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Hospitality beyond borders

The UNESCO Heritage

Belarusian gems in the world treasury

The UNESCO Heritage

Objects in Belarus included into the UNESCO World Heritage List

Belovezhskaya pushcha (1992)

Mir castle (2000)

Nesvizh castle (2005)

Struve arc (2005)

elcome to Belarus! This is a beautiful and hospitable country, the land of the ancient palaces, shady gardens and lakes as clear as crystal! You will see the majestic palaces that still keep the memories of the past feudal glory and the festive churches with its gilded domes, that still remember the old days. You will have a walk along the forest paths and breathe in the aroma of the wild honey and the bitter grasses, so refreshing on the hot summer afternoon. There are thousands of the unique historic monuments and scenic sites of the primeval nature that are well preserved in Belarus. Four of them are included into the UNESCO World Heritage List. Discover the ancient castles of Mir and Nesvizh, which lure with their Mideaval mysteries; feel the tranquility and peace of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, strolling under the roof of thousand-year old oak foliage! Visit the Struve Geodetic Arc, that was constructed by the German-born Russian scientist Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve to establish the exact size and shape of the earth and you will be astonished by the limitlessness of the engineering idea. A trip to Belarus will be a sweet memory in your heart! May your journey bring you only positive emotions and unforgettable impressions!

The UNESCO Heritage Belovezhskaya pushcha

iscover the piece of wild and intact nature! Belovezhskaya Pushcha, a unique forest with the thousand-year old history, is situated on the south-west of Belarus. This is one of the largest national parks in Europe; it occupies the territory of more than 160 ha. The first reference to Belovezhskaya Pushcha is given in the Ipatiev Chronicle of 983 A.D. the most important source of historical data for southern Rus'. In the Middle Ages it was the privilege of the kings and the prosperous magnates to hunt in the wonderful lands of this forest. In XVth century the Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland Jogaila fascinated by the beauty of Belovezhskaya Pushcha turned it into a forest reserve. But it were his successors, who made this forest a place of the grand hunts. During its history Pushcha has changed its owners many times, passing from the Polish to Russian possession and vice versa. In 1939 it was turned into a reserve included into the territory of the Belarusian Soviet Socialistic Republic. Later on it was given a status of the State National Park and in 1992 was included into the UNESCO World Heritage List. The scientists consider Belovezhskaya Pushcha to be a remainder of the primeval relict forest that was once stretching away for miles and miles. Such rare species as the durmast oak and the only European population of the noble fir has survived here. The primeval boscage of the forest is home to the wolves and lynx, European red

deers and wild boars, black storks and white-tailed eagles. Tourists cant help admiring the famous wisents of Belovezha. The largest population of these giants lives in Pushcha. If you decide to have a walk along the wild paths of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, ask for the assistance of the experienced guides. You will be astonished by the spectacular view of the oak and ash forests and enjoy the incredible silence of the ancient wood. You can attend a bus excursion or experience an exclusive offer an exciting horse, bicycle or a small loco ride along the chain of the forest lakes for the active lifestyle lovers. There is a lot to see in Pushcha for those keen on antiquity! On the banks of the rivers Narevka, Navera and Lesnaya there are several ancient barrows that served as burial mounds for the first inhabitants of Pushcha, the tribe of Yotvingians. An old mansion of the Tyshkevich counts and the Government Residence Viskuli where the accord called Belovezhskoe on the elimination of the USSR was signed will burst upon your eyes. You will also travel along the scenic Tsar passage that was the favourite promenade road of the Russian Emperors. It is still adorned by the light bridges with the tracery railing and the double eagles. A fairytale is waiting for you at the residence of the Belarusian Ded Moroz, the traditional character in the culture of the Slavs who plays a role similar to that of Santa Claus. This magician lives in Pushcha the whole year round and in winter his

granddaughter Snegurochka joins him. Dont miss one of the most exciting excursions! Have a look at the elaborately carved sculptures, 40 meters high natural New Year tree (probably, the highest in Europe!), the windmill, the magic well and Ded Moroz treasury, where he keeps the letters and paintings form the children. Curious tourists will enjoy visiting the Nature Museum and aviaries with the wild animals. The Museum exposition, that includes more than 1000 exhibits is one of the most attended in Belarus. Lynx, roes, wolves and other inhabitants of Pushcha live in the perfectly arranged aviaries. You will find everything necessary for a good rest and business meetings in Pushcha. Comfortable hotels, cozy guest houses, large sports grounds, modern saunas and spacious conference halls are at your disposal. Professional huntsmen are eager to organize a hunt for the wild boars, deers, roes and other animals. The gourmets will enjoy the culinary masterpieces of the national cuisine, such as the meat, berries and mushrooms dishes, that are served at the restaurant Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Winter is the most popular time of the year for the journey to Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Children and their parents are excited to see the real Ded Moroz and receive a New Year present. In 2009 Pushcha celebrates its 600-year anniversary. A visit to Belovezhskaya Pushcha will give you a bunch of unforgettable impressions and pleasant emotions!

On this page: A legend and a symbol of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is wisent. Being a coeval of the mammoth and the wooly rhinoceros, the wisent is the largest terrenial mammal in Europe.

Belarusian gems in the world treasury

On this page (top to bottom, left to right): A carved porch of Ded Moroz residence always has a festive look during the winters and during the summers.

The ancient oaks are one of the most famous sightseeing of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This giant is 300-years old and the diameter of its trunk makes up about 1,5 m.

Slender roes always attract tourists who are charmed by their grace and effortlessness.

www.eng.belarustourism.by/puscha/ 3

The UNESCO Heritage Mir castle

n excursion to Mir Castle is a wonderful opportunity to get acquainted with the ancient Belarusian history. The castle, which was constructed in the XVIth century, is situated 100 km from Minsk, in Grodno region. In various times this colossal building was owned by the dukes Ilyinich, Radzivill, Wittgenstein and Svyatopolk-Mirsky. Numerous wars were merciless to the castle, the gravest destructions were inflicted during the Great Northern War (1705), when the Swedes blew up one of the towers and started a fire the signs of which are still visible on the brickwork. During World War II there was a ghetto on the territory of the castle; more than a thousand people perished there in one year. The Castle of Mir is full of mysteries. A legend tells that a lamb was immolated during the laying of the castle. This was made to insure the building against destroying. A stone similar to the head of the lamb in its shape can be noticed in one of the walls. Mir Castle has its own ghosts. In the early XXth century two dead soldiers in armour were found under one of the stabs. They say that since that time the moaning and the swords snap are heard on the New Years night at the ancient chambers. The family vault of SvyatopolkMirskie dukes is hiding in the shadows of the maples and lime trees growing at the park next to the castle (1904). There is a legend that tells that this family was cursed, when one of the dukes cut down the bloomy garden and made a pond instead. The curse come true the young countess sank there. The pond attracts lots of

tourists. It is pleasant to sit on its banks, admiring the reflection of the castle in the water. In 2000 Mir Castle was included into the UNESCO World Heritage List. Today the Castle of Mir is a branch of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus. After the reconstruction, that takes place at the moment, the restaurant and the conference hall will be opened at the castle. Only one of the towers is open for the tourists today. Rise up on the spiral stairs, look out of the narrow loophole, touch the rough walls and you will feel the scent of the days long gone. The trip round the village of Mir will also be exciting and full of impressions. You will be astonished by the majestic St. Nicholas Church (early XVII c.) and the stunning Trinity Cathedral (late XVI c.). The wonderful building of Mir Yeshiva (1815), one of the most important Jewish educational institutions on the territory of Belarus in the XIX century, is also well preserved. A small private museum will surprise with its rich collections of the ancient coins and antique furniture. Your unforgettable experience wont be full without a walk along the old narrow streets, observing the picturesque houses. You can bed down at the archaistic Mir Hotel which always welcomes its guests and at the church cellar there is a caf, where you will be served a substantial and reasonably priced meal. At the souvenirs shops opposite the castle you will be offered some original wares from clay, leather, metal or wood. For those who love loud feasts Mir Castle offers the festival The Nights of

Music at Mir Castle. This event takes place in the middle of each summer and lasts several days. The guests of the festival are welcome to attend the live performances of the famous musicians and the superb fireworks. The rousing atmosphere full of the passionate melodies reigns over the castle during the summer days of arts The Castle of Mir, which traditionally gathers numerous talents. Besides, the fabulous tilting matches take place near Mir Castle the year round. Lots of excursions, including a visit to Mir Castle are organized regularly from the largest cities of Belarus. You may choose the one that suits your taste and purse!

On this page (top to bottom): The birds-eye view of Mir Castle.

The castle is decorated by numerous alcoves. This is typical of the XVI century architects style. However, there are no analogues of Mir Castle neither in the Baltic region, nor in Russia!

Belarusian gems in the world treasury

On this page: Mir Castle admires its reflection in the Miryanka river.

www.eng.belarustourism.by/mir-castle/ 5

The UNESCO Heritage Nesvizh castle

esvizh Castle, included into the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005, holds a lot of ancient secrets and mysteries. It was built in the XVIth century as a residence of the well-known Belarusian family Radzivill. They were the uncrowned kings of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Radzivills have left rich heritage to the city of Nesvizh, lots of legends, architectural monuments, the coat of arms and the glory of being the centre of the Medieval Belarus. Nesvizh Castle is in some way unique. It is the only magnates residence in Europe that was completely preserved. It was constructed during the reign years of Mikolaj Sierotka Radzivill, who was well-known for his progressive views. In the XVIIth century during the Russian-Polish war the castle endured the sieges many times. In the XVIIIth century it was occupied and burnt by the Swedes. Each reconstruction made the castle more similar to a palace. Now it enchants the tourists with its fanciful combination of the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Classicism features. The famous underground stables, cellars, vaults and secret passages are even more amazing, its a real underground city! Today the castle is closed for the restoration after which the tourists will be able to visit the galleries, the armoury and kamenitsa (the oldest part of the castle where the unique 300-year old frescos were found). Besides there will be a comfortable hotel, a caf and a restaurant.

In the Middle Ages the Radzivills residence was known for its posh decoration, large library and gorgeous collection of paintings and arms. They say that Stanislav Radzivill was riding his guests along the road made of salt, which was as pricy as gold at the times. Another legend tells about the treasure of the Radzivills that was buried in 1812. Among the hidden treasures there are the famous 12 Apostles (the golden sculptures made in the human height). The mysterious treasure still hasnt been found. Moreover, Nesvizh Castle is home to the most famous Belarusian ghost The Black Lady or the spirit of Barbara Radzivill. According to the legend the mother of Sigizmund II Augustus, the King of Poland, poisoned her daughter-in-law, Barbara, because she wanted to find match for her son. Since then the mysterious Black Lady is wandering at the castle. The ghost comes at night as a warning about the coming tragedies. It is said that she was seen the day before the fire in 2002 when that largest part of the castle was burnt. To fully feel the charm of the past ages, have a stroll at the park, spreading near the old castle. The admirers of the landscape art will be bewitched by its beauty. In the XIXth century the park included the English, the Japanese, the Castle and other gardens. It is a pleasure to have a rest in the shadows of the branchy trees in the park where the variety of fanciful sculptures and pond make you feel a little more

romantic. You can walk around the park on foot or have a ride in the carriage. While walking in Nesvizh dont forget to visit the Corpus Christi Church the family vault of the Radzivills. The coeval of the castle, it amazes with its magnificent forms and infallible lines. This is the first Church in Europe, constructed in Baroque style; its prototype is the famous Rome Church of the Ges. Nesvizh town Hall (late XVI c.) is the oldest and the most beautiful in Belarus and the Slutsk Brama (the ancient gates that opened the way to the town) impresses by its massive and at the same time graceful silhouette. If you are planning to stay in Nesvizh for a couple of days, you are welcome to the hotel Nesvizh. You will easily find a place to have a snack here the cafes, the bars and the restaurants are always willing to serve you the national meals. The ideal way to feel the atmosphere of the old times is to come to one of the Midieval Festivals held in Nesvizh. The ancient music, sword dueling and fire performances make a bright show full of emotions, which will remain a sweet memory. The lovers of the classics will adore the festival of the chamber music The Nesvizh Muses, where the works of the Belarusian and foreign composers are performed. The Belarusian travel agencies offer various excursions to Nesvizh. Come to see the ancient residence of the Radzivills and you will you are a magnate yourself!

On this page: Nesvizh Castle is the only magnate residence in Europe that was well-preserved up to our days.

Belarusian gems in the world treasury

On this page (top to bottom): The Corpus Christi Church, is a family vault of the Razdivills, with more than 70 coffins, starting from the XVIIth century. The number of burials allows comparing

the Nesvizh pantheon with the Habsburg mausoleum in Wienna or the burials of the Spanish monarchs at the Eskorial Palace in Spain.

The remains of the defensive constructions in the earth banks, found during the restoration of the castle. They can be easily taken for the catacombs or vaults.

www.eng.belarustourism.by/nesvizh-palace/ 7

The UNESCO Heritage Struve arc

he Struve Geodetic Arc or the Russian-Scandinavian Arc is a unique geodetic instrument, the longest in the world. It can be easily included into the Guinness Book for its dimensions. The giant snake stretches for 2820 km and is interesting in a scientific as well as in a historic way. The goal of the creation of the arc was to get precise measures of the shape and the size of the Earth. The results are stunning in their accuracy. The difference between the measurements taken 200 years ago and those taken today with the help of the modern satellites makes only 3,5 cm! The father of the research was Vasilij Struve, an outstanding Russian scientist, the member of the Saint-Petersburg Academy of Sciences, the founder and director of the Pulkovo Observatory. It was his idea to create the geodetic points along the 25-gr. meridian of the eastern latitude. The work was so complicated that it took more than 40 years to complete it (1816 1855). An amazing manmade monument of the human intelligence is stretching from the Arctic Ocean to the Danube. The first point is situated in Norway (point Fuglenes in Hammerfest) and the final is in Ukraine, near Ismail (point Staro-Nekrassowka). According to the decree of the Russian Emperor Alexander II and the King of Norway

Karl XV the monuments were erected at the extreme points of the arc. They were preserved and nowadays attract lots of curious tourists. The geodetic marvel embraces the territory of 10 countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. At first the arc comprised 265 points. They were signed in different ways with the hollows in the rocks, with the iron crosses, with the stone pyramids or with some special granitic cubes. Not all of them remained intact till these days and there are only 34 of them that are included into the UNESCO World Heritage List. On the territory of Belarus there are 31 points found and in 2005 five of them were added to the UNESCO list (Tupischki and Lopaty in Grodno region, Ossownitza, Tchekutsk and Leskovichi in Brest region). This number is larger than in any other country! A great mistake has made Struve Arc even more popular! In 2006 The National Bank of Belarus has issued an exclusive silver coin dedicated to Struve Arc. It has the square form, its weight was 33,62 g and its nominal was 20 roubles. Instead of the actual length of the arc (2820 m) there was the length 2880 m engraved on the coin! Once this mistake was noticed, the coin was called in, but this fact has only ignited the interest of the numismatist. Today this coin is

considered to be a rarity and is really valuable. The arc is also depicted on the stamps, issued by the Belarusian State Postoffice in 2007. Decorated in a beautiful manner, the stamp package has found its place in the collections of many stamp-collectors. You can literally touch Struve Arc in the Belarusian village of Chekutsk. There you will find an original monument a black stela, crowned by the 100-kg Earth sphere with the outline of Belarus on it. The monument was erected on the place where one of the arc points was found. The cube with the x-shaped measurement point, dated 1825, was buried in the ground as deep as 1 m. Another point is marked by a monument in Tupishki village. By the way, there are a lot of historic monuments situated in that area. Those interested in history will find the picturesque ruins of the Medieval Holshany Castle, which once belonged to the Sapegas family, attractive. You will be completely amazed by the majestic look of the Peter and Paul Cathedral in Boruny village, where the 300-year old wonderworking Borunskaya Madonna icon is kept. If you wish to have a look at the geodetic marvel, it is preferable to choose a car trip, during which you will have the opportunity to watch the wonderful landscapes of the Belarusian nature.

On this page: Struve Arc is eternalized by several monuments on the territory of Belarus. In Tupishki village this is a 100-kg sphere with the outline of Belarus and the arc points depicted on it.

On the next page: Struve Arc points found on the territory of Belarus.

Belarusian gems in the world treasury


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, 2009 , . , - ,19, . : +375 17 226-91-17 02330/0133480 30.03.2005 .

ISBN 978-985-6871-26-2 60x901/8. . . . 1,5. .-. . 2,2 279. 6000 . . 02330/0494251.

The UNESCO Heritage

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