Sep 10

Dudutki Ethnographic Museum (Muzeul Etnografic Dudutki)

Dudutki Ethnographic Museum is located in Belarus, at about 40 km distance from Minsk. Tourists are probably interested in one thing: “Is the museum worth visiting? The answer to this question is definitely ‘Yes’. Because the items on display represent the past and present intertwined. While some might not be interested in learning anything about the historical evolution of a specific country, it should be reminded that each fragment of the past contributes to the more general setting in which we all live in the present.

The exhibitions consist of a multitude of items made out of clay, steel or wood, each with a craftsmanship that cannot be easily surpassed.

The cultural institution was founded in 1993 and it expands over 160 hectares. The museum is actually created in the open space, where everything is presented as it would have been set in its natural setting. This museum is actually a 19th century estate which has been owned by the then residents of Dudutki for 130 years. At present, the museum is undergoing a renovation in the sense that the administration is trying to construct a replica of the way in which the Belarusian village presented itself in the 18th, 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. These unique representations of rural life in its different hypostases have drawn tourists from all over the world because it allows individuals to discover not only the way in which people in the countryside led their life, but they can also unveil the secrets of ancient crafts.

What is it that Dudutki Ethnographic Museum has to offer? Tourists will have the opportunity not only to see the 19th century craftsmanship brought to life in the 21st century, but they will also be able to bring a piece of the past back with them into the present. You will have the chance to take a souvenir with you, such as a ceramic object designed on the spot for you by people who masterfully control this art.

You will get to see an actual windmill and have a taste of homemade dairy products, which still preserve their original taste, having been created using the ingredients and cooking methods of the past. There is also an old blacksmith’s shop where you can actually see the blacksmith at work.

Everything still preserves the authentic feel of an 19th century village so you will have no problem in allowing yourself to be transposed to older times when life seemed to have been much simpler.  If anything, a visit to the museum will please the senses and relax the mind, offering a great experience to tourists wandering around Minsk.

Aug 30

Lida Castle (Castelul Lida)

Lida Castle has been constructed at the beginning of the 14th century by the order of the Grand Duke Gediminas who intended to protect his lands regardless of the price paid. His worry for a possible invasion was natural taking into account that the Teutonic Knights were looking to develop and enhance their properties.

In fact, Lida Castle is but a part in the defense mechanism developed by the duke. The system consisted of various fortifications erected in the towns of Hrodna, Medininkai, Navahrudak, Kreva and Trakai.

The castle is strategically positioned as it is naturally defended on two sides, the eastern and the western parts, by the Lida and Kamenka rivers. The stone walls of the fortifications were erected between 1323 and 1325, this timeframe also being characterized by the construction of two towers and a church.

Despite his strong desire to defend his lands, the Grand Duke did not succeed to fulfill his goal as the castle fell under the ruling of the Teutonic Knights two times: in 1384 and then in 1392.

The history of the castle is quite tumultuous in the sense that the fortification was ravaged by the destructive forces of warfare on many occasions. Thus, it was pillaged by the Crimean Tatars in the first years of the 16th century and then later on, in the second half of the 17th century, by the Russian soldiers (during the Russo-Polish War).

Probably the most important event which was extremely detrimental to the castle consisted of the time when it was taken over by the Swedish soldiers, who had decided to destroy the two guarding towers.

Near the end of the 19th century, the Lida Castle caught fire and the result was that several dwellings were destroyed. In order to help with the rebuilding process of these lodgings, it had been agreed upon “dismantling” the western wall rock by rock. This was meant to provide easy access to the houses destroyed by fire and thus accelerate their restoration.


After the 1900s, the scope of the fortification shifted 360°. The location was used by wandering circuses and zoos, having been transformed into an entertainment center, the fact that it represented an important historical site seemed to have gone out of everyone’s mind.

The restoration work for the castle was initiated as late as 1982 and while several sections were rebuilt, having regained their former appearance, the real renovation took place in 2010, when the castle was significantly improved.

Since it recovered its former glory, the castle has been steadily and surely transformed into a real cultural institution. There is a medieval tournament organized on an annual basis and at present, tourists can visit the museum which has been arranged inside the remaining tower of the castle.

It is important to accurately depict the value of this castle. As the previous paragraphs clearly underline, Lida Castle is extremely rich in historical events, everything that had happened throughout time at this site contributed to defining the Belarusian evolution, and more precisely the development of the town of Lida.

Why has this specific castle become such a renowned tourist attraction? Because the municipality knew precisely how to promote the fortification so as to allure tourists and convince them to pay Lida a visit. For instance, in the wintertime, the courtyard of the castle is modified so as to favor ice skating.


It can be concluded that the castle incorporates both the past and the present. While the edifice in itself stands for the historical times, the events organized with regularity within the castle are representative for the present, thus attracting visitors with their entertaining activities.

At present, Lida Castle is protected by the state, having been declared an archeological monument back in 1940, and having been listed among the monuments which form the state heritage in 1953.

Aug 01

The Mir Castle (Castelul Mir)

The Mir Castle is located in the Belarusian city, Mir, and it is a unique monument which harmoniously comprises architectural elements of the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. Due to its distinctive architecture, as well as to the historical past (having witnessed various military confrontations), the Mir Castle is listed as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Program.

The architectural design conveyed to the castle is the result of the different stages of construction to which the citadel was subjected. The edifice began being built in the final years of the 15th century and followed the Gothic structural design. But in the second half of the 16th century the castle came under the hands of Mikołaj Radziwiłł, who added the finishing touches to the castle.


The initial architectural style was not extended to include the final work, Radziwiłł turning to the Renaissance style instead. This project consisted of building a 3-storey palace in the north-eastern part of the castle, right near the walls. The façade of the citadel was adorned by means of balconies, porches, and porticoes done in marble, granite and sandstone.

But the citadel was later on left to chance for almost a century, time in which it underwent a decaying process. Substantial damage was further inflicted during the Napoleonic era, but there came a time when restoration was possible – in the latter part of the 19th century.


But the newly refurbished castle endured damaging experiences during World War II when the Nazis occupied the region and used the castle for accommodation purposes. In such a tumultuous period, when the nation was driven by war, you can only imagine that the residents of the castle did not care much about preserving the castle. Consequently, the interior was badly affected.

In terms of structure, it is worth mentioning that the edifice was surrounded by walls which comprised defense towers in each corner and a trench filled with water as a means to protect the castle. In order to beautify the site, an Italian garden was organized to the north and an artificial lake, opposed it to the south.


At present, tourists can gaze on one of the most beautiful castles found on the European continent. Due to the impressive restoration work conducted, the castle was reopened for visitations in the last month of 2010. But even so, the works has not ceased. There are several projects underway which aim at restoring the Italian garden, as well as the English park. It is estimated that the finishing touches will take place as late as 2013. It is admirable that the officials have realized the importance of the edifice and have initiated this elaborate plan to refurbish the castle because by doing so, they preserve alive a portion of the past.

Tourists should know that it is not difficult to reach this site. Mir Castle is located within 90 km of Minsk which basically means that you can find accommodation in the capital city of Belarus and you can take a one-day trip to Mir in order to visit the citadel.

May 14

Minsk (Orasul Minsk)

Whenever we take into consideration the idea of visiting another country, we instantly think about the capital city of that particular state. Whether or not the city is actually representative for the cultural and historical beauty of a particular region is debatable, but the truth is that it carries a lot of importance for that particular civilization, and consequently, it can bear certain meanings for visitors as well.


In this article we are going to take a look at the capital city of Belarus, Minsk, and we will analyze its significance as a tourist attraction.

First and foremost, it is worth nothing that tourists interested in the communist era, will definitely have their handful in Minsk as the capital is filled with relics, reminiscent of that particular timeframe. This is the place where we can find the widest collection of items which reflect the Soviet regime.

But the city also abounds in churches, museums, and even an ancient little town. Among the most relevant tourist attractions found in Minsk, the following are worth mentioning: the Holy Spirit Cathedral, the Cheluskintsev Park, the Botanic Garden, the Great Museum of the Patriotic Warrior, St. Simon and Helen Church.


The Cheluskintsev Park, which receives between 500,000 and 1 million visitors on an annual basis, has received the name of the Best Amusement Park during the Crystal Wheel Contest in 2010, held in Sochi, Russia. Only countries which are part of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) participate in this contest and the purpose of it is to publicize the amusement parks and emphasize the events which attract the most participants.

The contest is widely appreciated due to the fact that the jury is thoroughly analyzing the activities developed in the parks, taking into account the professional preparation of the personnel, the activities themselves and the safety of the tourists which engage in these activities.

The Holy Spirit Cathedral was initially a Roman Catholic Church and a convent for the Bernadine monks. The construction work began in 1642, but the edifice suffered important damages in 1741 when it fell prey to fire. The cathedral was restored and completed in the 18th century.

The architectural design used for the cathedral is Baroque and the structure is reminiscent of the traditional basilica as the middle nave is longer and taller than the side naves. The architecture and the decorations, together with the relevant religious depictions, have made the cathedral a highly appreciated monument of the Old Minsk.


The Virgin Mary Cathedral is the largest and most beautiful cathedral not only in Minsk, but in the entire country. The cathedral is situated in the old part of the town and it is a part of the ensemble which forms a Jesuit monastery.

St. Simon and Helen Church is an edifice constructed out of red brick, not so long ago – it has been erected in the 20thcentury, more precisely in 1910, by Edward Wojnilowitsch as a means to honor his children who had lost their lives a few years prior to that date.


These are but a few of the tourist attractions bound to stir your interest in Minsk. The communist regime had left its imprint on the capital, and this is noticeable widely through the impressive number of sculptures which bear the Stalinist architectural style. But the other monuments located in Minsk do not bear less importance just because they are crafted in a different style. The multitude of churches, parks and museums will definitely make your time worthwhile so do take the time to enjoy what the capital of Belarus has to offer.