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Birch over the Berezina Belarus

On August 20-22, 2022 a unique two-day festival “Way of the Dragon” will be held on the territory of Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve – the most ecologically clean territory of Belarus.

During the festival, mythological characters, spots for various activities, performances of musical groups, theatrical performances, master classes, lectures, excursions, artists’ plein air, quest, thematic exhibitions, food courts, a torchlight procession and a fire show await everyone!

A City of Artisans fair will be held during the festival, featuring a traveling forge, weaving, straw weaving, ritual dolls, crockery, wood and epoxy resin crafts, linen and wool knitting and much more.

Of course, there will be an open-air concert by famous Belarusian bands. And the highlight of the festival is a night excursion along the mythological path of the reserve.

And, of course, you’ll be able to meet the hero of the day at the festival – the Belarusian dragon.

Come to the festival and enjoy great music, entertainment, delicious food and, of course, the unforgettable nature of the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve, which is only 125 km from Minsk.

03/08/2022
Reconstruction of the Battle of Grunwald knights Crusaders ladies Minsk Belarus

The Battle of Grunwald is the decisive battle of the Great War of 1409-1411, which took place on 15 July 1410. The site of the Battle of Grunwald was the plain between the villages of Grunwald, Tannenberg and Ludwigsdorf. The alliance of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania under King Wladyslaw II Jagiello and Grand Duke Vytautas of Lithuania gained a decisive victory over the forces of the Teutonic Order.

The defeat at the Battle of Grunwald had taken a heavy toll on the Crusaders. All the elite of the Order – 205 knight-brothers, including the Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen – perished. Eight thousand vassal and ally warriors were killed. Fourteen thousand Crusaders were taken prisoner.

It is difficult to overestimate the significance of the Grunwald battle in the history of Belarus, Poland and the whole of Europe. As a result of one of the most large-scale battles in the medieval world, the balance of power on the world arena had changed and Belarus (then the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) and the Kingdom of Poland came to dominate in Europe.

The Dudutki Museum of Old Crafts and Technology, located near Minsk, hosts an annual international festival of medieval culture and music called “Our Grunwald”. “Our Grunwald” is dedicated to the military and secular culture and traditions of our ancestors. The central event of the festival is a reconstruction of the Battle of Grunwald, which took place on 15 July 1410. The festival traditionally takes place on the last or penultimate weekend in July.

If you come to Minsk in July, be sure to visit this magnificent festival of history, tradition, culture, knights and music.

25/07/2022
Ja, Andrej Iwanowitsch Buchenwald concentration camp film presentation Minsk Belarus

Recently, our team had the great honour of being invited by the German Embassy in Minsk to an evening of historical commemoration and presentation of the film ” Ja, Andrej Iwanowitsch”.

On its Facebook account, the German Embassy Minsk wrote: “On Friday, 8 July, a meeting took place between Ambassador Manfred Huterer and one of the last survivors of the Buchenwald concentration camp, Andrei Ivanovich Moissejenko.
In this context, Ambassador Huterer invited to a viewing of the documentary film ” Ja, Andrej Iwanowitsch (I, Andrei Ivanovich)” (2018), dedicated to the unique life story of the contemporary witness, followed by a joint discussion with director Hannes Farlock.
Getting to know and sharing with Mr Moisejenko was a special honour for the Embassy. Historical remembering and working for reconciliation are an important focus of our engagement in Belarus.”

This is a very impressive film about the incredible strength of the human spirit, its optimism and happiness, unexpected as it may sound.

The film is now publicly available for the first time on our Youtube channel. Enjoy watching it, we would be very happy about your feedback.

You can find more information about the project here: www.andrei-iwanowitsch.com

15/07/2022
Braslau lakes viewpoint Mayak Belarus

This year’s annual Viva Braslav Music Festival will take place on 29-30 July in the Braslaw Lakes National Park. The festival Viva Braslav Open Air 2022 is held at the address Vitebsk region, town of Braslav (Braslau), Central beach.

Viva Braslav is one of the biggest open air festivals in Belarus. This annual music festival on the shores of the Braslav lakes is eagerly awaited by thousands of people who love music and the atmosphere of a beach holiday.

The festival programme includes, as usual:

plenty of music
handicraft zone
play area
lounge area
rides
food courts
partner areas
sports areas
campsite.

Visiting this remarkable festival you will have the opportunity not only to have a great time and enjoy all the activities of the festival, but you can also visit the Braslav lakes with their unforgettable views.

11/07/2022
Forest Belarus

Polish citizens will be able to visit Belarus without visas, the State Border Committee of the Republic has said.

It is also noted that Poles will be able to visit the republic without visas from 1 July to 31 December inclusive.

Citizens of the neighboring country will be able to cross the border without a visa at checkpoints on the Belarusian-Polish part of the state border.

In addition, Polish citizens will be allowed to visit the border zone without a permit. When entering Belarus, one will only need to verbally inform the border guards about the intention to enter the border zone, indicating the settlements and the purpose of the visit.

To enter the country without a visa, Poles will be required to present a passport, a green card (when driving), as well as have a health insurance.

A PCR test and a certificate of vaccination against COVID-19 are not required to cross the Belarusian border.

You are welcome to visit our beautiful Belarus. You can choose one of our tours or make up your own tour.

04/07/2022
Vulitsa Ezha street food festival Minsk Belarus

For more than six years now, a big city picnic called Vulitsa Ezha (street food) has been held in Minsk.

This festival brings together delicious street food and quality outdoor leisure.

There is a wealth of entertainment for every taste: street food, live music, designer markets, cookery workshops and lectures on various themes. On top of that, the festivities include outdoor activities and a large playground with a variety of activities for young and old children with their parents.

Without leaving the city, it is possible to have an unforgettable picnic with family, friends and relatives.

This year the festival takes place in the Minsk Botanical Garden, which is the country’s largest center for the conservation of biodiversity of living plants, a leading research institution in the field of plant introduction, acclimatization, physiology, molecular biology, biotechnology, biochemistry and ecology. So in addition to the festival, you can also enjoy the beautiful plants and views of the Botanical Gardens.

This year’s Vulitsa Ezha big city picnic is July 23-24 and September 3-4. Come to Minsk and enjoy this big family event!

29/06/2022
Vitebsk Slavyansky Bazaar Belarus

As usual since 1992, the annual international festival Slavianski Bazar (Slavonic Bazaar) 2022 will be held this summer in Vitebsk, Belarus. The festival will be taking place from July 13 to 18.

Residents and guests of Vitebsk will see a number of interesting programs and performances on the stage of the summer amphitheater as well as on other stages of the festival.

The details and the program can be found on the official website of the festival.

Visa-free entry from 73 countries will be granted for the participants and guests of the festival.

Visa-free entry for foreign citizens will require an original or electronic ticket for the festival events in the Summer Amphitheatre or the Concert Hall “Vitebsk”.

At the same time, one foreign citizen is allowed to enter Belarus with one ticket no later than the date of the event indicated on the ticket. In this case, foreign citizens and stateless persons are also exempt from the state duty for the registration of temporary stay.

Come to Belarus and visit this magnificent festival!

24/06/2022
Halshany castle Sapieha castle in Halshany Golshany Belarus

Halshany (Golshany) is a small agrotown in the Grodno Region with a rich history and serious heritage. It is often called the “open-air museum”, and it is absolutely true. The castle in Halshany is the ancestral home of the Halshany and later the Sapieha dynasties. Nearby is the 17th century Baroque church, with typical 19th century houses lining the streets. Prior to World War II, most of the population of Halshany was Jewish. There was also a synagogue and a Jewish bank, which unfortunately have not survived.

According to chronicles, the castle had existed here since at least 1280 and belonged to the dukes of Halshany. In 1525, the two famous families merged – Helena of Halshany married the magnate Pawel Sapieha. The Halshany castle owes its new stone appearance to Pawel. For grandeur of exterior and interior decoration, for integrity of the architectural concept in XVII century the Halshany castle was deservedly considered one of the most beautiful in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Not far from the castle Pawel Sapieha built a Catholic Franciscan monastery and a church. Unfortunately, the architectural ensemble has survived in its sad state. The monastery and church have somehow survived, but the castle was almost destroyed.

The castle of the Sapieha preserved its grandeur, even being a ruin. The towering tower and numerous massive walls of enormous size are a delight to adults and children alike.

It was not until 2018 that the ruined castle was rebuilt. The North Tower was rebuilt and several viewing platforms over the ruins of the Halshany castle were built.

The ruins of the Sapieha castle in Halshany are also a venue for various festivals and celebrations. Visiting one of the festivals will give you a chance to discover Halshany from a slightly different angle. You’ll be part of a unique experience, you’ll be able to reconstruct some of the events and you’ll undoubtedly learn something new.

You will be able to see the Halshany castle and get acquainted with its history on our tour in Grodno.

15/06/2022
Main square in Novogrudok (Navahrudak) Belarus

Novogrudok (Navahrudak), is situated in a picturesque hilly area, often called the “Belarusian Switzerland”, 160 kilometres west of Minsk. It is now a relatively small town in terms of regional centres, but it has not lost its importance as a centre of Belarus’ historical and cultural heritage.

First mentioned in chronicles in 1044, the town soon became an important political and trade centre. The history of Novogrudok is directly linked to the history of Belarusian statehood, and it is believed that Novogrudok was the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Duke Mindaugas made Novogrudok his residence. In 1507 the dynastic marriage between the Duke Jogaila (Władysław II Jagiełło) and the Polish Princess Jadwiga made Novogrudok a part of the newly created state of Rzeczpospolita (the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania). Novogrudok retained its special status, ceding primacy to Vilnius: meetings of the sejm and meetings of the king with foreign diplomats were held in the city.

The ruins of an ancient castle in Novogrudok, once the residence of Lithuanian grand dukes, have long become the city’s brand name. Only the ruins of two towers of the “Mindaugas Castle”, as it is often called, have survived. Wars and destruction have prevented it from surviving in its original form. The castle’s high ramparts offer a remarkable view over the city, so it’s not hard to imagine how imposing it must have been.

Nowadays knights’ tournaments are traditionally held near the fortress walls. Travelers can watch horse tournaments, archery competitions and knightly duels, as well as try on the armor of ancient warriors or the outfits of beautiful ladies.

A trip to the first capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania will stay in the memory of a tourist who chose the vacation in Belarus for a long time. The city where history comes to life will not leave anyone indifferent.

We invite you to visit Novogrudok and its attractions during one of our tours.

03/06/2022
Entrance gate of the Ruzhany Sapieha palace Belarus

The palace complex in Ruzhany is one of the most unique places in Belarus. For centuries, the beautiful architectural ensemble, called the Belarusian Versailles, belonged to the powerful Sapieha dynasty.
Ruzhany palace is recognized as a visiting card of Belarusian architecture of the late eighteenth century.

In 1598 the future Chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Lew Sapieha bought Ruzhany for his residence. It was here, in Ruzhany, that he drew up a law code that was progressive for its time – the Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which was, by the way, written in old Belarusian. The cellars of the castle in Ruzhany held the treasury of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and a whole arsenal of weapons.

In the times of Lew Sapieha it was a defensive castle. At the beginning of the XVIII century during the war with Swedes the Ruzhany castle was looted and destroyed. A descendant of Lew Sapieha, Alexander, was forced to rebuild everything, and under his leadership, the palace was built, which can be compared to Versailles, with its own theatre, rich library, a collection of art and weapons.

Thanks to the Sapieha family the small town became well known in Europe. In 1637 the town received the Magdeburg Rights. It had its own town hall and a coat of arms depicting St. Casimir (the patron saint of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania).

Time, war, fires and changes in political periods did their part: only ruins of the main and eastern buildings, arcades, wings and the entrance gate with the Sapieha coat of arms, carved out of wood, have survived by a miracle. The slightly better preserved buildings of Ruzany Palace have been reconstructed in our time. The Eastern wing houses a museum with four exhibition halls, where you can see the palace complex in Ruzhany in miniature, as it would have been without the war and the Soviet era. The “chancellor’s living room” with furniture in the style of the 17th-18th centuries has also been recreated.

Since 2011, the Sapieha Palace is the venue of an annual festival called “Ruzhany Entrance Gate”. Its guests can learn about the past of the residence, attend guided tours, watch historical reconstructions and performances, and attend a folk craftsmen’s fair.

You can also see Ruzhany Palace on one of our tours.

25/05/2022