BEST OF BELARUS

PROJECT BY 34TRAVEL.ME

BEST OF BELARUS

PROJECT BY 34TRAVEL.ME

Beautiful Belarus: 10 Stunning Spots

Author: Юлия Миронова

2268

We love Belarus and are so proud of its immense wild nature, old small towns and glorious architecture. What’s more – we just adore catching all those heartwarming places on camera. If you’re into it too – check out the top of scenic and extremely camera-friendly places of the “Blue-eyed” country. Here’s to all aesthetes and pretty-pics lovers!

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Asvieja Reserve and Du Island

Viciebsk region

First of all, Belarus is about sceneries. Lakes, swamps, virgin wild forests, flatlands, hills, and even islands. But the biggest and, very likely, the most picturesque Belarus island – Du – is located at the Asviejski reserve. This 5 square kilometers island at the very core of Asvieja lake was inhabited by people in bygone days. But then the village with a logical name "The Island" had been gradually abandoned, and the only thing that reminds of its past – the deserted cemetery. The only way leading to this nature-nurtured terrain is a boat – and that’s, for sure, a very cool experience. By the way, there’s a watch-tower in the island’s depth, and (if you’ll dare to climb on it) you’ll get a bonus of landscape watching and postcard-like panoramic shots.

Besides Du island, Asvieja reserve also includes three lakes, swamps and forests, where crowds of deer and roes slowly pace their way. It evokes the feeling that you are not less at the world's end, but not at Belarusian border (the reserve borders on Latvia). You'd want to peer into the sceneries for miles and miles

 

 

 Salihorsk Salt Heaps

Minsk region

Salt mountains, artificial water reservoirs and epic cracks on soil – nah, you’re not in space – just one more spot in Belarus. Salt heaps are stationed in few kilometers from Salihorsk, and in theory – the territory of mining, where those “mountains” are located – isn't a proper place for walks. Certainly, we strictly do not recommend crawling on piles of salt but don't miss sneaking to steal a few awesome photos here. The "mountains" may reach up to 160 meter high! Add a pinky color and scratchy landscape dotted with vents – and here comes the Martian landscape.

 

 

 

 The Mansion at Žaludok

Hrodna region

The mystical mansion at Žaludok is one of the most scenic abandoned houses in Belarus. The three-floored neo-baroque palace was constructed at the very beginning of the hard XX century, that’s why it hasn't served its purpose for long. The nazis seized Žaludok a few weeks after the War had started and established a military hospital in the luxurious palace. So, since then the state of the building significantly deteriorated, but, luckily, the place survived up to this day. Moreover, even the traces of historical hardships do not belittle the beauty of the palace.

Getting inside the house is a must (but be sure to make an arrangement first): exuberant spiral stairs, vast French windows, dozens of rooms – everything is so luxurious, but still in good taste. Look up to see the “easter egg" of the Soviet era – the big red star on the ceiling. When done with the interiors go round the mansion and don’t hurry to leave – the spot is definitely magnifying and deserves a longer stay.

 

 

 

 Jelnia Swamp

Viciebsk region

One more spot is eager to be shoot – Jelnia – the biggest high-moor swamp in Belarus and the fifth in size in Europe. And just the most ancient spot on the map of Belarus – the swamp is 9 thousand years old. Wild and age-old, veiled by mystic legends and stories, this palace seems to be created just to be observed from distance, but never be intruded.

But still, it's possible to get near this beauty – by the easiest and the safest way – the eco-trail. The wooden bridge up to 1.5 kilometers long (by the way, the longest one in Europe) will lead you through the swamp to one of the lakes (with a total of 118 lakes in Yelnya). And on your way you’ll come to a watch-tower, giving you an opportunity to observe wild nature from above. It’s hard to pick up suitable descriptions to portray the charm of those wild places. It all impresses so much.

 

 

 

 Zamkavaja Mountain in Navahrudak

Hrodna region

It is the veritable place of power with unexplainably strong energetics. Well, why unexplainable: the remains of castle walls on the hill remember crusader sieges and attacks of Galician-Volynian troops and the period of the mightiness of the Grand Duchy (when Havahrudak was the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) – the places are soaked with history thick and thin.

Zamkavaja mountain offers a tranquilizing view on calm and very amiable modern Navahrudak with its wooden houses, plunged in greenery. Also at the foot of the steep hill, there is a cathedral church of Transfiguration of the Lord, established by the very Duke Vitaut in 1395. The cathedral looks strict and self-sufficient, it's the central figure of the panorama, stretching under the mountain. 

 

 

 

 The Remains of Sapiehi Palace in Ružany

Brest region 

The most monumental and sublime ruins in Belarus. The palace is often called “Belarusian Versailles” – for its scale and former significance. The giant palace was erected in the 17th century for the Chancellor of the Great Duchy. As well the place hosted the treasury of the Duchy and the archive, and the whole noblemen gathered in Ružany to discuss important state matters. The two wars contributed to the inevitable destruction of the building – The First World War brought a great fire, and then there were some attempts to restore the building, but after the Second World war the restoration was renounced.

How the only parts of the palace complex that have been restored are entrance gates and two adjacent side-wings, that host a museum. And just behind the gates there stretch vast remains, kind of spreading a special energy field all around. Simply the must visit place. 

 

 

 

 The City of Sun in Minsk


The city of Sun is one of the names for Stalin-epoch Empire style building in Minsk. This expression was created by Belarusian writer and philosopher Artur Klinaŭ. In fact, the City of Sun represents the Niezaliežnasci avenue with some adjacent streets. This is a square of 8 km long and from 2 to 4 km wide, hosting the very Stalin-epoch houses – the face and the architectural landmark of Minsk.

Start your walk down the City of Sun from Lenina Square and slowly move ahead – to the Pieramohi square. Entire architectural ensemble looks consistent and well-balanced, therewith each building has its own features and tidbits: here’s the modes and charming building of universal shop “Centralny”, there's GUM, strict but with a touch of elegance, here's the Palace of Culture of labor unions, covered with stucco and utopic statues of Soviet workers, and there comes a residential complex and the memorial at Pieramohi square, kind of made for epic photos. Be sure it's going to be a long walk: Minsk City of Sun is quite a big-scale one (as it was supposed to be) – you won't make it quick in half an hour. 

 

 

 

 Lake Narač

Minsk regio

Endless and framed with pines, Narač keeps on its waves not only the status of the biggest lake in Belarus, but the most scenic one too. There you will find the subtle water mirror, hear cries of seagulls and see silhouettes of swans, breathe pure pine-filtered air and welcome the richest sunsets. One of the nearshore sanatoriums offers to rent a bike for a ride or swim across the lake on a boat, a twin-hull vessel or a yacht or just enjoy the calm atmosphere on a bench at the very waterline.

Going to Narach through Miadzyel is definitely a good idea. First, the Miadzyel town is perfect the way it is (with its lakes and pretty embankment), and, second, the road from Miadzyel to Narač lies along the lake – you gonna enjoy the view for sure.

 

 

 

 Saint Trinity Cathedral in Hierviaty

Hrodna region

Probably, the most Instagrammable highlight of Belarus – one does not simply come to Hierviaty and don't make a photo! Cause it's really gorgeous! When you see that soaring church for the first time, you get your breath tight and eyes weary – of admiration. The Saint Trinity Cathedral is high (61 meters), lofty and, at the same time, delicate and graceful – a typical example of gothic architecture. By the way, that's the only Belarusian cathedral, which was made canonically Gothic from top to bottom.
The adjacent territories are incredibly landscaped and tidy – a kind of a mini-park, where it’s always nice to spend some time. And an ideal location for visual pleasure lovers.

 

 

 

 The Reytany’s Family Vault at Hrušaŭka

Brest regio

This place is uncommon and completely out of touristic flow, what, however, never belittles its beauty. The village Hrušaŭka once was a residence of the Reytany’s – the ducal family of Prussian origin. They owned a wooden mansion, still located at Hrušaŭka, but, unfortunately, not at its best. The most appealing highlight, though, is a gothic family vault, situated within a kilometer from the mansion. It was constructed at 1910, and the remains of the most renowned family member – Tadevush Reytan, were transferred here at 1930. Now the chapel looks more like a well-preserved abandoned house, but the lack of restoration even suits it. Surrounded by trees and other greenery, the family vault looks extremely mythical and enigmatic. That’s the perfect place for those, tired of touristic classics and in search of unique rarely-visited locations.

 

 

Photo: palasatka, Tanya Kapitonova, Anna Veres, Irina Zhidovich. Translated by Bazhena Gurlenia

 

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