• Belarus
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  • Belarus
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Belorussia

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile
A member of the old Soviet block, Belorussia, also called Belarus, has borders with Russia, the Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. With a vast plain over the whole of its area, this country consists of several lakes, marshes, and immense forests offering a protective habitat to numerous animals. Minsk, a capital that was devastated during the Second World War, is a model of Stalinist architecture. This police state does not allow easy access to the country making travel to Belarus complicated. Here religion and orthodox song are fundamental. The beauty of the orthodox churches is a manifest example of this.

Our Editorial team's advice

Your stay in Belorussia can include cultural or artistic activities. There are several concerts during the National Convention for Belorussian Composers in Minsk in the month of January. Russian speakers will also appreciate the Poetry Festival by Lake Svityaz in June. Finally, the Belorussian musical autumn takes place at the end of November. Folk, classical and dance music are on the programme.

pros

  • +Nature that is still untouched and rich.
  • +A good place for fishermen (4,000 lakes and rivers).

cons

  • -Pollution following the nuclear catastrophe of Chernobyl. It is still in the south-east of the country.
  • -The condition of the roads is terrible.

Food

Belorussia is a great fan of mushrooms, so you should appreciate them as well! Prepared with a natural or creamy sauce, they are the basis of several main courses. Gribnoy sup is a soup of barley and mushrooms, gribi v smetane, mushrooms with cream, and kotleta po krestiansky, balls of pork with a mushroom sauce. A lot of freshwater fish are offered on restaurant menus as the country is rich in rivers and lakes. Do not miss trying kvas, a drink resulting from the fermentation of malt, sugar, mint, and fruit.

Souvenirs

The craftwork consists of decorative items in wood painted in bright colours: plates, spoons, goblets, tablecloths, and embroidered shirts. Various reproductions of icons are sold in the souvenir shops. Shopping timetables: from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday to Saturday. In the large cities, the shops are open every day and some are even 24h/24.