Jonathan Worthington :: jnthn.net

Belarus

After the trip where I crossed Russia on the Trans-Siberian railway, I continued to Minsk, and then onwards to Brest. This album contains the photos from my days in the Republic of Belarus.

Creative Commons License
These photos are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

Minsk

The capital of Belarus, Minsk is a real curiosity - if a rather uncomfortable one at times. Ordinary buildings look grand, the parks are pristine and the McDonalds is packed, but it's about the most western thing you'll find in the whole city. It's hard to spot a western style advertisement anywhere - even the projectors in the metro stations are playing cartoons rather than adverts. There's plenty of police keeping an eye on things, too. Do so much as walk on the opposite side of the street from the square in front of the presidential palace and you get your details taken - bizarrely after being escorted onto the square in front of the palace, much closer than you ever intended to get to it in the first place! And then you notice the Catholic church being the most attractive feature on the main square by the government buildings, despite a general crackdown against things that aren't the official state-sanctioned Orthodox. Minsk is, perhaps, a place you're better of just not trying to understand.

Great Patriotic War monument
Great Patriotic War monument
Great Patriotic War monument
Great Patriotic War monument
Underground part of the war monument
Underground part of the war monument
Great Patriotic War monument
Great Patriotic War monument
Father and son before the eternal flame
Father and son before the eternal flame
Great Patriotic War monument
Great Patriotic War monument
The eternal flame
The eternal flame
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Looking at the war monument square
Looking at the war monument square
In Janki Kupaly Park
In Janki Kupaly Park
In Janki Kupaly Park
In Janki Kupaly Park
In Janki Kupaly Park
In Janki Kupaly Park
In Janki Kupaly Park
In Janki Kupaly Park
In Orkaha Central Children's Park
In Orkaha Central Children's Park
In Orkaha Central Children's Park
In Orkaha Central Children's Park
In Orkaha Central Children's Park
In Orkaha Central Children's Park
In Janki Kupaly Park
In Janki Kupaly Park
In Janki Kupaly Park
In Janki Kupaly Park
In Janki Kupaly Park
In Janki Kupaly Park
Near Janki Kupaly Park
Near Janki Kupaly Park
In Janki Kupaly Park
In Janki Kupaly Park
Another war monument
Another war monument
Another war monument
Another war monument
Great Patriotic War monument
Great Patriotic War monument
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Culture palace
Culture palace
Culture palace
Culture palace
On Oktyabrskaya Square
On Oktyabrskaya Square
Culture palace decoration
Culture palace decoration
Culture palace sign
Culture palace sign
Culture palace roof
Culture palace roof
On Oktyabrskaya Square
On Oktyabrskaya Square
On Oktyabrskaya Square
On Oktyabrskaya Square
Culture palace
Culture palace
Murals seen on a building
Murals seen on a building
Murals seen on a building
Murals seen on a building
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
The greatest achievement of capitalism in all of Belarus
The greatest achievement of capitalism in all of Belarus
Random street art
Random street art
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Along Francyska Skaryny Prospekt
Lenin Square
Lenin Square
Lenin Square
Lenin Square
Statue on Lenin Square
Statue on Lenin Square
Catholic church
Catholic church
Catholic church
Catholic church
Lenin Square
Lenin Square
Catholic church
Catholic church
Lenin Square
Lenin Square
Lenin Square
Lenin Square
Lenin Square
Lenin Square
Man walks beneath the Lenin statue
Man walks beneath the Lenin statue
Lenin statue
Lenin statue
Lenin Square
Lenin Square
Lenin Square
Lenin Square
Unknown bust
Unknown bust

Minsk to Brest

A few photos shot through the (not so clean) train window as I did the four hour journey from Minsk to Brest.












Brest

Brest was somewhat more likable than Minsk. The buildings weren't so overpoweringly grand, but much more down to earth. There were some nice churches and some other nice bits of architecture in the center too. The streets, and especially the mark, were pristine. People didn't cross the streets unless the green light on the crossing was lit. It felt like some kind of utopia - until you talked to anyone and realized just how hard life is for many of them. The prices for things in the shops didn't seem particularly low, but people's wages certainly were.

St Simon Orthodox Cathedral
St Simon Orthodox Cathedral
View from my hotel window
View from my hotel window
View from my hotel window
View from my hotel window
Along Masherava Prospekt
Along Masherava Prospekt
The Mukhavets River
The Mukhavets River
The Mukhavets River
The Mukhavets River
One of many "flags" along the roadside
One of many "flags" along the roadside
St Simon Orthodox Cathedral
St Simon Orthodox Cathedral
Sunset view from my hotel window
Sunset view from my hotel window
Sunset view from my hotel window
Sunset view from my hotel window
Sunset view of St Simon Orthodox Cathedral
Sunset view of St Simon Orthodox Cathedral
Night view from my hotel window
Night view from my hotel window
Night view from my hotel window
Night view from my hotel window
View from my hotel window
View from my hotel window
Statue by St Simon Orthodox Cathedral
Statue by St Simon Orthodox Cathedral
Statue by St Simon Orthodox Cathedral
Statue by St Simon Orthodox Cathedral
St Simon Orthodox Cathedral
St Simon Orthodox Cathedral
St Simon Orthodox Cathedral
St Simon Orthodox Cathedral
The Mukhavets River
The Mukhavets River
The Mukhavets River
The Mukhavets River
The Mukhavets River
The Mukhavets River
By the Mukhavets River
By the Mukhavets River
Random building in the center
Random building in the center
Theater
Theater
Road in the center
Road in the center
One of the many streets divided by a park
One of the many streets divided by a park
St Peter's Polish Catholic Church
St Peter's Polish Catholic Church
St Peter's Polish Catholic Church
St Peter's Polish Catholic Church
Lenin Square
Lenin Square
Lenin statue
Lenin statue
Lenin statue
Lenin statue
Government building
Government building
Building on Lenin Square
Building on Lenin Square
In the Park of Culture and Leisure
In the Park of Culture and Leisure
Monument in the Park of Culture and Leisure
Monument in the Park of Culture and Leisure
Wooden carving in the Park of Culture and Leisure
Wooden carving in the Park of Culture and Leisure
Theater in the Park of Culture and Leisure
Theater in the Park of Culture and Leisure
In the Park of Culture and Leisure
In the Park of Culture and Leisure
In the Park of Culture and Leisure
In the Park of Culture and Leisure
In the Park of Culture and Leisure
In the Park of Culture and Leisure
In the Park of Culture and Leisure
In the Park of Culture and Leisure
In the Park of Culture and Leisure
In the Park of Culture and Leisure
Children's rides
Children's rides
Random interesting looking building in the center
Random interesting looking building in the center
St Nikolaiv Church
St Nikolaiv Church
St Nikolaiv Church
St Nikolaiv Church
Curious building next to the center
Curious building next to the center
St Nikolaiv Church
St Nikolaiv Church
St Nikolaiv Church
St Nikolaiv Church
Buildings on Mitskevicha Street
Buildings on Mitskevicha Street
Tower
Tower
Along Savetskaya Street
Along Savetskaya Street
Random city shot
Random city shot
The station
The station
Crossing the border, leaving Belarus
Crossing the border, leaving Belarus

Brest Fortress

There weren't so many Soviet architectural wonders, but they do exist. Brest Fortress, an easy couple of kilometers walk out of the city center, is one of them. Transformed into a war memorial in the 1970s, it brings home the enormity of the loss suffered by the Soviet forces in World War Two, or the Great Patriotic War as it's known in Belarus. It was the largest, and I think the most moving, war memorial I ever have visited.

Approaching the fortress
Approaching the fortress
Approaching the fortress
Approaching the fortress
The moat
The moat
The entrance
The entrance
The moat
The moat
The entrance
The entrance
The entrance
The entrance
The entrance
The entrance
The entrance, from the inside
The entrance, from the inside
The entrance, from the inside
The entrance, from the inside
The entrance, from the inside
The entrance, from the inside
Entrance to what was probably a bunker
Entrance to what was probably a bunker
Old tanks
Old tanks
The beautiful gardens in the grounds
The beautiful gardens in the grounds
Part of the moat system
Part of the moat system
Valour monument and obilisk
Valour monument and obilisk
Valour monument and obilisk
Valour monument and obilisk
Looking towards a building housing a museum
Looking towards a building housing a museum
The vast, open space in the memorial
The vast, open space in the memorial
Ruins
Ruins
Ruins
Ruins
Ruins
Ruins
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Obilisk
Obilisk
Valour monument and obilisk
Valour monument and obilisk
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument and obilisk
Valour monument and obilisk
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Rememberence of cities that suffered especially in the war
Rememberence of cities that suffered especially in the war
Nikalavisky Church
Nikalavisky Church
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Nikalavisky Church
Nikalavisky Church
Nikalavisky Church
Nikalavisky Church
Nikalavisky Church
Nikalavisky Church
Nikalavisky Church
Nikalavisky Church
Nikalavisky Church
Nikalavisky Church
Nikalavisky Church and obilisk
Nikalavisky Church and obilisk
Nikalavisky Church
Nikalavisky Church
Valour monument - back
Valour monument - back
Church, valour monument and obilisk
Church, valour monument and obilisk
Restored fortress buildings
Restored fortress buildings
Valour monument and obilisk
Valour monument and obilisk
Old weaponary
Old weaponary
Old weaponary
Old weaponary
Old weaponary
Old weaponary
Valour monument and obilisk - back
Valour monument and obilisk - back
Old weaponary
Old weaponary
Old weaponary
Old weaponary
Kholmiskie Gate
Kholmiskie Gate
Kholmiskie Gate
Kholmiskie Gate
Kholmiskie Gate
Kholmiskie Gate
Kholmiskie Gate
Kholmiskie Gate
Plaque by the gate
Plaque by the gate
Kholmiskie Gate
Kholmiskie Gate
Kholmiskie Gate
Kholmiskie Gate
Kholmiskie Gate
Kholmiskie Gate
Bridge to Kholmiskie Gate
Bridge to Kholmiskie Gate
Bridge to Kholmiskie Gate
Bridge to Kholmiskie Gate
Moat
Moat
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Ruined buildings
Ruined buildings
Ruined buildings
Ruined buildings
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
Valour monument
The eternal flame
The eternal flame
Ruined buildings
Ruined buildings
Looking back towardsthe entrance
Looking back towardsthe entrance
Some remaining buildings
Some remaining buildings
Thirst statue
Thirst statue
Thirst statue
Thirst statue
Thirst statue
Thirst statue
The moat
The moat
The entrance, from the inside
The entrance, from the inside
The entrance, from the inside
The entrance, from the inside
The entrance - as I exited
The entrance - as I exited

Brest Railway Museum

Brest's railway museum looked like it would be small from the road outside, with just three tracks across with some locomotives on. However, it went back for a long way, with dozens of exhibits. Some of them were even opened up for inside viewing.

Map of the Belarus railway network
Map of the Belarus railway network
Steam locomotive
Steam locomotive
Another USSR logo
Another USSR logo
Steam locomotive
Steam locomotive
Steam locomotive
Steam locomotive
Inside a steam locomotive
Inside a steam locomotive
Inside a steam locomotive
Inside a steam locomotive
Inside a steam locomotive
Inside a steam locomotive
Steam locomotive
Steam locomotive
Another USSR logo
Another USSR logo
Another USSR logo
Another USSR logo
Diesel locomotive
Diesel locomotive
Inside a steam locomotive
Inside a steam locomotive
Inside a steam locomotive
Inside a steam locomotive
Inside a steam locomotive
Inside a steam locomotive
Inside a steam locomotive
Inside a steam locomotive
Possibly a shunter
Possibly a shunter
Diesel locomotive
Diesel locomotive
Steam locomotive
Steam locomotive
Star logo on locomotive front - as on all of them
Star logo on locomotive front - as on all of them
USSR plaque
USSR plaque
Steam locomotive
Steam locomotive
Belarus Railways and USSR painted logo
Belarus Railways and USSR painted logo
Huge snow plow
Huge snow plow
Steam locomotive
Steam locomotive
Steam locomotive
Steam locomotive
Shunter
Shunter
Recovery crane
Recovery crane
Carriage
Carriage
Crane
Crane
Possibly-derelict building
Possibly-derelict building
Diesel locomotive
Diesel locomotive
Steam locomotive
Steam locomotive
USSR plate
USSR plate
Diesel locomotive
Diesel locomotive
Diesel locomotive
Diesel locomotive
Track maintenance vehicle
Track maintenance vehicle
Track maintenance vehicle
Track maintenance vehicle
Diesel engine
Diesel engine
Cab of a diesel locomotive
Cab of a diesel locomotive
Cab of a diesel locomotive
Cab of a diesel locomotive
Cab of a diesel locomotive
Cab of a diesel locomotive
Cab of a diesel locomotive
Cab of a diesel locomotive
Diesel engine
Diesel engine
Diesel engine
Diesel engine
Diesel engine
Diesel engine
Diesel engine
Diesel engine
Diesel engine
Diesel engine
Paired diesel locomotives
Paired diesel locomotives
Diesel train controls
Diesel train controls
Diesel engine
Diesel engine
Diesel engine
Diesel engine
Diesel train controls
Diesel train controls
The museum entrance
The museum entrance

Kamenets

Located about 30km from Brest, Kamenets (the name meaning stony, a good description of the earth there) is home to a tower - apparently one of if not the last of its kind in Europe - dating back to the 13th century. The bricks are a different color in the lower part, since they were covered in earth until a recent excavation set out to try and determine if the tower did indeed have an entrance. They did find it - and a moat - after removing the built-up earth!

The 30m-high lookout tower
The 30m-high lookout tower
The countryside around the town
The countryside around the town
The countryside around the town
The countryside around the town
Orthodox church
Orthodox church
The 30m-high lookout tower
The 30m-high lookout tower

Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Lying part in Belarus, part in Poland, this claims to be one of the oldest national parks in Europe. Indeed, it does hold remains of the canopy of trees that once covered northern Europe some centuries back. It's also home to Belorussian Santa Claus, and the place where the "death certificate" of the USSR was signed. However, that building is not available for visiting now. The president uses it as his forest hangout, and in his paranoia won't allow tourists to even sight it today; once you could go right up to it. It's also a sensitive border zone, thus as an individual visitor (with a guide, mind) I attracted special attention to make sure I didn't have opportunity to do anything crazy!

Statue of man with machine gun
Statue of man with machine gun
National park grounds
National park grounds
National park grounds
National park grounds
Entrance to home of Belorussian Santa Claus
Entrance to home of Belorussian Santa Claus
Entrance to home of Belorussian Santa Claus
Entrance to home of Belorussian Santa Claus
Wooden carving of fairytale character
Wooden carving of fairytale character
Me with Belorussian Santa Claus
Me with Belorussian Santa Claus
Residence of Belorussian Santa Claus
Residence of Belorussian Santa Claus
Windmill
Windmill
Grounds by Santa Claus' residence
Grounds by Santa Claus' residence
Me with the "January" statue, from a Belorussian fairytable
Me with the "January" statue, from a Belorussian fairytable
Month statues from a Belorussian fairytale
Month statues from a Belorussian fairytale
The Christmas tree - rather tall
The Christmas tree - rather tall
Month statues from a Belorussian fairytale
Month statues from a Belorussian fairytale
Windmill and pond
Windmill and pond
Many letters sent by children
Many letters sent by children
Shelves of various ornaments
Shelves of various ornaments
The roof
The roof
Room where the letters were - note the straw roof
Room where the letters were - note the straw roof
Mushroom
Mushroom
The Santa Claus residence again
The Santa Claus residence again
National park grounds
National park grounds
Belarus-Poland border
Belarus-Poland border
Belarus-Poland border
Belarus-Poland border
Belarus-Poland border
Belarus-Poland border





Bear - thankfully, doubly caged
Bear - thankfully, doubly caged
Wolf
Wolf
Wolf
Wolf
Deer
Deer
Wild horse - getting a bit tame
Wild horse - getting a bit tame
Wild horse
Wild horse
Wild horse
Wild horse
Wild horse
Wild horse
Feeding a bison
Feeding a bison
Bison
Bison
Bison
Bison
Bison
Bison
Deer
Deer
Deer
Deer
Deer
Deer
Deer
Deer

All content Copyright (C) Jonathan Worthington 2003-2006 unless otherwise stated.