- concise city guide. basics you should know about the city life.          


 Going into Town

       Just a few of historical monuments of 17th 19th cc survived to the present day. Relentless time, numerous wars, violent revolutions, hysteric Bolsheviks and avaricious modern architects had taken their heavy toll on the face of the city. This gap is abundantly compensated by architectural masterpieces of the turbulent 20th century. The monuments to communist leaders are expressively juxtaposed with boutiques and casinos. Sumptuous stalinist architecture, combined with abundant beautiful parks and boulevards gives a feeling of space. Minsk cleanness is a brand of the city. Brigades of street cleaners keep watch twenty four hours a day to keep it clean. If you manage to uncover a bit of dirt, call cleaners emergency service without delay!
       Virgin Cathedral. This splendid exemplar of a Vilna baroque school was built in 17th-18th cc by the Jesuits. In 1950 its appearance was changed beyond recognition, and the building was used as a wrestling school. In 1993 the cathedral was returned to the RC Church and restored.
        Niamiha Street the historical Lower Town. Niamiha street and Metro station are called after the river Niamiha with which the first mentioning of Minsk in the Russian Primary Chronicle is connected and which is flowing canalized under this street. The eclectic ensemble of the street comprises the renaissance orthodox Peter and Paul church (17th century), the building of the Belarusian Fashion House, which is decorated with a gargantuan high-relief composition dedicated to the memory of WWII partisans, a department store, one of the largest in town, and a business centre on one side. The other side of the street is beautified by Adam Mickiewicz park, and a row of newly built antiqued panel houses, almost ready to shelter a shopping mall.
       Nezalezhnasci (Independence) Avenue a pivotal street of the city and the longest one: 15 km (9 miles) in length. A busiest place in town, one can find here or near many luxurious restaurants and cafes, department stores and boutiques, theatres and concert halls, public institutions and the National Library...
      National Library. (Nezalezhnasci 116) Controversial architectural merits and epic proportions of the library make it quite popular among natives and tourists, bibliophiles and illiterates. In the long run, who reads paper books anymore, at the dawn of the technetronic era? The Library hosts a restaurant and a cafe on a top floor, a sauna, a fitness centre and a gym. The impressive panoramic view from the observation deck on the top of the edifice (admission: 5,000 BYR (2 USD)) makes the library a definite mustsee. Better visit it in the evening dusk the original illumination of the building makes it look like just landed alien invaders spaceship rather than a depository of knowledge.
      Botanical Gardens of the Academy of Sciences. (Surganova 2a) Beautiful landscape design, impressive collection of plants, nice swan lake. A quiet corner in the centre of the city. Admission fee: 5,000 BYR (2 USD), half price for children.

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