|25 Famous Sculptures and Statues in Minsk, Belarus|
|Belarus Cities - MINSK|
1. Archangel Michael
A four-and-a-half-meter sculpture of Michael Archangel piercing a great snake was placed in front of the Red (because of red bricks) Cathedral (Catholic church of St. Simeon and St. Helen) in 1996. The building of the Church was finished in 1905 by Polish architect Tomash Poyazdersky, who made it in gothic and romantic style. The red bricks had been transported right from Poland. After the revolution of 1917, the State Polish theater occupied the church. Later, in Soviet times, it was used as the Cinema House. In 1990 during the Perestroika years, the building was given back to the Catholic church. In 1996 the bronze sculpture of the Angel created by Igor Golubev appeared. Michael Archangel is a traditional guarding angel of Belarus.
2. Monument to Victory
The monument to Victory is the main symbol of Minsk and the general compositional center of the city. The monument to Victory appeared on the former Round Square in 1954. It is devoted to Belarusian partisans and Soviet solders. Almost totally ruined during World War Two, Minsk was perfectly rebuilt after 1945. Four sides of the memorial show bronze topic of the high relieves: «The 9 May 1945», «The Soviet Army in the Great Patriotic war», «The Belarusian partisans», and «The Glory of the fallen heroes». The granite for this column had been transported from Ukraine. At the 10th anniversary of the Belarusian freedom on 3 July 1954, the memorial was opened. The memorial fire for 25 percent of the perished citizens of Belarus was founded in July, 3, 1961 - anniversary of freedom of the city from the nazi troops. Nowadays the former Round Square is not round any more - since 1984 it has had an oval shape.
3. Jakub Kolas
Jacub Kolas (Constantin Mitskevich, 1882-1956) a national poet of Belarus, a classic of the Belarusian literature. He started to write poems in 1898. His first poem was published in 1906. His famous poem «New earth» (1911-1923) illustrates simple people's life in the village of the late 19th century.
4. Maksim Bogdanovich
In front of the Opera and Ballet Theater, in the National Academy Big Theatre park, there is a monument to the famous Belarusian poet, who had lived a short (26 years) hut bright life - Maksim Bogdanovich, The author of it is a Belarusian master of arts Lev Gumilevsky, well known by his sculpture to another Belarusian classical poet Yanka Kupala, whose monument appeared also in Moscow in 2005 on Kutuzovsky prospect as a gift of Belarus to Moscow. The Bogdanovich sculpture has appeared on December 9, 1981 at the poet's 90 anniversary.
5. Janka Kupala
Janka Kupala (Ivan Lutsevich, 1882-1942) is a classical Belarusian writer number one, a founder of the modern national literature.
His first poem («Muzhik») was published in 1905. His first book of poems was issued in 1908. That was his famous «Zhaleika». Kupala turned out to be a leader for the Belarusian Renascence. His works are the chronicle of the Belarusion nation, the reflection of its national character and mentality. There was just a wooden houses street on the bank of Svisloch before World War II, where a great Belarusian poet Janka Kupala lived. In 1959 two stored building - the literature museum - was opened there. Now this place is one of the central Minsk's parks named after Janka Kupala in 1962. In ten years, in 1972, a six and a half meters bronze and granite monument to the great Belarusian poet was placed instead of Gricevets' military pilot monument. A pretty big sculpture is towering over the legendary spring and a flower of fern -this plant is in a blossom on July, 7 at Ivan Kupala's night, an ancient legend says. This is the shortest summer's night - the pagan holiday of the Sun - now is called after John the Baptizer - Ivan Kupala - in the Belarusian variant Janka Kupala. The very night when Ivan Lutsevich was born.
6. Courage and Grieve Island
The Courage and Grieve Island or Tears Island with small chapel, was founded on 3 August, 1996 at the Svisloch riverbank, in the Troitskoe Predmestie region, an old Minsk's center. This monument is devoted to Belarusian soldiers who fell in fight far away out of the native land in Soviet time. Inside the chapel there is a record of 771 names of Belarusian solders fallen in Afghanistan. Also there are the Bible scenes on the walls of the chapel. In front of the memorial there is a big rock with a bronze icon of God's Mother. A ruby stone is in the center of the chapel's cross. A lather lights the cross from the bottom. Five memorial bells and the figure of a crying angel are elements of the memorial ensemble. But now this place is very popular not among those who fought abroad - just married couples visit the Island constantly, taking pictures of it. The life goes on!
7. Maksim Gorky
Minsk's Gorky Park is the oldest in the city. It was founded back in 1805 as a Governor garden. Since that time there are several poplar trees aged of two centuries in the park, which now is twice bigger. The name after Gorky was adopted in 1936 after the death of the well-known Soviet writer. But only in 1981 the sculpture of Gorky was opened near the park's gate. The author is Ivan Misko.
8. Partisan Belarus
World War II was especially hard for Belarus - every forth was killed. Underground and partisan movement was extremely vast, but it was not reflected in Minsk's sculpture. In 2005 near Mogiliovskaya metro station at the cross road of Eliseiskaya street and Partisan prospect a great 21 meters column of granite and bronze "Partisan Belarus" appeared. The Partisan family composition sculpture is on the top of the monument. The author of this monument is Valentin Zankovich.
9. Adam Mickevich
The bronze monument to Adam Mickevich, a well-known Belarusian poet from Novogrudok appeared in 2003 in Minsk at the crossroads of Nemiga and Romanovskaya Sloboda streets. Mickevich took part in Polish-Belarusian armed revolt against tsar Nicolay in 1831. He was a real romantic, a rebel and a good friend of Alexander Pushkin, the greatest Russian poet. Adam Mickevich was born in 1798, in 1815 he graduated Novogrudok's Dominic School and then, in four years - Vilna's University. In 1823 he was judged for his underground activity and left Belarus. Although Adam Mickevich wrote in Polish the main topic of his poems was always his motherland Belarus: "Pan Tadeush", "Dziady" - the scenes of these famous poems take place on the Belarusian land.
The sculpture of the poet perfectly suits a cozy park situated along Gorodskoy Vahl street. The park which had no name in the past now is named after Adam Mickevich. At first they were going to use a sculpture of the nineteen century, but that version of the sculpture doesn't fix to the street. Authors of this sculpture are A. Zaspitsky and A. Finsky. Architect is G. Fedorov. Some other sculptures for Mickevich are in Novogrudok -a native town of the poet, in Brest and Lida.
10. Jazep Drozdovich
Jazep Drozdovich (1888 -1954) is a well-known Belarusian artist, sculptor, folklorist, archeologist, and architect. He was born in Punkie (now Gluboksky region) in the family of poor gentry. He traveled a lot all around Belarus, collected unique folk oral materials which then were published in the "Disna region songs" book. They called him a Belarusian Leonardo da Vinci. Jazep Drozdovich is a founder of the national fine art, created series of the Ancient architecture of Belarus, portraits of Polotsk's and Smalensk's kings. In August 1993 at the edge of Troitskoe Predmestie (Bogdanovich street) there appeared a sculpture of a walking man with a crook - the monument to Drozdovich, who worked in the female school right opposite the place of the monument. The author is Igor Golubev.
11. Alexander Pushkin
The monument to the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin is Moscow's gift to Minsk, where the poet had never been but where every one knows his wonderful poetry. This gift is devoted to 200 anniversary of Pushkin. The bronze figure sitting on the bench near the hotel "Belarus". Behind it there is a very picturesque landscape with view on to the Svisloch riverbank and the Winner's Prospect. Historians say this place, where the sculpture is, used to be a pagan temple back in past times.
12. Francisk Skorina
The first Belarusian and eastern Slavonic book printer, a professor from the oldest Belarusian city of Polotsk, one of the greatest culture man of the 16th century Francisk Skorina (1490-1551), the graduator of the Krakow University, printed in Prague his «Ruska Bible» in 1517 - the first printed book of Russian (Belarus, Ukraine and Russia) world of that epoch. Francisk was a great man of his times - he served as a secretary for a bishop of Vilna (now Vilnius), met Martin Luther in Germany, visited Moscow with a cultural mission. In 1506 he was awarded by the Paduan University with a medicine doctor degree. The author of that sculpture is Ales' Dranits. The idea to build the monument has been realizing for 15 years since 1989. The right place for this monument has been a debatable question during all these years. Finally the first Belarusian book printer's sculpture appeared there where it should be - at the National Library, a new symbol of Minsk that was opened a bit later in 2006. Francisk Skorina's Monument was opened on 30 August 2005. At the bottom of this unique building is a 6 meters bronze and granite monument of Francisk Skorina.
13. A Boy With A Swan
For a long time the only example of the European park sculpture has been "The Boy With A Swan". It was installed at the center of the Alexander Park (recently Central one) as a fountain in 1874 by the Italian Leonardo Bernini. Untill the beginning of the 1970s green frogs were sitting around the fountain, but now pigeons are real masters of this place. During the 1970s teenagers gave to it a funny nickname "Panikovsky and a goose", after the character from a popular humoristic novel "Twelve Chairs*. This joke nickname is alive up till now.
Right behind the Independence square, between the hotel "Minsk" and the Catholical Church, known as Krasny Kastiol (Red Cathedral), there is a fountain-sculpture the "The Youth". The sculpture consists of a boy and a girl standing on their knees, holding up a cup of water. Water goes down from the cup into the bath, where there are a stone path and the benches around it. Weeping willows look very nice together with this picturesque view. The authors of the fountain are a sculptor A. Anikeichick and an architect S. Musinsky.
The Winners' Prospect is one of the most beautiful prospects of the Belarusian capital. Its high buildings make a nice line that looks so fine from the opposite bank of Svisloch. The riverside is the place of picturesque parks, gardens with cozy bridges and benches in an old fashion style. The prospect longs for 9 km from Nemiga Street up to the Ring road. It starts near the former place of Minsk's Palace where the Nemiga river existed in previous years. This place, former Tatar Sloboda, had been the edge of Minsk before World War П. But after the war a nice Broadway named Parkovaya Magistral appeared there. In 1981 it was renamed after the Belarusian Communist party leader Pavel Mironovich Masherov, a very respected and popular man, is into Macherov Prospect. The decorative genre sculptures appeared along one side of the Prospect. It was in 1982 when Alexander Shaternick, Valentin Zankovich, Leonid Davidenko and Yuriy Poliakov placed four sculpture scenes: "Christmas" ("Koliady"), "Spring's Coming" ("Hukanne viasny"), "Kupala's night" ("Kupala"), and Autumn ("Zazhinky") - the traditional season's holidays that Belarusians have been celebrating annually since the ancient times.
16. Rotunda "Koupidons"
In 2003 the Belarusian capital gained another modern sculpture in classical style - a summer house rotunda "Cupids" that was placed near the hotel "Belarus". The author is Leonid Yashenko, who is well known in Belarus. The height of the rotunda is one meter and a half. On the top of it there are bronze figures of shooting Cupids which look rather fun.
In contrary to monumental sculptures and memorials, park sculptures relate to themselves or certain landscape only. A famous Russian artist Ernst Neizvestny created Orpheus sculpture. One of the Swedish sculptors Carl Milles also has the work with the same name. And in 1979 Belarusian author of the legendary memorial for Khatyn village, that was burnt together with people by Nazi troops, Valentin Zankovich gained his own Orpheus made of bronze and marble at Griboedov street near the musical college named after Glinka. This 4,5 meters sculpture is one of the best works of Zankovich, because it contrasts with the other works of the late 1970s. Zankovich breathed into his Orpheus a light fantasy and romantic poetry.
18. The Pigeon
The Central Botanic garden of the National Academy Of Science was founded in 1932. It is one of the biggest Botanic gardens of Europe as for its territory (100 hectares) and for its collection as well (more than 9,000 of plants). The garden is a unique place in the city.
19. City's life of 19th century
At the Komarovsky market place there is a row of genre sculptures illustrating the city's life of the 19th century. The main author of these sculptures is V. Zhbanov ("The Photographer", "The lady with a small dog", "The Horse" attract the attention of all passers-by). Almost every one can't help but stay and admire the sculptures. One sculpture is belonging to the hands of Oleg Kuprianov who created it in 2002. The sculpture of an old woman with seeds surrounded by bronze sparrows was created by Oleg Kuprianov.
The Freedom Square is one of the central squares of the city since the 16th century. In the 16th century the square's name was Upper Marketplace. The square turned into Sobornaya (Synod's) in the 19th. At the middle ages there was a place for Magistrate - the main municipal body. Swedish king Carl XII the Great, Ukraine duke Ivan Mazepa, Napoleon's general Davou, almost all Russian imperators, and a founder of an independed Poland Jozef Pilsudsky - all of them used to stay over here. The bronze sculpture of a carriage appeared for 940th birthday anniversary of Minsk at the Freedom square right opposite the Municipal House. This is one of the Vladimir Zhbanov's work.The sculpture pictures the day from the life of Minsk's governor who got out from the carriage and went to the House. The sculptors Ury Poliakov, Alexander Tukhto, and Victor Zavadsky participated in this work too.
21. Mikhailovsky Park
Next to the Railway station there is a one of the most beloved place of Minsk's young people: Mikhailovsky park, decorated with some genre sculptures by Vladimir Zhbanov: the woman on the bench | a light version of the same sculpture in Germany (Dusseldorf), - the smoking man, who once had been odered by cinema producer Vladimir Golinsky. Golinsky posed for that sculpture himself. In 2000 a new work of the artist appeared - the girl with an umbrella. This sculpture turned to be the most popular one in the park. Every one wants to take a picture of a touching young girl holding up her umbrella with huge holes in it. Zhbanov did the sculpture from his ten years old daughter Masha. Unfortunately exaggerated attention to this sculpture has broken the hand of it four times already.
One of the best examples of the urban modern sculpture is the "Parking", made of bronze by Andrey Ostashov in 2005. The boy, standing right on the grass near the pony, looks pretty vivid owing to his almost natural size - 130 cm. Works of Ostashov are also popular in Poland where he performed together with other Belarusian artists in 1999.
A bronze postman came up to the street right opposite "October" cinema near Press House in September 2005. The composition is very complex, consisting of 100 details and weighs 700 kilos. The authors of it are Ury Gradov, Vladimir Zhbanov, and Eugeny Kolchev - well-known sculptors of Minsk. Although this postman is an old fashion one and represents the first part of the 20th century the paper in his hand is a popular "From hands to hands" newspaper. One can see some other popular papers in the bag of the postman, who turned out to be the third man in Minsk post office: the rest of them are women.
24. A Girl With An Owl
Troitskoe Predmestie (Trinity Suburb) was founded in the XII century. At the beginning of the XVI century the Troitskaya church and a monastery were constructed on the top of the hill over the Svisloch river. They say in old times there was a sacred oak on the hill where many great kings of Recz Pospolita used to have a rest. The Predmestie gained its modern look in the 21 century. A lot of shops, cafes, restaurants, museums appeared there. It is a part of a reconstructed old Minsk. The former synagogue house is a small cozy museum - the House of Nature now, where people can see exotic animals and birds. At the doorway of the museum there is a sculpture «А Girl With An Owl- - made by Leonid Zilber.
Vladimir Zhbanov made another gift to the city - a sculpture «Architect» devoted to 940 anniversary of Minsk foundation (1067 A. D.). This fine composition appeared in summer 2007 at the Independence Square between the Hotel «Minsk» and the Government House. Zhbanov created his architect in ancient clothes, who stays behind the city's towers that symbolize Minsk of different epochs: castle gates of the 12th century, Bernard Catholic church of the 17th century and the National Bolshoi Theater building.