From 13-15 September 2019 Minsk celebrates the Day of the City. On these days numerous events take place. The founding year of Minsk is 1067. This year Minsk will be 952 years old. The festivities begin with an official laying of a wreath at the monument of the hero city Minsk in the center of the city.
Minsk coat of arms
The Minsk coat of arms is depicted in the form of a baroque shield. The Virgin Mary is depicted on a blue background.
The following events, among others, are planned for the Day of the City:
- The “H.O.G. Rally Minsk 2019” Festival. Here motorcyclists from all over the world celebrate the end of the season, with numerous actions and the traditional “Poker Run” to the most interesting places in Minsk for motorcyclists and bus tours through the city for all who are interested.
- As part of the festivities, a public wedding of nine wedding couples will take place under the motto “Nine stories of love” (In the concert hall of the Upper Town, LINK).
- The world-famous IT company Wargaming (World of Tanks) organizes its traditional festival “Tank Rifle Day”. More than 200,000 guests from 28 countries are expected to attend this festival. Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian groups as well as the legendary band “The Offspring” will take part in the musical part of the festival. LINK
- As part of the Day of the City there will be an international festival on the history of ancient Minsk. Guests can learn more about the eventful history of Belarus, from the Late Palaeolithic to the Second World War.
On Saturday evening the guests can expect a big fireworks display.
You can learn more about the city of Minsk, its history, culture, architecture and the life of its inhabitants on our Minsk trip.
Europe’s last dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, is in trouble: The EU criticises him for violating human rights and freedom of expression. And Russia is said to want to annex the small country. So he is looking for supporters – and has found them in China.
Investors from the Far East are to build a small town near the capital Minsk, with Sichuan-style architecture, bilingual street signs and the „Beijing Alley” as the main street. A corresponding agreement with the city of Chongqing was recently signed. It alone has three times as many inhabitants as all of Belarus. The employees of Chinese investors will probably live in small China near Minsk.
Lukashenko had an 11,000 hectare special economic zone established. Companies such as Huawei do not have to pay taxes there for ten years. The ruler hopes that “high-tech companies” will be lured into his country. Chinese banks would also provide Lukashenko with loans amounting to around nine billion dollars.
Belarus already has eight billion in debt in China, which is about 13 percent of the gross domestic product. As a sign of the unbreakable friendship between Belarus and China, a small Belarusian town will be built in Chongqing. The Minsk City Hall and the famous Nyasvish Castle will be rebuilt. You can see the original on our exciting journey around Minsk.
(Source: SPIEGEL 33/19)
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has signed Decree No. 300 “On the introduction of visa-free entry and exit procedures for foreign nationals”.
Previously, there were two separate visa-free zones for the areas around Brest and Grodno, which have now been merged into the visa-free area “Brest – Grodno”. It includes five other districts of the Grodno region.
For citizens from 73 countries, the duration of the visa-free stay for tourist purposes increases to 15 days in this region.
At the same time, visa-free entry to Belarus is allowed for up to 30 days via the border checkpoint at the national airport in Minsk (according to the decree № 8 of 9 January 2017 with amendments coming into force on 24 July 2018).
Detailed information on visa-free travel to Belarus and other travel details can be found here.
On August 24 the 5th Festival of Georgian Culture “Tbilisoba” takes place in Minsk.
This year “Tbilisioba” will be held under the motto “Georgian-Belarusian Friendship” and both Georgian and Belarusian groups will perform.
Guests will be offered Georgian specialties such as shashlik, khinkali, and harcho, as well as performances by famous Georgian and Belarusian artists.
The first festival “Tbilisoba” took place five years ago and the Minsk people liked it so much that it was followed by a series of days of other national cultures. But the Georgian festival is still the most popular among the inhabitants and tourists of the city: last year the festival was attended by about 80,000 people. The Georgian festival was the first cultural festival at which the Minsk authorities allowed the festival to continue until midnight.
The fifth edition of “Tbilisoba” will again take place in the Upper City, the various stands with folk art and specialities of Georgian cuisine will extend as far as River Svisloch.
The Upper City is the historic city centre. Now the square of the Upper City is called Liberty Square. As a few centuries ago, many cultural events are held on Liberty Square today. You can learn more about the history and culture of our city and surroundings on our Minsk city tour.
Belarus is gaining more and more popularity among citizens of the neighboring countries, and with the new 30-day visa-free regime the number of travelers is gradually increasing. We compiled a list of ideas for spending your holidays here.
Best Things to Do in Belarus
Belarus has a truly rich culture. If you’re looking for ways to enrich your cultural life, you won’t be disappointed. Belarusian amateur artistic groups are recognized and popular in other countries and you can find many musical events around the country. All regional cities and even most of the small towns have museums, theatres and art galleries. Belarusian cultural heritage has centuries-old history, embracing several art and architecture schools and producing many unique literary works and pieces of music.
The country actively encourages healthy lifestyle and builds various sports facilities, including:
- football stadiums;
- ice arenas;
- swimming pools and waterparks;
- ski resorts;
- and many others.
The number of international championships held in Belarus is growing every year. In 2019, the major sports events set to take place are European Games and Summer Biathlon World Championship. In 2021 Belarus will co-host the IIHF World Championship with Riga.
If you prefer just walking and relaxing over physical loading, there are plenty of parks to enjoy. Belarusian nature is the country’s main source of pride. There are five key national parks in the country. Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve, Braslav Lakes, Narachansky and Pripyatsky National Parks, and Belovezhskaya Pushcha are the largest parks in Belarus. Besides, Belovezhskaya Pushcha is in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Restaurants and Nightlife
Restaurant culture is actively developing in the country. New gourmet restaurants are opening every year while barmen create new cocktails and compete at international championships. Many restaurants provide live music as a part of their entertainment program. Besides that, you can treat yourself to a cup of good coffee and a delicious dessert in one of cafes or coffee shops. Also, there are a number of good restaurants offering Belarusian national cuisine and multiple venues offering fast food. Food festivals like GastroFest are regularly held in Minsk and regional cities, offering you to enjoy a set of delicious dishes at an attractive price. Rest assured that you will find something exciting to any taste and budget. Belarus nightlife is especially vibrant. There are many clubs to dance and listen to pop music. Many young people gather at bars on weekends for a cocktail and a nice talk. Still hesitating about what places to visit in Belarus? Book a tour at g4 tours! Go on a circular tour around Belarus if you want to see the whole country or we can create your own, personalized tour. Our consultants will be happy to help you. Get your personal travel plan now!
Started in 1992 and held annually ever since, the International Festival of Arts “ Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk” has become a significant cultural event that attracts the attention of many popular singers and performers, actors, filmmakers, artists around the world. Vitebsk Festival includes a wide range of bright holidays and events where you will get into the carnival extravaganza and contest excitement, feel the purity and sincerity of children’s creative work, enjoy classical music and ballet, plunge into the world of theatre and cinema, and relish the calm atmosphere of museums and exhibition halls.
Thanks to the festival, Belarus has had a chance to see many foreign singers, performers, composers and bands. The town of Vitebsk has become the meeting place for world famous performers and artists.
The program of the Festival highlights such events as Young Singers’ International Song Contest; Children’s International Music Festival; “Theatre meetings” Program; Festival Exhibitions; Gala concerts and Shows Program.
This year the festival starts on 12 July and ends on 16 July. Additional events will take place three days before the inauguration and two days after the closing ceremony.
The programme of the International Art Festival 2018 in Vitebsk can be found on their official website.
The main venue of the festival, the Amphitheatre, was constructed especially for such occasion in 1988, and seats about five thousand spectators.
So if you decide to travel to Vitebsk for sure you won`t be disappointed… During the festival the whole city lives in the rhythm of infinite fun and good mood. Vitebsk blooms and gives its guest the most interesting and unforgettable moments.
The Belorussian Tank Biathlon kicked off at the Stalin Line range, Loshany village, near Minsk on Saturday. Hundreds of people came to watch the T-72B tanks hit the targets and overcame the distances, destroying old Zhiguli cars and other obstacles on their way. Stalin Line Tank Biathlon is held for the third year with the support of the Belarus Ministry of Defence.
On 28 September – 01 October the first meeting of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences took place in Minsk.
The meeting was attended by Presidents of the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conferences from 45 countries of the world.
The meeting was dedicated to the problems of today’s youth and the challenges facing Europe today. These were the central themes of the meeting. On the last day of the conference a summary document was adopted which will be taken into account in the preparation of the Synod of Bishops for Youth in August 2018.
Catholic Hierarchs not only discussed current issues, but also got to know the country and the faithful, visited parishes and held worship services.
It is a great event and honour for Belarus to receive the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences.
The EEU is an economic alliance between Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. It evolved on 01.01.2015 from the customs’ union between Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan. The main objective is to simplify and streamline the exchange of services, goods and capital. The five countries want to coordinate their economic policy along the lines of the European Union. The principal milestones on the road to development of the EEU were:
– in 1994 the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, proposed the idea of a Eurasian Union
– in 2000 Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan founded the Eurasian Economic Community
– in 2010 the customs’ union between Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia came into being
– in 2012 the Eurasian Economic Union was created between Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, with the aim of promoting a free transfer of goods, services, capital and workforce.
Each year a different member country chairs the EEU. In 2015, this was Belarus, followed by Kazakhstan in 2016 and Kyrgyzstan in 2017.
The ambition of the Union is economic cooperation. The member countries also aim to coordinate key issues of mutual interest such as transport, agricultural and industrial policy.
Among the most important targets of the EEU are:
– creating conditions for the stable development of the economies in the member countries, with the aim of improving the standard of living of the population;
– attempting to create a common market for goods, services, capital and workforce;
– implementing extensive modernisation, cooperation and improvement in economic competitiveness.
Moreover, the EEU aims to create a common finance market by the year 2025. This should make a free transfer of capital within the EEU possible. The common finance market should include banks, stock exchanges and insurance.
The EEU also hopes to extend its sphere of activity by concluding free trade agreements with other countries. A free trade agreement with Vietnam was already signed in 2015. Negotiations over free trade are currently underway with about 50 countries, for example with Singapore, Egypt, Iran and India.
At the present time, the Commission is working with China on the “new Silk Road” project, in other words a joint trade and economic agreement with China. This cooperation would provide opportunities for both sides. On the part of the EEU, Russia in particular would be able to supply its hydrocarbons to the Far East. In return, China would obtain a reliable transit route to the West for its goods. The Silk Road could also include the regions of Western Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran also seem to be interested in cooperating. This would lead to a trading area from China in the east via India and Iran in the south to Belarus in the west.
In the summer of 2017, a new customs code came into force with the intention of standardising and modernising import regulations and the work of the customs authorities.
As some of the member countries are lagging well behind with regard to modern technology, the Eurasian Economic Commission has set itself the goal of encouraging industrial innovation and promoting industrial cooperation between the member countries. In addition, the production of technology products will be stimulated and completely new branches of high-tech industry developed.
To achieve this goal, the Eurasian Economic Commission plans to modernise industrial and innovation structures. This includes industry and innovation clusters, industry and technology parks, economy and technology centres.
Eurasian Technology Platforms
Furthermore, platforms are to be created in priority fields of technology so as to encourage important key branches. Scientists and design engineers from all EEU countries will work together to find solutions for specific innovations for particular industrial branches. The results of the research and development work will subsequently be implemented in the production process.
In the EEU countries, so-called digital factories are to be created. The Eurasian Economic Commission is eager for the member countries to synchronise their national digitalisation strategies in order to create digital technology platforms, system and interdisciplinary projects. Digital technology in the fields of industry and agriculture is still negligible, but this should be remedied in future by digital factories.
Eurasian Centre for machine tool construction
The EEU is planning to create a Eurasian Centre for the machine tool industry, which will be instrumental in the technological development of machine tool construction.
The demand for modern, environmental technology is extremely high at the moment. The global market for environmental technology and services is one of the most dynamically growing sectors. With the aid of the Eurasian platform “Technology for ecological development”, the EEU is planning to open up this market for companies within the union. A top priority is the development of environmentally friendly transport facilities and modern solutions for climate and environmental protection.
According to a survey made by the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce, the majority of German companies questioned consider the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has advantages. Apart from abolishing customs duties between the countries and creating a larger sales market, some of the advantages mentioned included savings in logistic costs and technical regulations.
The EEU provides easier access to five markets simultaneously through unified customs duties and a common certification process. This is beneficial in particular to companies which are active in other EEU countries as well as Russia.
According to Tigran Sarkisjan, the chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission, the work of the Eurasian Economic Union is primarily of an economic and not a political nature. The Commission offers solutions for improving the business environment in the five countries and providing a single market for goods and services as well as freedom of movement for the workforce and investments.
It will take some time to be able to judge whether the EEU can fulfil these expectations in the long term.
On 14 April 2017 at 17.00 an international exhibition project “Field of Flowers” will be opened at the National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus.
The name of this project is the poem of the same name by the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz “Campo di Fiori” (“Field of Flowers”), which was written in Warsaw during the uprising in the Jewish ghetto in 1943.
The project does not only lead to the commemoration of the Holocaust. Works by artists are presented at different times and in different media. They are dedicated to the following themes: Questions of nationality, Jewish everyday life, tolerance in the modern world, remembrance.