Minsk

Europe’s last hidden jewel

Minsk is the capital and largest city of Belarus, situated on the Svislach and the Nyamiha Rivers. As the national capital, Minsk has a special administrative status in Belarus and is the administrative centre of Minsk Region (voblast) and Minsk district (raion). In 2013, it had a population of 2,002,600. Minsk is the administrative capital of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and seat of the Executive Secretary.

The earliest historical references to Minsk date to the 11th century (1067), when it was noted as a provincial city within the Principality of Polotsk. The settlement developed on the rivers. In 1242, Minsk became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It received town privileges in 1499.

From 1569, it was a capital of the Minsk Voivodeship, in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was part of a region annexed by the Russian Empire in 1793, as a consequence of the Second Partition of Poland. From 1919 to 1991, after the Russian Revolution, Minsk was the capital of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, in the Soviet Union. In 2019 Minsk will host the 2nd European Games.

WHEN TO VISIT

The reduced quantity of tourists in the city all year around turns visiting it into a peaceful experience.
We should, none the less, take into attention that temperatures may quite easily drop beneath -10ºC from January to March.
If you are “afraid” of the cold then you can use the warmer season and enjoy the multiple activities that the city offers during summer, like the 2nd European Games in June 2019.

WHAT TO SEE

Albeit having had 80 of it’s buildings destroyed during Second World War (or Great Patriotic War), Minsk preserves a rather unique old town.
The consequent reconstruction gave origin to one of the most magnificent examples of Stalinist Architecture: the Independence Avenue, with its more than 15Km.
But aside this heavy history Minsk is a modern city with a lively cultural life that goes on all year round.

WHAT TO DO

With 202 screenings over 8 days of festival, the Listapad Film Festival is surely Minsk’s biggest event.
Then there is the amazing Bolshoi, where it is possible to enjoy the Swan Lake for a price smaller than a café in Paris in one of the most amazing theaters in the world.
But 2019 its the year of the Games. The second European Games will take place in Minsk in June. The city will turn to the hub of Europe.

BASIC PACKAGE

As an introductory visit to Minsk Iron Curtain Tours has prepared a basic 5-day package which includes:
  • Transfer from and to the airport;
  • 4 nights at the Hotel Belarus, or other of similar category;
  • Half day guided visit of Minsk (several languages available);
  • Gourmet dinner at Kuchmistr Restaurant.
Different options with higher range of hotels or apartments are available.
get more info

The highlights of Minsk

Albeit having had 80 of it’s buildings destroyed during Second World War (or Great Patriotic War), Minsk preserves a rather unique old town.
The consequent reconstruction gave origin to one of the most magnificent examples of Stalinist Architecture: the Independence Avenue, with its more than 15Km.
But aside this heavy history Minsk is a modern city with a lively cultural life that goes on all year round.
Church of Saints Simon and Helena

Church of Saints Simon and Helena

Church of Saints Simon and Helena also known as the Red Church is a Roman Catholic church on Independence Square.
With its first stone laid in 1905 this neo-Romanesque church was completed in 1910. It is consecrated to in memory of Szymon and Helena, the deceased children of Woyniłłowicz’s, the construction’s financer.

National Opera and Ballet of Belarus

In the 1930s famous architect Iosif Langbard suggested building a grandiose constructivism-style opera house.
The design was inspired by Roman amphitheaters, however, the initial plan was revised and several features were changed, with the number of seats reduced down to 3,000.
The new building of the theater was inaugurated in 1939.

Trinity Suburb

Trinity Suburb is an old picturesque part of Minsk located on the bank of the Svisloch River in the city center. Its cozy little streets and houses, with tile roofs and delicate colors, have become a symbol of Minsk.
In ancient times these suburb was a commercial center. It was a place where roads from Vilno, Polotsk, Smolensk and Mogilev intersected. In late 16th century it became the largest marketplace in the town called Trinity Market.