Grodno (Belarus)

The city of Grodno is the center of the Grodno region and is located in the western part of the country. The first mention of it is found in chronicles in 1116. In the 15th century, Grodno was the largest trading center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and since the 16th century, the residence of the Lithuanian princes.

According to shoppingpicks, Grodno is one of the few cities in the country where the historical layout has been almost completely preserved. Monuments of ancient Russian architecture, Gothic and Renaissance, Baroque, Classicism, Pseudo-Gothic, Pseudo-Russian architecture, Art Nouveau and Constructivism have been preserved here. Grodno is the cradle of Belarusian culture; once every two years, in early June, a republican festival of national cultures is held here.

The main historical monuments of Grodno are the Old and New castles. The old castle was erected on a high city hill in the 12th century. It consisted of a powerful fortress wall (the thickness of the walls reached 3 m), surrounded by a 50-meter moat, five towers and the palace of Vytautas. Today, the Grodno Historical and Archaeological Museum is located on the territory of the Old Castle. The museum has about 160 thousand items of the main fund. The most interesting are the collections of paintings with icons of the 18th and 19th centuries, a collection of handmade carpets, a numismatic collection, and collections of weapons and old books. The New Castle was built in the middle of the 18th century and now forms a single architectural ensemble with the Old Castle. It was built as a royal palace.

In Grodno one of the most beautiful architectural monuments of Belarusian religious architecture is located – the cathedral basilica of St. Francis Xavier of 1705. It was built under the Polish king Stefan Batory. Grodno Basilica is the main Catholic church in the city. Inside the temple, a dozen wooden altars from 1736 and frescoes from the 18th century have been preserved.

Grodno Borisoglebskaya Kolozha Church of the 12th century is the second oldest in Belarus. The church was built by the architect Peter Milanega in 1180 and rebuilt in the 16th and 17th centuries. More than once she suffered from landslides, but still survived to this day.

From ancient places of worship in Grodno also preserved are the former ensemble of the Bernardine monastery of the 16th-17th centuries, the Holy Nativity of the Mother of God convent and one of the oldest synagogues in Europe – the choral synagogue of the 16th century, which was rebuilt at the beginning of the 20th century.

Be sure to visit the Grodno State Museum of the History of Religion, the only one in the republic, and the Grodno Zoo.

Grodno – is the starting point for traveling to the numerous sights of the region. The Augustow Canal flows┬áin the vicinity of Grodno – a great place for walks on boats and motor ships. The canal was dug in the first half of the 19th century and connected all the water arteries of Central and Eastern Europe. A trip along the canal will appeal not only to nature lovers, but also to those who want to learn more about the history of the region, because along the canal there are many fortifications of the 19th century and fortifications from the Second World War. The most interesting are the forts of the Grodno fortress of the late 19th century, which stand on the hills surrounding the city.

Dzerzhinsk, Minsk region (Belarus)

Dzerzhinsk is located 38 km southwest of Minsk. During its history, it has changed three names: Krutogorye, Koydanovo and Dzerzhinsk. Highmountain was first mentioned in the middle of the 12th century. In 1932, the city was named Dzerzhinsk in honor of the famous communist leader Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, who was born a few kilometers from the city. In the city and its environs, the Church of St. Anna of the 15-18th century, the Holy Intercession Church of 1851, the ancient settlement “Gashtoldova Gora” and places associated with the battle on November 3, 1812 with the French, in which Russian troops won a major victory, are of interest. Mount Dzerzhinskaya (345 m) rises near the city – the highest point in Belarus.

The first in the country operates near Dzerzhinsk adventure park “Highmountain”. The park offers unforgettable outdoor activities: quad biking, air rifle, pistol and bow shooting, paintball and extreme sports in the “rope city”. There is also a recreation park “Yakutskiye Gory”┬ánear Dzerzhinsk. You can relax here at any time of the year. In summer, paintball, shooting range, beach volleyball, mini football, mountain biking, quad biking and mountainboarding are offered. In winter, a ski complex opens with two ski slopes, a drag lift, a snow tubing and snowmobile track, a sports equipment rental and a ski school. The park has a picnic area, a cafe and free parking.

Grodno (Belarus)