Oct 09

Białowieża Forest (Padurea Bialowiza)

The Bialowieza Forest is located at the borderline between Belarus and Poland. The forest is actually the sole remaining portion from the vast forest that used to spread over the European Plain.

This article will solely look into the section of the Bialowieza Forest which is located in Belarus and which can be found at just 70 km north of the Belarusian town, Brest.  This is a natural biosphere which expands over more than 1,500 square kilometers, but the area the National Park consists of and which has been recognized as a World Heritage Site stretches over 876 square kilometers.


The natural reserve also comprises different types of facilities designated for the supervision and reproduction of animal life , as well as a zoo in which various species have found their home. This community consists of wisents, wild horses, wild boars, etc. While some of these animals have been reared inside the park, there are others which have their roots in these forests. The area has been once especially arranged so as to boost tourism and attract visitors to the area. Thus a restaurant was constructed, a small museum, and even accommodation facilities. But these were mainly built during the Soviet regime and the passage of time and lack of maintenance services had led to the deprecation of these facilities. The result was and is that not many venture into this part of the country and thus the area is not visited as it ought to be, especially since it seems a piece of heaven.


The Bialowieza Forest has a vast history. While the woodland was initially explored solely along the banks of streams, this later changed as several bridges and roads were constructed so as to ease traveling inside the forest.

The first legal document in which the forest is mentioned as a protected area goes back to the 16th century (1538), when King Sigismund I the Old issued a decree according to which anyone hunting wisents in the forest was sentenced to death.   The administration of the forests was bestowed on peasants who were acquitted of paying taxes in exchange of their commitment to taking care of the forest.


In 1992, the area became a part of the World Heritage List and it became widely recognized as a natural biosphere, protected under the UNESCO Program.

The part of the Bialowieza Forest which is located in Belarus has turned into an important tourist attraction mainly because an additional facility was constructed, the New Year Museum.

The beauty of the forest is striking as the woodland comprises a considerable number of ancient oak trees. Some of these grand trees are individually named due to their impressive characteristics. Their height and circumferences are colossal making the beholders see themselves as small and insignificant in front of the grandeur of these exquisite examples of nature.


For example, the Great Mamamuszi is among the thickest oak trees in the forest, its circumference reaching almost 7m. From all the ancient oak trees that exist in this part of the forest, this is the most relevant example, mainly because it is in the best condition possible, whereas the others show signs of decay. For instance, there is one such tree whose branches are no longer covered with leaves, while another misses its bark. But the rest of them are still standing proudly, and have reigned over the forest for 450 years – this is the age they are estimated to hold.

Sep 24

Logoysk (Orasul Logoysk)

The city of Logoysk is located on the bank of the river Gayna at 40 kilometers from the Belarusian capital, Minsk. The region bears the name of “Belarusian Switzerland” due to the fact that it encompasses a beautiful natural environment which has not been exposed to the intervention of man. It is no wonder that the residents of the city, but more importantly, tourists, are mesmerized by the wonderful scenery they are presented with.

The exact moment when the city came into being is unknown, but the first document which mentions Logoysk dates from the 11th century. Throughout its existence, the city has been destroyed twice: at the beginning of the 16th century (by the ruthless hands of the Tartars) and in the 18th century, by Swedes.


The region has been home to numerous famous writers that have drawn their inspiration from the nature surrounding them. Thus several of the most renowned classical Belarusian pieces of literature were written in Logoysk. And the most accurate example is Yanka Kypala, the author of “Paylinka”, “The Lion’s Grave” and “Bandaroyna,” all of them having been instilled with life in this specific town.

Visitors to the area will indulge themselves with a one-of-a-kind tour as the city offers a complex tableau where history, religion and nature intertwine. Among the places worth visiting are the remnants of the 11th century citadel, two dwellings which have been erected in the ancient times as well as the ruins of trenches and watercourses which have been built in the past. In terms of spiritual transcendence, there is one religious house which you might consider worthy of your time. This is Saint Nicolas Church which dates from the middle of the 19th century (1845). The ruins of the fortress in the light of the sun, as it is mirrored in the crystal clear water of the Gayna River offer an impressive image, one which almost seems depicted from legends.


The city is also home to a museum of antiquities where the past is retraced from bits and pieces. Whether we are talking about works of art, about household items which were used in antiquity or fragments of weaponry and tools, these are contained within the museum, offering a general presentation of the past.

The museum, together with several monuments which are spread throughout the city and burial places are meant keep the memory of the Great Patriotic War alive.



But there are other attractions as well, and sport lovers will be interested to learn that in close proximity of Logoysk they can find a skiing sports and fitness center where people can perform their favorite sports. In fact, the place is renowned throughout Belarus for the skiing and snowboarding facility it offers. It is no wonder that the complex is used regularly for various events. Both national and international sports competitions are held at the center on a yearly basis. There are other festivals as well which are organized here and the themes which revolve around them vary from fashion to art and beverage. So there is something for every taste.

Those interested in mythical stories will be pleased to find out that there is a park which is shrouded in mystery and which abounds in enigmatic tales. It is enough to listen to some of the stories which are told by the elderly and to let your imagination run wild and you will instantly awake as part of a legend.