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Un genovese a Nord-Est
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been recently (April) in Belarus, one of the less known European countries. It's usually hard to find information about this country, except some bad news about its president Lukashenko, and it's also hard to find recent (and decent) pictures of its towns. So here are some pictures of this quite big country (like UK), starting from the capital, Minsk.

Minsk - Мінск

































































































































 

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I´m glad you´ve posted this because I think lot of people have created the worst image about Belarus since Lukasenko´s a president. This way of thinking brings a lot of prejudice.
To tell the truth I´m stunned how many of those buildings have been restored!
I like those statues there and I fell in love with that red church, it´s just beautiful. :cheers:
 

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voyageur
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Great city.
Thanks
All the pics were taken in the capital of Belarus.
 

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Un genovese a Nord-Est
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I´m glad you´ve posted this because I think lot of people have created the worst image about Belarus since Lukasenko´s a president. This way of thinking brings a lot of prejudice.
To tell the truth I´m stunned how many of those buildings have been restored!
I like those statues there and I fell in love with that red church, it´s just beautiful. :cheers:
Yeah, it's true, but Belarus really impressed me for all the restorations, reconstructions and new constructions. Almost all is kept in perfect conditions (including streets, far better than PL, LT and UA...), and not only in Minsk but also in smaller towns and even in the countryside.
Surely they don't have a democratic regime, it's a rather poor country with several problems, but it's not so bad like they want you to think here in the West. Looking at it with the eyes of a tourist it looks much in better "shape" than Ukraine and at least at same level with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.
Of course, like every "strong regime", Lukashenko wants to create a good (false) image of the country; they say the Government pays for the paint of the old wooden houses along the main streets... Looking deeper you see it's a poor country with its problems, of course.
It's really worth to go there, even if the VISA is really expensive for us westerners...
 

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Very nice photo report. I especially liked the reconstrcuted historical areas (even though there are not many of such areas), not to mention that national library. Also agree that its worth a visit.

Looking at it with the eyes of a tourist it looks much in better "shape" than Ukraine and at least at same level with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.
Of course, like every "strong regime", Lukashenko wants to create a good (false) image of the country; they say the Government pays for the paint of the old wooden houses along the main streets... Looking deeper you see it's a poor country with its problems, of course.
I agree that infastructure-wise its fairly clean and and in "better shape" mostly beacuse the Batka managed to keep aspects of the soviet-era social system intact. Although I cant make any final judgements yet. Although I might imagine that somehow this is what the USSR could have been like if it stayed intact.
 

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Un genovese a Nord-Est
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Mir, Zhirovichi, Synkovichy, Brest

Belarus is not only Minsk...

Mir Castle - Мірскі за́мак














Mir - Мір









I went to Mir on my first day in Belarus since my BY friend took me there with her cousin by car. Unfortunately the weather was ugly and incredibly cold and I just remember I was freezing! :D The castle is still under restoration/reconstruction and it seems they are also building an underground parking just below it! Quite crazy... Anyway there was almost no tourist around, as usual in Belarus, even if it's the most known Belarusian tourist attraction (listed on UNESCO World Heritage list, and I don't know why, honestly...). The castle is nice but it's a "fake" like Trakai in Lithuania (which is more beautiful IMHO), there's very little left of the original one. I really suggest not to spend the money (quite a lot) to enter the castle since by now you can go almost nowhere, just up on the walls. Maybe on a sunny day it's nicer, expecially with the little lake there around, but when everything is grey it's a bit sad.

Mir town looked much more interesting to me, but unfortunately my friends didn't agree! If I was alone I'd spend much more time exploring it since it really looked nice. The central square is all perfectly restored (almost fake, again) with the Orthodox church, while on the opposite site there's a catholic church which is in very bad conditions and need urgent restoration. All around is full of old wooden houses, one nicer than the other, you really get the idea of rural Belarus driving there around since it's full of very small towns, with no paved streets, their small cemetry and all wooden houses. Mir is bigger and saw probably more money because of the castle, but most villages look nice even if poor.


Zhirovichi - Жіровічі














Synkavichy - Сынковічы





Zhirovichi was the best surprise of this first part of my trip. I never heard about it and it's really an amazing place. It's the religious heart of Belarus and I think the only seminary of the country and one of the most important in the Orthodox world. We were lucky that the weather got really nice (even still very cold) and a priest there showed us around explaining all the history of the complex, sometimes also in English! :D It's really a must-visit place in Belarus, all perfectly restored and kept. It's just few Km from Slonim and there around it's again full of pretty small villages.
Synkavichy was another interesting stop. There's nothing there except this fortified church you see in the pictures. You can also go up to the tower and there was again a priest inside which told us all the history of this monument. It's just a very short stop but it's surely worth, I think I never saw such a kind of church, even in Italy. :)


Brest - Брэст

























Unfortunately I couldn't visit the Fortress of Brest, one of the most famous and impressive soviet memorials in the World, since I lost a lot of time in Minsk and on the very slow marshrutka to Brest (the train would have been much better and comfortable), I arrived in Brest late and as soon as I entered my hotel I was invited (well, almost forced :D) to a wedding party which was celebrated there inside! So I couldn't see a monument of the Soviet past, but I could enjoy a real "monument" of present life in Belarus which was probably even more interesting, surely much funnier, thanks to the good people and lots of vodka! :D

The pictures of Brest you see here were all shot in quite early Saturday morning, so really few people around and it was a perfect and hot sunny day. I just walked around for half an hour before taking a bus to Hrodna, but the town centre really looked nice and much more at "human size" compared to Minsk. Of course everything was clean and tidy and there were big works on streets and houses for restoration and reconstruction. Better than Minsk is also the fact that part of the centre is for pedestrians only. BTW the "old town" is really small, the rest is of course grey concrete in the typical commie style. The railway station is really beautiful, you can see it in the first 2 pictures.
 

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I've read about Minsk being a very clean city, and that Belarussians like to go out quite often in some of the awesome nightclubs.
 

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Un genovese a Nord-Est
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Hrodna

Last chapter of the trip...

Hrodna - Грoдна - Grodno - Gardinas - גראָדנע































































 

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Great photos, thank you. Happy to read things in Belarus are not as bad as “democratic” world claims. Still, hope that Mr Lukašenko will become history asap.

Živ-je-Bjela-rus, Živ-je-Bjela-rus, Živ-je-Bjela-rus… :D
 

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DoM
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Beautiful photos. Minsk looks clean and renovated but... not beautiful enough. It lacks historical architecture. Out of European capital cities Minsk is probably one of the least beautiful. Anyway, this country has big potential. They only need to get rid of Lukasenko.
I don't agree about development speed. Minsk is bigger than Warsaw, does it develope as fast as Warsaw? No. Ofcourse country size is important too but still the difference is quite big. One more example with numbers, each year Minsk builds about 700 000 m2 of residential space, 3-4 times smaller Vilnius builds about 400 000 m2 of residential space.
 

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Un genovese a Nord-Est
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well Minsk already has so many commieblocks that they don't need new residential space! :D

Of course Minsk is not developing fast as the EU capital cities, I think it's perfectly normal, in Belarus still exists a socialistic economy, there's almost no space for private investments, it's impossible to develop like a capitalistic country. Once you get rid of Lukashenko they can improve much.

About the lack of historical architecture in Minsk it's something they share with Warsaw, unfortunately... :( But Polish men are masters in reconstruction, while soviets preferred commieblocks... :(
 

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About the lack of historical architecture in Minsk it's something they share with Warsaw, unfortunately... :( But Polish men are masters in reconstruction, while soviets preferred commieblocks... :(
Whatever you say, in Warsaw you can find Old Town with gothic and renessance buildings, Nowy Świat with classicism buildings, Śródmieście Południowe with secession and one of the highest tovn houses in Europe (average 8-10 floors, before war Warsaw was 4th biggest city in Europe :)) and many others. And of course you can find skyscrapers!! :D Warsaw IMO is much more interesting than Minsk. In other hand Poland isn't as clean as Belarus, and in Belarussia you can find one thing I envy them - beautiful landscapes :)
 

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Minsk was destroyed during WWII.... And it was most beautiffull city in Europe.

And one moment.... while "democratic West" think that Lukoshenko is last european dictator, belarussians don`t want change their power... It is a fact. Belarussians more richly then the Ukraine, despite large soviet industrial potential in the Ukrain. It is fact too.
 

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Arthur Harris
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Minsk was destroyed during WWII.... And it was most beautiffull city in Europe.

And one moment.... while "democratic West" think that Lukoshenko is last european dictator, belarussians don`t want change their power... It is a fact. Belarussians more richly then the Ukraine, despite large soviet industrial potential in the Ukrain. It is fact too.








Minsk before WWII was a small provincial town. In 1913 population was less then 100000.
Minsk had old core with catholic and orthodox domes. Streets with typical to Russia's provincial towns 2 and 3 floors buildings. But most of the buildings were 1 floor houses.
It was heritage of Poland and Tsarist Russia.

P.S. Stop your pathetic chauvinistic talks. This thread is for photos.
 
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