Explore the dual nature of Belarusian capital
Belarus is not as attractive tourist country, like for example the neighboring Ukraine and Slovakia.There are no mountains, sea, or city of this class, which Lviv and Budapest. What is more, there are a visa and a number of restrictions for foreigners. Despite this you should think about a trip to Minsk. It is impossible to know and understand modern Belarus without visiting its capital. Unfortunately, this metropolis of two million during Secound World War has been completely destroyed, so today there are almost no monuments in it. That is the main reason why, unlike Kiev or Vilnius, Minsk will never be a tourist hit.
From the old Minsk preserved only two historic district but even they are heavily transformed and does not fully reflect the authenticity of the pre-war city. The remaining area of the center is monumental buildings of the socialist realism. What is interesting, the city is very well maintained and quite modern That make some irony: urban infrastructure in Minsk is much more seriously invested and the city is much more “European” than, for example Bratislava, which in comparison with the Belarusian capital looks like poor province.
If the tourist attractiveness of European cities be measured by the number of green and sports facilities, the Minsk certainly would take one of the first places. Minsk is a very spacious city, with the wide alleys, squares, and numerous parks. It is really full of green mainly aroud the river, Świsłoczy, where are stretches narrow, but long on more than 20 km of parks and green areas.
The pride of Minsk are modern sports facilities, especially the palace of ice. This has been built becouse of personal sympathy of President Lukashenko, who actively play hockey and even in times of crisis was building across the country a modern ice rink. On the other hand, on the north-western outskirts of the city is quite surreal object of the new National Library, reminiscent of huge reactor.
Most of valuable places, especially those related to the opposition’s vision of history have beed hidden in various inconspicuous locations throughout the city. One of them is for example a characteristic church in the city center, the place where was created the Belarusian Popular Front.
How can we describe this city? Minsk on the one hand is the is ugly and full of kitsch and on the other hand – fascinating and delights. This duality is also a part of contemporary alternative culture of Belarus.