2021, Apr 27

About Minsk

About Minsk

Minsk is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Belarus.

Some receive everything from birth, while others have to accumulate strength and authority over many years. The city of Minsk can be attributed to the second category.

The city was founded as a frontier fortress of the Principality of Polack, our city for its almost thousand-year history managed to visit the center of an appanage principality and voivodeship, a provincial city and, finally, the capital of the 10 million state.

Minsk is a city with a rich historical past, like any old city has a legend about its origin. According to this, the city was founded by a majestic hero named Mieniesk, who settled in ancient times near the bridge on the Svislach River near the road. Mieniesk built an amazing stone mill with seven wheels on the Svislach. In his mill, flour was milled not from grain, but from huge stone boulders. The rumble of unusual millstones was heard far away. Thus, Mieniesk frightened unfriendly people and attracted the attention of a strong and inquisitive population. At midnight, Mieniesk traveled with his mill to the villages and gathered a squad of brave and strong people. These people later became a whole tribe and settled near the mill. Mieniesk is not just a miller, he had his own squad, initially he also guarded his land. People came under his protection, settled on these lands. 

This is how the city of Miensk arose. A number of proverbs have remained in the Belarusian folklore. Their meaning is that all roads lead to Minsk, a kind of Belarusian Rome.

The first mention of this appears in the Old Russian chronicle. The Tale of Bygone Years dates back to March 3, 1067. This date is associated with the battle on the Niamiga River - the heart of Minsk. Today the water heart beats deep underground at the confluence of the Niamiga and the Svislach. There are the remains of the Detinets (fortified part of a city). In ancient times, Detinets was located in a swampy area and had natural boundaries, convenient for defense. Initially, the cape on which it was built rose above the water level in the Svislach by no more than 2-3 meters. An ancient rampart was built along its edge and originally reached a width of 15 meters at the base. Inside the rampart there was a wooden structure, which strengthened the sand embankment from creeping and protected it from enemy digging in the event of a siege. Later, the shaft was significantly increased and was already 25 - 26 meters near the base. The estimated height of the rampart was 8 - 9 meters. A log wall ran along the crest of the rampart. Ancient Miensk on the Svislach was a powerful outpost by its fortification data. According to historical sources, sieges of the city did not bring victory.


Throughout its history, Minsk burned to the ground many times, but always, like Phoenix, it revived and flourished. After the liberation of the city from the Nazis in 1944, the authorities planned to move the capital of Belarus to Mogilev or to build a new city and leae the ruins of Minsk as a reminiscent of the atrocities of Nazism. Indeed, during the three years of occupation in Minsk, more than 80 percent of buildings were destroyed, and the population decreased from 280 thousand people to 80. But the city managed to rise from the ruins.  

Streets, avenues and boulevards revived, the newest modern buildings appeared, not inferior to the buildings of large world cities. However, the healed wounds become a reminder of the lost historical monuments and entire architectural complexes. The face of Minsk is unique, it is both old and young, it is unique, like every city in the world.

Our partners