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Belarus Central and Eastern Europe Europe

Belarus

Stories and Photos from my travels to Belarus

Destination 》EuropeCentral and Eastern Europe  》Belarus

Year Visited: 2018 – July

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After spending a month in the Caucasus Region, I took a flight from Yerevan, Armenia to Minsk, Belarus. I didn’t have any expectation before arriving in Belarus; I was on a backpacking trip through Eastern and Central European countries, I learned about newly relaxed visa rule from the Belarus government and booked my flight ticket, it was 5 days visa free entry at that time (Jul 2018) now I guess it has been increased to 30 days visa free. I was more interested in experiencing the history of the Soviet Union without visiting Russia.

Belarus is a former Soviet Republic and a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. Until the 20th century, various empires controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire. Current president, Alexander Lukashenko has served as the country’s first and only president since 1994. He continued a number of Soviet-era policies, such as state ownership of large sections of the economy.

With more than 11,000 lakes and 40% of its territory composed of misty forest, Belarus is a beautiful country to travel to, home to friendliest locals I ever met. As my Visa free entry was valid for only 5 days, I made Minsk as my base and travel nearby place. I would love to come back to this country and explore more, as visa free entry is now valid for a month.

Minsk is the capital and largest city of Belarus. During the World War II, the population of Minsk was reduced from 300,000 people to 50,000 people. The city was 80% destroyed and was rebuilt in the 1950s to the liking of Stalin. This has made Minsk famous for its Soviet architecture, with big concrete buildings and wide avenues, and many hail Minsk as the most perfect example of a Soviet city.

Welcome to Belarus!
Stalinist architecture – “city gate” – constructed in 1950s, these are the first thing you will see when you arrive in Minsk by train or by plane, as the airport bus stops here opposite the train station.
Welcome to Minsk! one of many designs of Manhole Covers in Minks.
My home in Minsk for 5 days, a soviet era hotel.
Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, this magnificent, two-towered Orthodox cathedral is one of the most instantly recognizable symbols of Minsk.
Minsk Old Town, a cool place to hang out in the evening
Victory Square in the center of the city is a key landmark for Belarus.
Maxim Tank Belarusian State Pedagogical University, a building with Minsk City coat of arms
Walking around City Hall Area
National Opera Theater in Minsk
Red Church Square
The church of Simon and Helena, also known as The Red Church.
Inside the Red Church
Inside the Red Church
Palace of culture in Minsk
KM 0, marking the Center of the Country
Minsk Old Town
The old town of Minsk
A weeping angel on Isle of Tears, a beautiful memorial set on a little island in the middle of the river in Minsk, commemorating the Soviet soldiers from Belarus who lost their lives in the long war with Afghanistan in the 1970s.
Statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led the Cheka, Soviet Union’s first secret police,
infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918. The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization of Soviet Union.
The Soviet T-34/85 tank located next to the army palace; it is dedicated to the Red Army, which liberated the city in 1944.
Minsk metro is more than just a means of transportation, it is truly a masterpiece of art and architecture. A ball with a hammer and sickle, a communist symbol at Plošča Lienina metro station.
FC Dinamo Stadium, newly renovated in 2017-18
Horse woman sculpture near Building of the Belarusian State Circus on Independence Avenue in Minsk.
Clown and Acrobat With Pipes sculpture near Building of the Belarusian State Circus on Independence Avenue in Minsk.

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Retro style restaurant and Bar with very interesting interior

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The Loshitsy park is a lovely place to walk or picnic and has a lovely old orchard which was once part of the old estate. I would not have known about this park without help from my local friend.

Biking and jogging trails in the The Loshitsy park.
Picknic area in the The Loshitsy park
Amphitheater in the The Loshitsy park.
Apple Trees in The Loshitsy park.
Love Locks on one of the bride in The Loshitsy park.
The National Library is the biggest library in Belarus. It houses the largest collection of Belarusian printed materials and the third largest collection of books in Russian language behind the Russian State Library (Moscow) and the Russian National Library (St Petersburg). The library’s main architectural component has the shape of a rhombicuboctahedron.
I love this click
Enjoying Beer with my local doctor friend
My Travel Buddy
My local photographer friend, he was more than happy to show us his beautiful city.

My local friend took us on a road trip to Zaslawye, a beautiful historic town founded in 985.

The 1st stop was the museum of mythology and forest, The museum sets several goals at once: to bring children closer to the nature, to teach children to take care of environment, and to tell them about the rich spiritual culture of the Belarusian people.

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Next stop was Zamechek (Castle), an archaeological site of the Zaslaŭje town of the 10 – 12th centuries that has a fortified church of Savior Transfiguration, built in 1577.

Savior Transfiguration Church built in 1577
Savior Transfiguration Church built in 1577
The townhall of Zaslawye.

After a day in countryside, my local friend invited us to his home for dinner and drinks, photos below are from his home and his family.

This was the first time a saw a wine/liquor shop, where you can buy kvass, beer, cider and sbiten; they will fill up drink of your choice in vacuum sealed plastic bottle.

With Parents of my local friend.
My friend is making Draniki for us.
Home made Belarusian Draniki (Potato pancakes).
Celebrating new friendship!
Two happy men with big bottle of Calvados

While I was in Belarus flowers where blooming everywhere around its cities and towns. I couldn’t stop myself taking pictures of these beautiful flowers.


After 5 days in Minsk, I flew to Kiyv, Ukraine.

By Window on The World

In May 2017, 23 days before I was going to complete 50 years, grabbed an opportunity and took an early retirement.. Picked up a backpack and traveling ever since.. Love to travel around the world, experience different culture, local cuisine & drinks .. and take pictures.. so far been to 108 countries and still counting...

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