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About Minsk


Minsk is the capital and largest city in Belarus, situated on the Svislach and Niamiha rivers. As the national capital, Minsk has a special administrative status in Belarus and is also the administrative centre of Minsk voblast (province) and Minsk raion (district). It has a population of 1,830,000 inhabitants (2008).

The earliest references to Minsk date to the 11th century (1067), when it was a provincial city within the principality of Polotsk. In 1242, Minsk became a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and it received its town privileges in 1499. From 1569, it was a capital of the Minsk Voivodship in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was annexed by Russia in 1793, as a consequence of the Second Partition of Poland. From 1919–1991, Minsk was the capital of the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Explore the streets and lanes of the old town and plunge into the atmosphere of bygone days. Visit the old Troitskoie Predmestie (the Trinity Suburb), for instance. It's a quiet and isolated neighborhood where the old picture-posted houses seem to be whispering their secrets across the cobbled way. A complex of curio shops and restaurants attract visitors for respite either from a day of work or hectic sightseeing.


Minsk is a city that demands a great deal of working. It is even possible to get away from crowds- turn off many a busy thoroughfare and you will find yourself in a park or a leafy courtyard. Minsk is dotted with parks, including Gorky park, Yanka Kupala Park, Cheluskintsy Park, Victory Park, the Alexandrov Garden, the central Botanical Gardens and the water-and-park Svisloch reserve. The parks provide an escape from the city’s maze of streets and buildings. The profile of concrete buildings softens against a horizon interspersed with lush greed. Take some time to enjoy them. Indulge yourself in just sitting back and watching people go by, and children play. At the Botanical Gardens you can stroll from a rainforest to a formal French park, explore an alpine rock garden, or learn about plants of the Far East- all in one afternoon.

In Minsk you can find a great variety of churches and cathedrals: The Holy Spirit Cathedral, the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Church of St. Mary Magdalena, the Maryinski Cathedral, the Church of St. Roch all survive as relics of the past.


The major Minsk theaters and museums were instrumental in turning the city into a cultural mecca of Belarus: the Belarus State Theater of Opera and Ballet ( or the Belarus Bolshoi), the Yanka Kupala National Drama Theater, The Gorky Drama Theater, the National Art Gallery, the State Museum of History, the Museum of the Great Patriotic War, among others.

Minsk offers sheer entertainment to all visitors of any taste. A keen theater-goer can choose from musical and drama venues. The active type will find numerous sports facilities: soccer, tennis and ice-hockey grounds are built to welcome international events. Minsk City Festival is one of the events that make the capital worth visiting. The parade, performances by professional and amateur musicians, folk dancing, the noise, the cheerful crowd, the kaleidoscope of color and expression-everything contributes to its success. Minsk's dwellers and visitors alike revel in its many surprise.
Minsk is a city worth seeing!