What to See in Belarus

Volozhin, Minsk region (Belarus)

The city of Volozhin is located in the west of the Minsk region. Volozhin is known as the place where the first higher theological school for the training of rabbis was located in Eastern Europe. The buildings of the grandiose palace of the Tyszkiewicz family of the 18-19th centuries, built in the style of classicism, the church of St. Joseph of the early 19th century and the church of St. Constantine and Helena of 1866 have been preserved on the city’s Svoboda Square.

Not far from Volozhin there is a sanatorium-preventorium “Isloch”, which once belonged to the Belarusian Literary Fund. In the sanatorium they carry out the prevention of diseases of the cardiovascular and nervous systems, the musculoskeletal system. Treatment is carried out with a variety of baths and showers, inhalations and mud applications.

In the western part of the Minsk region, south of Volozhin, there is a forest area Nalibokskaya Pushcha. The Pushcha is dominated by pine and spruce forests, and there are pockets of hornbeam forests. This is a wonderful place for recreation, where sanatoriums and rest houses are located.

Gomel, Gomel region (Belarus)

According to softwareleverage, Gomel is located in the eastern part of the country, 300 km from Minsk. It is the second largest city in the country and a major regional center. Gomel is included in the tourist route “Golden Ring of the Gomel Region”, which will cover the most ancient cities of the region. At the end of the first millennium, a settlement arose in these places on the lands of the Radimichi, however, for the first time Gomel was mentioned in the annals of 1142 as the possession of the Chernigov prince. Many sights of the 18th and 19th centuries have survived in Gomel to this day, among which the palace and park ensemble stands out. Its territory extends for 800 m along the high bank of the Sozh River. The central building of the palace and park ensemble is the Rumyantsev-Paskevich Palace, built in the style of classicism in the period from 1785 to 1793. The palace began to be built under Field Marshal Pyotr Alexandrovich Rumyantsev-Zadunaisky, to whom Catherine II presented Gomel. His son, the famous diplomat Nikolai Rumyantsev, continued the construction. In 1834, the palace was bought by the commander Ivan Fedorovich Paskevich. Under him, a park with rare and exotic species of trees and shrubs was laid out on the palace territory, which has survived to this day. Today, about 5 thousand trees and shrubs grow here. In 1809-1824, according to the project of an English architect, the Peter and Paul Cathedral was erected not far from the palace. In 1889, a chapel-tomb of the Paskevichs was built next to it, where the remains of some members of this family are buried. In addition, the Winter Garden and the Hunting Lodge, which served as the summer residence of the Paskevichs, are interesting on the palace territory. At one time, representatives of the royal family visited the Gomel Palace: Emperors Alexander II with his wife and Nicholas II. In 1941-1943, the palace ensemble was destroyed and burned, and restored and reconstructed only in 1969. Currently, on the territory of the palace and park ensemble is located Gomel Regional Museum of Local Lore with more than a hundred thousand exhibits.

22 km northeast of Gomel is the city of Vetka, founded by the Old Believers at the end of the 17th century. Priests persecuted by the state lived here, who did not support the reforms of Patriarch Nikon. One of the most interesting museums in the country, the Museum of Folk Art, is located in Vetka. The museum contains antiques and a unique collection of early printed books.

Northwest of Gomel, the city of Buda-Koshelevo is interesting, in the vicinity of which whole forests with giant oaks grow.

Lida (Belarus)

The city of Lida is located 110 km northeast of Grodno. Lida Castle brought wide popularity to Lida. It was built in the 14th century by order of the Lithuanian prince Gediminas and became part of the defensive line that protected these lands from the attack of the crusaders. The castle was built in the image of the castles of the crusaders on a marshy area. One wall of the castle was protected by a deep moat, and the other by impenetrable swamps. In the Middle Ages, the princely court and the city itself were located near the castle. The castle was badly damaged during the Russian-Polish war and was destroyed in 1702 by Swedish troops. It has since been abandoned. At the end of the 20th century, the tops of the walls and the northeastern tower were restored on the territory of the Lida Castle, which now houses the Museum of the History of the City of Lida. Every year in August-September, the Lida Castle hosts the International Festival of Medieval Tradition and Culture “Gediminas’ Castle”, during which knightly tournaments are held.

Of the sights surrounding the castle, one can single out the church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross of the late 18th century with fresco paintings, sculpture, ornamental modeling in the Rococo style and the image of the Mother of God with the Child and the ensemble of the PR monastery of the early 19th century with the Cathedral of St. Michael’s Cathedral.

Lida (Belarus)