Interesting facts about Belarus

belarus flag

Belarus, a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, is known for its Stalinist architecture, grand fortifications and primeval forests.

The official name of the country is the Republic of Belarus.

Belarus borders five countries: Latvia to the north, Lithuania to the northwest, Poland to the west, Russia to the north and the east, and Ukraine to the south.

Belarusian and Russian are the official languages of Belarus.

As of 1 January 2016, the population of Belarus was estimated to be 9,498,884 people.

Minsk is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Belarus, situated on the Svislach and Nyamiha rivers.


Belarus is a heavily forested, flat, low-lying country.

About 40% of Belarus is covered by forests.

belarus forest

Dzyarzhynskaya Hara is the highest point in Belarus. The hill is 345 meters (1,130 feet) above sea level.

There are more than 20,000 rivers and creeks and about 11,000 lakes in Belarus.

belarus lakes

There are currently four national parks in Belarus.

Białowieża Forest is one of the last and largest remaining parts of the immense primeval forest that once stretched across the European Plain. The forest is home to 800 European bison, Europe’s heaviest land animal. It straddles the border between Belarus and Poland.The forest has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an EU Natura 2000 Special Area of Conservation.

białowieża forest bison belarus

The Mirsky Castle Complex is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Belarus. The construction of this castle began at the end of the 15th century, in Gothic style. It was subsequently extended and reconstructed, first in the Renaissance and then in the Baroque style. After being abandoned for nearly a century and suffering severe damage during the Napoleonic period, the castle was restored at the end of the 19th century.

mirsky castle complex

Nesvizh Palace is considered the country’s most beautiful palace by the people of Belarus. Its richly diverse architecture and attractive gardens make it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Belarus. The foundation stone of Nesvizh Palace was laid in 1584. It was rebuilt many times and as a consequence has features of many architectural styles. In 2006 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

nesvizh palace

Brest Fortress, one of the most important places in Belarus, dates back to the 19th century and became a key symbol of Soviet resistance in World War 2. Brest Fortress was built in the 1830s-early 1840s at the meeting-point of the rivers Bug and Mukhavyets.

brest fortress

The Kalozha church of Sts. Boris and Gleb is an architectural pearl of ancient Grodno, a unique specimen of Eastern Orthodox architecture in Belarus and entire Eastern Europe. Constructed in the northwestern part of Ancient Rus in the 12th century, the Kolozha Church is not like any other church in the world.

kalozha church

Church of Saints Simon and Helena also known as the Red Church is a Roman Catholic church on Independence Square in Minsk. The cornerstone was laid in 1905 and the church was completed in 1910.

Church of Saints Simon and Helena

The longest street in BelarusIndependence Avenue in Minsk is 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) long. Throughout its history, it not only grew on the length and width, but also changed the name of 14 times. This is one of the last mainline neoclassical ensembles in the world of architecture, one of the longest street in Europe. This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on January 30, 2004, in the Cultural category.

independence avenue minsk

In 2006 when the new National Library of Belarus was constructed, nobody had ever heard of a
rhombicuboctahedron. With 8 triangular faces and 18 square faces, the bizarre geometric shape was chosen for the new design of the library and has been turning heads since its construction. The building is 72.6 meters high and has 22 floors.Total area – 113,669 square meters (1,223,522 square feet). The library is one of the largest in the world.

national library of belarus

Most of the monuments in Belarus dedicated to Lenin. In every city there is a Lenin Street.

Famous people like Ralph Lauren, Kirk Douglas, Marc Chagall, Olga Korbut and Scarlett Johansson are all originating from Belarus!

Belarus has it’s Nobel winner, her name is Svetlana Alexievich and she got her Nobel in 2015. for her work in literature.

Belarusian cuisine shares the same roots with cuisines of other Eastern and Northern European countries, basing predominantly on meat and various vegetables typical for the region.

belarus cuisine

Today’s diet of Belarusians includes many traditional dishes. The most popular are pork stew (machanka) and vereshchaka, homemade sausages, draniki (thick potato pancakes), kolduny, kletski (dumplings), babka (baked grated potato pie), cold sorrel soup, mushroom soup…

Agriculture is the largest sector of Belarus’ economy; wheat, rye, oats, potatoes, flax, hemp, and sugar beets are the primary agricultural products. Textiles and wood processing also contribute to the country’s economy.

The Belarusian traditions of needlework deserve special attention. The weaving tradition is also a kind of the country’s brand. Belarus intends to include the unique tradition of fulling woolen hats and boots – “shapovalstvo” — in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

The name Belarus corresponds literally with the term White Rus‘.

The official currency is called Belarusian Ruble.

Belarus is the only European country that still has death penalty.