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Belarus


Belarus is situated in the centre of Europe, and has international borders with five countries:

Russia
Ukraine
Poland
Lithuania
Latvia

Although a landlocked state, the location has made Belarus an important trade and transport route between Europe and the CIS.
The total land area of Belarus is more than 207,000 square kilometers.

What is the capital of Belarus?
Minsk, the capital of Belarus, is located in the centre of the country.
Minsk today is a modern international city. The first recorded mention of the city goes back to 1067.
Over the course of its chequered history, Minsk has been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times, most recently after World War 2, when it was almost completely destroyed.

More than 1.8 million people live in Minsk today. It has excellent transport links including Minsk airport, several major train stations, the Minsk metro underground network, and a well-developed road system.

What are the main regions of Belarus?

The country of Belarus is divided into six administrative districts, each centred around a major city:

  • Brest region
  • Gomel region
  • Grodno region
  • Minsk region
  • Mogilev region
  • Vitebsk region

Belarus people

The people of Belarus are a kind, friendly and good humoured nation. The patience and peacefulness of the Belarusian people has been determined by the nation’s history that has been darkened by endless wars which the Belarusians did not start, but fell victim to. Belarus is welcoming to all visitors and interested in sharing its culture, traditions and sense of community with them.

Ethnic Belarusians make up more than 80% of the population. But because of the history of Belarus, many other nationalities have also settled in the country, many of whom have been established for several generations.

Here are the main minority groups that make up the people of Belarus:

  • Russians (8.3%) have always lived in the region, with a large influx into the country after the Second World War.
  • Poles (3.1%) have lived in the western side of the country for centuries.
  • Ukrainians (1.7%) – the largest influx came in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Jews (0,1%): the first Jews settled in Belarus in the 15th century, but emigration to Israel and other states since the 1980s means that the Jewish population of Belarus is now less than 30,000.

Other significant minority groups in Belarus include Tatars, Roma, Lithuanians and Letts.

Languages of Belarus

Belarusian and Russian are the official languages of Belarus.
Other languages such as Polish, Ukrainian and Hebrew are spoken within local communities.

National clothing of Belarus

National costume is still popular in Belarus but usually worn only on festival days and for celebrations.

Traditional crafts in Belarus

There’s a long and rich history of traditional arts and crafts in Belarus, and many of these skills are alive and well today.

The main crafts include:

  • weaving
  • woodworking
  • glass blowing

Traditional folk dancing remains popular, with a number of folk theatres around Belarus.

Music and art also play an important part in the national life of Belarus, with national and international festivals held regularly across the country. The best known of these is the Slavyanskiy Bazaar in Vitebsk.

Minsk city



Minsk city is the capital of Belarus. It is the political, economic, scientific and cultural centre of the country and the administrative centre of the Minsk region.

Minsk is the most economically developed city in Belarus. There are 1.836, 8 million inhabitants in Minsk, and the population is constantly growing.

Transportation network in Minsk

Minsk is located on the main transportation routes connecting Western Europe and the East, regions of the Black Sea coast and the Baltic States.

Highways connect Minsk with the largest cities in Belarus: Orsha, Vitebsk, Molodechno, Brest, Slutsk, Mogilev and Gomel.

Minsk has a large railway network which connects Brest, Moscow, Vilnius and Gomel. There is a national airport in the capital.

The city has a very good public transportation system. You can easily reach any place by bus, trolleybus or tram. Minsk, like most big European cities, has a fine metro system.

Industry in Minsk

Minsk is a large industrial centre. The city produces 20.2% of the total volume of industrial output.
Industry within the city is diverse in nature. The main branches are:

  • food production
  • light industry
  • motor industry
  • tractor manufacturing
  • machine-tool construction
  • metal working
  • instrument making
  • radio engineering and electronic equipment manufacturing

There is a free economic zone in Minsk

Education in Minsk

Minsk is a large educational centre within Belarus. The main educational institutions of the country, including lyceums, high schools and colleges, are concentrated in Minsk. The key institutions include:

  • Academy of Management of the President of the Republic of Belarus
  • Belarus State University
  • Belarus State Medical University
  • Belarus State Economic University
  • Belarusian National Technical University
  • Belarusian State Technological University
  • Belarusian State Academy of Arts

Culture and sport in Minsk

The capital has an extensive network of cultural establishments with 18 museums and 12 theatres, including:

  • The Belarusian State Museum of the Great Patriotic War (World War 2)
  • National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus
  • The National Museum of Culture and History of Belarus
  • National Academic Bolshoi Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus
  • State Musical Comedy Theatre of the Republic of Belarus
  • State Theatre of Dolls of the Republic of Belarus

Minsk has about 3,600 sports centres including stadiums and athletic fields, pools, sport centres and exercise rooms, tennis courts and a ski line.

The largest sports centres in Minsk are:

  • Dynamo Stadium
  • Sports Palace
  • Tennis Palace
  • Football Arena
  • Ice palace
  • Minsk-arena sport centre

Attractions in Minsk

There are numerous interesting historical places and architectural monuments, including:

  • Troitsky suburb
  • Victory square
  • Independence Avenue
  • Orthodox and Catholic Churches
  • National Library of Belarus
 

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