hands, to grind flour in the windmill, as well as to buy beautiful souvenirs.
The open air museum complex is a great place for you to appreciate national dishes of Belarus. You’ll be surprised with skill and mastery of local chefs. Potato pancakes, kluski, potato babka, dziad cake, pea fritters are masterpieces of the national cuisine. One who likes sweets should sample berry kissel and pies stuffed with apples. Kvass, a Slavic beverage made of rhubarb, oats, barley, and even dill, is brewed up well in Belarus. Features of the Belarusian way of life have influenced on the taste of kvass. In the late 19th century, this beverage was popular among ordinary people and local gentry. Kvass of rye bread with raisins sold in bottles, as well as kvass with cumin and sweet flag was quite popular. Cardamom flavoured kvass.
Numerous well-known festivals are annually held in the country. Nesvizh Castle hosts Knight Festival, the most famous tournament of knights. Here you can see sword fights, learn archery and horse riding. Traditionally, the event ends with a concert of Belarusian and foreign artists.
Kupala Night is another event that should be mentioned. It is celebrated on the night of 6/7 July – the Belarusians get together near rivers, lit bonfires and weave wreaths. On the Eve of Ivan Kupala Day, young people are looking for a fern flower, a mysterious one. This flower has got magical properties to fulfil all wishes, according to the legend.
The International Festival of Arts “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk” offers you to spend a good time in the city of Vitebsk. The festival annually welcomes talented artists and singers from all over the world. One of the goals of the Slavianski Bazaar is to unite creative people of countries with similar traditions and cultures.
Belarus charms all visitors with its beauty. Magnificent landscapes, clean air and an abundance of historical monuments make your holidays memorable.
Administrative division — Belarus
Minsk Population: 1887900