Places in Belarus to Visit
Gomel - Belarus Cities to Visit
Belarus Cities - Gomel Oblast

Gomel Oblast is situated in the southeastern part of Belarus and borders with Ukraine and Russia. The centre of the Oblast is Gomel which has a population of 515 000. Gomel is the second largest city in Belarus.

Gomel Oblast is one of the most industrially developed regions in the country. Its southern location and mild climate favour agriculture developing.
Belarus Gomel River SunsetNatural treasure of the Gomel region is Polesye, the unique land of swamps, peatbogs and waterlogged lakes situated on the Polesskaya Lowland. During Soviet times fragile natural balance of this land was seriously endangered – swamps were drained for extending of agricultural fields. Fortunately, lots of places have survived and nowadays a visitor to the Pripyatsky National Park can admire landscapes unique to this region and watch rare species of animal and plant kingdoms.

Gomel Oblast was seriously impacted by the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station catastrophe in 1986. In some years, the Polessky Radiation and Ecological Reserve was established. Its main aim is to preserve, research and forecast further impacts of radiation on natural resources.

BelarusGomelOblastGomel region’s rich history has left plenty of historical and architectural monuments: St Bernard Catholic church in Mozyr (17-18th centuries), Jesuits’ Catholic Church and Collegium in Kalinkovichi (18th century), St Nicholas church (end of the 17th beginning of the 18th century) in Petrikov. 
The city’s landmark is the unique monument of the 18-19th centuries – the Palace and Park Ensemble. It includes the aristocrats Rumyantsevs-Paskevichs’ palace, St Peter and Paul cathedral, the Dukes Paskevichs’ chapel and the burial vault and the ancient park. A number of buildings dating back to 19th – beginning of the 20th century In Gomel downtown area remained untouched by wars and conflicts.

 
Minsk, the Capital of Belarus
Belarus Cities - MINSK

Virgin_Maria_Catholic_Cathedral_in_MinskMinsk_center_1

MINSK or Menesk, as the chronicles called Minsk in the year 1067, was founded on the banks of the Svislach River and the Niamiha River at the end of the 11th century as a result of movement from an older settlement (16 km from the present-day Minsk) on the Menka River, to which the city owns its name. Originally, it was a wooden fortress close to the Prince's yard that was enclosed with earthen walls and houses of townsmen, built over the territory within the walls. In the 12th century, with the first stone temple erected there, Minsk became the center of apanage principality separated from the Polatsk Land where the foundations of Belarusian statehood were laid.
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Minsk Gorky Park, The Kingdom of Ice
Belarus Cities - Minsk Oblast

At the beginning of December most people in Belarus wondered whether on New Year's Eve there would be any snow. There was plenty of it and it looks like the tendency of frosty weather (about 15-20 degrees below zero) will please Belarusians till mid February.

Minsk_Belarus_Winter_house2 Minsk_Belarus_Winter_hedgehog

(Hm... Looks like a small chocolate house..or the scenery of Dickens' novels. And a fantastic hedgehog!)

What does winter bring beside cold, snow, winter sports and New Year's resolutions? Certainly - easthetic pleasure. How? In the form of strange and beautiful icy monuments, the ones created either by nature or by human beings. The second version of ice monuments and cultures is now exhibited in Gorky Park, in Minsk. We decided to have a look at this wonderful scene and to present some pictures of snowy art.

Some facts. The exhibition (which is actually a competition) has not been popular in Belarus due to mild winters with the temperatures around zero. As soon as the weather conditions changed, the representatives of "Zelenstroi" (an organization, which takes care of trees, flowers, bushes, and grass growing and fostering in cities and towns of Belarus) bravely organized a competition of ice sculptures. There was no certain topic chosen, however, the competition itself implied the spirit of winter wonders, fairy-tales, and symbols of the New Year.

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Minsk Attractions - Minsk Sightseeing on a Walking Tour
Belarus Cities - MINSK

Spring is in the air, more sunny days evoke the most positive emotions and impressions. Why not take a walk around Minsk and learn about the unknown (maybe not so much talked about) Minsk attractions? We decided to discover more interesting Minsk places and give our comprehensive coverage and view of the walking tours in a series of blog posts!

Minsk Sightseeing Tour Part 1

I welcome you at the beginning of our first virtual tour around Minsk places. The starting point of the itinerary will be the crossing of Pobediteley Avenue and Menlnikaite Street, the region of the city, where about a 100 years ago the Tatars resided, thus the part was called the Tatar Sloboda. However, the first place we are going to visit is connected with another nation, the Jews. The memorial sight "Yama" (the hole) is situated right on the place, where the Nazi shot 5000 Jews from Minsk Ghetto, including 200 children from an orphan house on the 2nd of March, 1942.

Minsk_places_memorial_ghetto_Yama

We'll return to the Ghetto tragedy later, when we get to Rakovskiy Trinity. And now we will go up to the Yubileinaya Square, which received its name in 1826 in the honour of 1500th anniversary of Vselenskiy Sobor that stated the symbols and dogmas of Christianity. It is surprising that during the Soviet times no one considered the name of the square politically incorrect. The Yubileynaya Square remains the only one that hasn't been renamed since the 19th century.

Then we take a turning to the Rakovskaya Street. Just a dozen steps further and we find ourselves at an old Trinity that appeared in the 11th century. The street had been famous for craftsmen who lived there, as well as several sinagogues that were open before the revolution. After the revolution these churches were turned into cinemas and a House of pioneers.

Belarus Minsk places tour
 
Mogilev (MAHILEU)
Belarus Cities - Mogilev Oblast
The origin of this town, situated on the right hilly bank of the Dnieper, is shrouded in mysteries and legends. It is commonly supposed that Mahileu was founded in the year 1267, though it was first mentioned in authentic written sources of the late 14th century as a possession of Queen Jadwiga, the wife of Sigizmund I the Old, the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania. Between the twenties and thirties of the 16th century Mahileu was the largest town in the Belarusian Dnieper Land.
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