Minsk: the cultural center of Belarus

Anano Chikhradze | Live the World

November 23, 2022

When you are planning to visit a new country, you probably start your travel from the capital city, especially if you are interested in its culture. That is why I decided to tell you more about Minsk, that is the cultural center and the capital city of Belarus. Let us start from the history of its creation because it is always interesting to find out the story behind the new places we visit. 


Minsk is built on the banks of the river Svisloch, which flows through the whole city. According to the historical sources, in the 9th century, the first settlement of the Slavic tribes appeared in the gorge of the river Svisloch. There are records of different chronicles about Minsk from 1067. According to them, the sons of Yaroslav the Wise, who was a grand prince of Veliky Novgorod and Kiev, reached the walls of Minsk. They wanted to invade the city in the times when Minsk belonged to the ruler of Polotsk, Vseslav Bryachislavich. Despite the fact that the city tried to fight back, the brothers conquered Minsk anyway. After this fact, Minsk was a battlefield of many wars. It had an especially difficult period during the World War II. Minsk was almost destroyed, and it was named as the ‘Hero City’ because it could endure all the obstacles. 

Picture © Credits to iStock/Aleh Varanishcha

Minsk Today

Nowadays, the city is calm and beautiful. It is a city of contrasts. Here, you can see the architecture from the Soviet Union and a new modern part of the city as well. The main sightseeing points of Minsk are gathered in the city center. You can see the Government’s House on the Square of Independence, the Lenin’s monument, the Pedagogical University and the Catholic Church, that is known as the “Red Church.” If you follow the Prospect of Independence, you will see the cinema, a shopping center Gum and one of the biggest bookshops. Apart from this prospect, there are several other prospects in Minsk, such as Oktyabrskaya, Jakuba Kolasa, Victory Square. All those avenues have historical meaning, and that is why you can see the best city sights there. 


As you understood, one day is not enough to explore the whole city of Minsk. However, you can book a city excursion that includes 3-4 hours tour, where you will see the main sightseeing points and different historical monuments. You can also enjoy the panoramic views of the city from the top of the National Library of Belarus. It is very famous and interesting for visitors. 

Picture © Credits to iStock/bruev

The interest of culture lovers in Minsk increases gradually, as it is the cultural center of Belarus. While being there, try to spend at least several days in Minsk to explore the city well. The mix of the Soviet and modern in the city will amaze you. 

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