38 best sights of Minsk – description and photos
The Bolshoi Theater, built in the style of constructivism in the mid-20th century, is quite an interesting place, both in terms of architecture and art. During World War II, the building was looted by the Nazis, but was restored and rebuilt.
Upper Town of Minsk
The center of the Upper Town is Liberty Square, once Napoleon Square, the first stop for tourists in Minsk. It’s not hard to guess that the square got its current, sonorous name in 1917, cementing its right to be considered the “heart” of the city.
The Church of St. Simeon and St. Helen in Minsk
Among the monuments of Soviet constructivism located in Independence Square in Minsk, the most beautiful red brick building rises up. The Church of Saints Simeon and Helen, built here in the early 20th century, has miraculously survived to this day, although it risked being demolished more than once.
The Stalin Line is a grandiose fortification ensemble on the territory of Belarus. Created for the 60th anniversary of the victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War, the complex was created by the method of national construction, in which state and public organizations took part.
Khatyn Memorial Complex
In Belarus, a small village burned by the Nazis is considered a sacred place, on the site of which the memorial with the sculpture “Unconquered Man” is erected. There are also “Cemetery of Villages”, “Trees of Life”, “Khatyn knoll”, the memorial complex “Smoke of Khatyn” and the legendary “Wall of Memory
Museum of history of the Great Patriotic War in Minsk
The Great Patriotic War left a deep mark in the family of almost every Belarusian – every third citizen of the country perished or died from wounds. So it is not surprising that almost immediately after the liberation of Minsk from the Nazis in the capital of Belarus was opened a museum dedicated to that time.
Museum complex “Dudutki
The museum of ancient crafts and technologies “Dudutki” is situated about 40 km from Minsk. The museum was founded in 1993. Here you can experience the atmosphere of the Belarusian provincial life of the nineteenth century, to understand the meaning of folk customs and secrets of ancient crafts.
Narochansky National Park
This is the name of the place as the biggest lake Naroch is situated here. The resort village Naroch, provides the opportunity to go horseback riding, hunting and fishing.
The town of Nesvizh is a world class tourist attraction. Belarusian medieval oligarchs created it according to the best European models. A castle and a porcelain church of the Body of God were erected here. The temple is made in the Baroque style, and its walls are decorated with frescoes.
Today Nesvizh, which is a 2-hour drive from the capital of Belarus, Minsk, is an inconspicuous little town. But earlier it used to be one of the biggest in the Lithuanian Duchy. And the castle was just like the city – huge, rich, to everyone’s surprise.
The island of tears in Minsk
In the heart of Minsk, its historic center is a place, after visiting which even the toughest man gets a lump in his throat. Here, on a small artificial island there is a memorial dedicated to the Belarusians who died during the war in Afghanistan.
Water Park in Minsk
There are 6 water parks in Belarus today, the largest of which is the water park in the sanatorium “Ozerny”. In March 2013 will begin operation of the water park in Minsk, which will open on Winners Avenue.
Belarusian State Museum of Folk Architecture and Life
Ethnographic villages is a fairly common way of introducing the culture and lifestyle of their ancestors to urban residents. Open-air museums operate in almost all European countries, and Belarus is no exception.
Belarusian Youth Theatre
Belarusian State Youth Theatre appeared in 1984 in Minsk. For two years they suffered through different stages, until they got an old building of the cinema “Spartak”.
Belarusian Musical Theater
The Belarusian State Academic Musical Theatre was organized in 1971, 10 years later it moved into a specially built building and opened its new season with the immortal “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss.
The former Benedictine monastery in Nesvizh
In the southern part of the old town of Nesvizh there is a complex of monastery buildings, which now belongs to the teacher training college. It is a former Benedictine monastery that was built in 1596. The author of the architectural design was Giovanni Bernardoni.
Church of All Saints in Minsk
Built in the Zelenyi Lug district, which is far from the center, this church is the highest church in the CIS. One of the main sacred places in Minsk was built very recently, in 2010, following the classical Orthodox canons.
Golshan Castle belonged to the princely family of Sapieha. It was built in the 17th century and for a couple of hundred years it served for defense and was a family residence. But by our time the castle is preserved only on the third part. Apparently, the lack of a master’s hand had an impact.
Gostiny Dvor in Minsk
Gostiny Dvor is a large complex of buildings, located in the center of the square. Gostiny Dvor was originally intended as a place for trading and living for visiting merchants. Following the architectural fashion of the 18th century the building was rebuilt in the style of classicism.
The Palace of Independence in Minsk
The Palace of Independence is the name of the residence of the Belarusian president located to the northwest of Minsk near Victory Park. The most important official events are held in this pompous building.
900 years ago the bright and spacious city of Minsk sprang up on an island, the result of a merger of the Svisloch and Nemiga rivers. History has repeatedly tested the strength of the city, but by some miracle, the Upper town, Zamchishche, Trinity and Rakov suburbs survived, preserving the atmosphere of the past.
The current hero-city of Minsk – spacious, wide and majestic – was completely destroyed during the Great Patriotic War, but lovingly built up again. Transformed into a beautiful modern city, the capital of Belarus has a lot to offer the traveler many amazing sights.
Through the center of Minsk runs a 15-kilometer long Independence Avenue, one of the longest European urban thoroughfares. Its buildings and architectural forms, built in the 50s, which include cast-iron fences, balustrades, benches, trash garbage cans, lighted masts, delightful flower gardens, are a true decoration of the avenue.
On the avenue are the largest squares of the city: Independence Square, October Square, Victory Square, Yakub Kolas Square.
Independence Square is among the largest squares in Europe, with important city buildings: the Minsk City Hall and the Metro Department, the Government House, the Belarusian State University, the Belarusian State Pedagogical University named after Maksim Tank, and the Red Church. Further on Independence Avenue are theaters and cinemas, large stores and banks, the Art Gallery “Mastatstva”, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Library of Belarus.
The historical center of Minsk is remarkable with its grandiose churches and historical sights. Here you can walk along the old cobblestone streets of the Trinity Suburb and look at the buildings of the 19th century.
The present-day Hero-City of Minsk – spacious, wide, and majestic – was completely destroyed during the Great Patriotic War, but was lovingly rebuilt again.
Not far from the Trinity Suburb, in the center of the Upper Town, is the famous Freedom Square with the Minsk City Hall located on it. Nearby there is another major thoroughfare, Pobediteley Avenue, along which there is the Sports Palace and the “Olympic Time” stele, Victory Park, Independence Palace, National Flag Square, Minsk Arena and many other beautiful and interesting buildings.
Minsk is a green city, famous for its beautiful parks and squares. Children, for sure, will love visiting the Gorky Central Children’s Park with its rides and the opportunity to see the city from the height of the Ferris wheel.
St. Michael’s Square is famous for the sculptures “Lady on a Bench”, “Girl under an Umbrella” and “Lighting Up”. The oldest fountain in Minsk with the sculpture “Boy with a Swan” decorates Alexander’s Square.
In Victory Park there is Bird Island Reserve and beautifully illuminated fountains.
The Botanical Garden of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus is one of the largest in Europe in terms of both space and size of the plant collection.
The center of Minsk concentrates the most interesting museums of the city. The funds of the National Museum of Art hold more than 30 thousand works of art by both Belarusian and world masters.
You can learn more about the history of Belarus at the National History Museum, the exposition of which abounds in archeological artifacts, household items, coins and weapons.
The Museum of Olympic Glory houses several thousand different exhibits relating to the Olympic Games.
Minsk sights – 40 main places
Minsk sights – 40 top tourist attractions
The capital of Belarus is not without reason that a lot of tourists are attracted to it. This ancient and modern city is able to show unusual places even to the experienced travelers who seemed to have nothing to surprise them anymore. The sights of Minsk are stunningly beautiful buildings and interesting cultural sites, quiet parks and unique museums, imbued with an amazing spirit of national unity.
Historical sights of Minsk
1. Pischalovsky Castle
The castle, named after the contractor who built it, is able to radically change the idea of the usual tourist fortresses. Unlike the ancient architectural structures of Europe, this landmark of Minsk has never been inhabited by kings or dukes. First of all because of its age – the building is “only” a little over 2 centuries old. In fact, Pischalovsky Castle is a prison cell, where prisoners were exiled until 2008. Now people are also brought here, but only for guided tours.
2. Upper Town
One of the oldest districts of the capital, in ancient times it was considered the heart of Minsk, the place where city building began. It is within the Upper Town where the most important events took place. The walls of ancient buildings witnessed fierce trials, lavish balls, and noisy fairs. In the Upper Town you can find monuments belonging to different eras. This place is a real concentrated urban history, hiding amazing secrets behind the walls of buildings of 16-18 centuries.
3. Red Church
Despite the fact that most of the natives are Orthodox Christians, the most beautiful churches belonging to different confessions have always been built on the territory of Belarus. One of the most striking, in the literal and figurative sense of the word, historical sights of Minsk is considered to be the Red Church.
The building attracts tourists not only with its architectural features, which, of course, are present in the elegant Neo-Romanesque building, but also with the events that take place inside. Organ concerts and multilingual services are unforgettable even for non-believers.
4. Bernardin Monastery
There are a lot of old buildings in the city. But among them stands out a monastery located in the heart of the city, which has survived a lot of hardships during its history. The monks who founded it, who belonged to the Catholic order of Bernardinians, have long since fallen into oblivion, and the building they built will soon mark its five hundredth anniversary. Now services are not held in the religious building, which, however, does not prevent tourists to come here and admire the unique architecture of the ancient building.
5. Church of St. Roch
The name of the sight in Minsk, which was obtained in honor of the patron saint of people affected by cholera and plague, is not random: it was during epidemics that it was decided to build the building, which is now known to residents and guests of the city as the Church of St. Roch.
The church is famous primarily for its organ, which occupies most of the space intended for the altar. There is a musical instrument preserved from the times when concerts were held in the building. Removing it is not only impractical, but also dangerous: the organ is too intimate with the walls of the church.
6. Cathedral of the Virgin Mary
The mysterious Jesuit order left its mark on the territory of modern Belarus as well, founding a stunningly beautiful church in the state capital – the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary. The Cathedral is beautifully preserved, but tourists who came to Minsk only 25 years ago, did not even know about the existence of the church. The monument of ancient architecture was disguised as an ordinary building. The beautiful frescoes inside the temple have yet to be fully restored. But even the existing beauty inspires awe in visitors to the temple.
7. Trinity Suburb
The Trinity Suburb, depicted on stamps, postcards, and even banknotes, is recognized by almost every tourist who has ever seen this unique ancient place in person. Here are a lot of old buildings, which can easily imagine how the city looked like a few centuries ago.
Attracts travelers not only the historical significance of the place, but also modern institutions. Especially popular are the restaurants, almost each of which, paying tribute to tradition, proudly bears the name “tavern”.
8. Golshan Castle
Almost everyone dreams of visiting the ruins of a medieval fortress. Residents of the city and travelers who have decided to visit the capital of Belarus, will be able to fulfill a wish thanks to the sight, which bears the name of Golshan Castle.
Despite the fact that a little less than half of the once majestic walls remain, the spectacle before the visitors is truly breathtaking, primarily because of the atmosphere of mystery surrounding the once majestic structure. Legend has it that among the half-destroyed towers roam the ghosts of noble Lithuanian princes, mourning their own fate and the fate of their offspring.
9. Vankovic’s House
To plunge into antiquity and learn how the wealthy townspeople lived in the 18th century, it is enough to visit the Vankovich House, where a famous Belarusian artist of the 19th century, who became world-famous during his lifetime, used to live. Now one of the most famous museums of the city is located in the restored manor house, where you can see the works of the master, who gave the architectural landmark of Minsk his surname.
10. Rakovskoe Suburb
Each house located on Rakovskaya Street, Vitebskaya Street, and Osvobozhdeniya Street has a rich history. Some of the buildings were built 200 years ago. Together they form the most ancient sightseeing area of Minsk, called Rakovskoe Predmestie.
Connoisseurs of the city’s history call the place “revered. There used to be a lot of temples of different denominations, but they have not survived until now. But tourists can admire the whimsical mixture of architectural styles: Baroque houses neighbor neo-Romanesque buildings and modern “concrete boxes.