Our capital is the lagest city in the country, about 20% of its population lives in Minsk, that means each 5-th resident of the republic. It is the most economically developed city in Belarus. Besides, the capital is the heart of industrial, cultural, educational and political life. History and modernity, old and new closely intertwined in this clean and green city...
One of the main landmarks of our capital is Independence Avenue. The avenue is almost 15 km long. The buildings along the avenue comprise specific architectural style that got the name as “Stalin Architectural Style”. The avenue crosses Minsk from its Independence Square and runs farther to the north-east. Independence Square is quite the center of political life of our capital. It covers the area of 7 hectares and includes several sights:
The House of Parlament (we call it the National Council)
Belarusian State University
Belarusian State Pedagogical University for future teachers
Minsk Metro headquarters
Saint Simon and Helen’s Roman Catholic Church (or Red Church)
The "Stolitsa Underground City" - one of the biggest shopping centers in Minsk
The following sights are located further along Independence Square:
National Bank of Belarus
GUM shopping center
Palace of the Republic
Yanka Kupala National Academic Theater
Belarusian National Circus
Gorky Central Children’s Park
National Belarusian Academy of Sciences
Green area of Botanical Gardens
National Library of Belarus and the list is not full!
One of the most recognizable parts of Minsk is the Upper Town which is in historical center of the capital. There’s no better way to get the idea Minsk looked like centuries ago as since the XVI century the Upper Town has been the center of Minsk. On its territory there were the Upper Market, The City Hall, churches, monasteries, synagogues, residences of rich people, and aristocrats. Despite numerous wars and destructions which pursued Minsk all history long, the historical lay-out of the streets and quarters of the Upper Town has not changed a lot, many unique monuments of architecture of different epoch and styles managed to survive.
The historical center of Minsk has old churches and historical landmarks. One can get the atmosphere of the block-paved side streets in the Trinity Hill. It is a nice-looking and unique old quarter favored as an entertainment site both by local people and tourists. Museums and exhibition halls, galleries and souvenir shops, cafes and cozy restaurants create the feeling of relax and peace.
There is also Island of Tears which is a memorial complex dedicated to the Belarusian soldiers who died in the war in Afghanistan when Belarus was a part of the USSR. The complex causes tears and it is absolutely worth seeing.
In two steps away from it there is National Opera and Ballet Theatre that was designed in the Soviet Constructivism Style and was intended as a universal construction of a «mass musical action» which would seat 3,000 spectators.
The second longest avenue of Minsk – Victors Avenue – starts at the ancient Upper Town near the Trinity Hill.
Along the avenue one can see a lot of sights!
One of the main advantages of being in Minsk is safety. Our capital is very safe even at night. Almost at each corner it's possible to find a nice restaurant or cafe with national (and only national) cuisine. Besides, Minsk isn’t noisy and has no traffic problems. That is why a tour from one part of Minsk to the opposite one will takes no more than half an hour. Minsk is a city worth visiting! The spirit of Soviet times is combined here with the atmosphere of modern European cities. This contradiction would hardly leave anyone indifferent.