Belarus travel guide is featuring Belarus tourism & travel information with hotels, tourist attractions, tours, restaurants, culture, museums, and Belarus tourist information with major cities such as Minsk, Gomel and more.
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Belarus travel guide


Overview

Landlocked in Eastern Europe beside Russia, the Ukraine and Poland, Belarus struggled for centuries to forge a distinctive national identity. After centuries of invasions from its neighbors, it was taken over by the USSR in 1939 and then invaded by Nazi Germany in 1941. Belarus was the hardest hit of any Soviet territory during the war and stayed in the hands of the Nazis until 1944. During the occupation, the Nazis destroyed 210 out of the republic's 290 cities, almost all of the its industry, and an incredible one million buildings. Roughly a quarter to one-third of its population was killed and its Jewish population decimated in the Holocaust, never to be recovered. When the war was finally over, ethnic Russians began moving in from other parts of the Soviet Union. Stalin began a policy known as Sovietization to make sure the republic was isolated from the West. This meant, among other things, that Russians came to take up positions in the government and the Belarusian language was outlawed. This strategy continued with Khrushchev, who said that the sooner the people started speaking Russian, the quicker they'll build communism.

In 1986, the area now known as Belarus suffered from nuclear fallout because of the Chernobyl disaster in nearby Ukraine. In 1988, an archaeologist came across mass graves containing the bodies of a quarter of a million people killed during the war. This was the final blow for nationalists since it proved to them beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Soviets had, and were continuing, to try to ethnically wipe them out. Calls for independence were heard louder than ever around the country. With the fall of the USSR two years later, the nationalists finally got their wish. Belarus was finally independent, although many feel that Belarus is far from democratic. In fact, the new country is steadfast in avoiding integration with the West and ironically, maintain a Soviet style government.

Funny enough, in this lies their charm. With the other countries of Eastern Europe plunging dizzily and giddily into material capitalism, Belarus is the only European country left that still looks like old Eastern Europe, devoid of advertising, street litter, and graffiti on its buildings. Travel to Belarus and explore Belarusian National parks for bird-watching, fishing, hunting & camping. Some of the national parks include Belavezhskaya National Park, Blaslau Lakes National Park and Berezinsky Biosphere Nature Reserve.

The people themselves are extremely hospitable and welcoming to foreigners — they don’t see a lot of them. The countryside is a gentle land of cornflower fields, stone villages and thick ancient woods. As for the capital city Minsk, just walking around it makes you think you're living in a Russian spy novel. The KGB building is evident for all to see and people love to talk about espionage. Reduced to nothing but fallen ashes after the war, Russian architects transformed the city into what they felt was a model utopian Soviet city. It still feels that way today, strangely out of time. Overall, it's a fascinating country to visit and unlike anywhere else in Europe.


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