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Types of tourism

The untouched nature of Belarus, unique forests and bogs attract lovers of ecological tourism from around the world. There are four national parks in the country: “Belovezhskaya Puscha”, “Braslav Lakes”, “Pripyat”, “Narochansky”. The Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve is also a state protected area and an interesting tourist complex. In addition to national parks and the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve, the system of specially protected nature territories includes 85 republican reserves and 348 local reserves, 305 natural monuments of state and 542 of regional level. All national parks offer tourists to take walks along ecological trails. Once you walk along such a trail, paved on the territory of the nature complex “Blue Lakes”, once you breathe the smell of forests and pine needles, admire the lakes of the Bolduksky group and climb the sightseeing tower near the tiny lake Glubelka — the Belarusian nature will captivate you with its beauty forever.

Due to climatic and phytotherapeutic factors, deposits of mineral waters and therapeutic mud, Belarus attracts fans of therapeutic tourism. People come here to relax, gain strength and improve their health in sanatoriums. Belarus has a well-developed sanatorium base. Belarusian sanatoriums specialize in the treatment of diseases of the blood circulatory system, the digestive apparatus, the nervous system, the musculoskeletal system and the connective tissues, the respiratory system and the female genital organs and the urogenital system, the cardiovascular and the endocrine system, the locomotorium apparatus, the skin and visual organs.

Belarusian sanatoriums are equipped with the newest diagnostic and therapeutic equipment. There about 30 various profile infirmaries on the territory of the country.

The geographical position of Belarus — in the center of Europe, at the intersection of trade and military routes — turned the country into a battleground more than once. Battles of the Northern War, during which a lot of Belarusian castles were damaged and the legendary Sofia Cathedral in Polotsk was blown up, rattled here. For over two and a half years the front of World War I passed through the territory of modern Belarus — through the Myadel District, the Vileika District and the Smorgon District. Russian and German cemeteries of World War I were preserved here. There are numerous material evidences of the war in form of concrete fortifications and earthworks, half-ruined stone bridges over rivers and narrow-gauge railways, built by the German military engineers to advance deep into the Russian Empire. In memory of those killed in the last World War II magnificent memorials were created in the Brest Fortress, on the site of the burnt Khatyn village, on the Buinichi field near Mogilev. Excursion tours developed in places of dramatic military events will interest fans of military and historical tourism. The only memorial dedicated to World War I is located in the village Zabrodie not far from Naroch. For many years artist Boris Tsitovich was engaged in its creation. A wooden Orthodox sacellum of Boris and Gleb was built in Zabrodie in honor of those who died in the battles during the First and Second World Wars. A monument to soldiers of World War I was established in the forest near the village. Commemoration of the soldiers of the two world wars takes place in Zabrodie every year on May 9.

Churches of Belarus are of particular interest for fans of history and architecture: in the country which has been a European “crossroad” for a long time, one can see Catholic churches, Orthodox churches, synagogues, Tatar mosques, wooden churches of Old Believers. This opens a lot of opportunities for religious tourism. Each year thousands of pilgrims visit the largest Orthodox monastery in Belarus – the Holy Uspensky Zhirovichi monastery, where the wonder-working image of Madonna of Zhirovichi is kept. The memorial day of Madonna of Yurovichi is celebrated on September 13. Each year on this day a procession is organized from Mozyr to Yurovichi in honor of the wonder-working image. Every year in early July, thousands of pilgrims head to the modest village Budslav, where the wonder-working icon of the Lady of Budslav is kept in the magnificent baroque church.

There are travelers who visit the country not to familiarize themselves with its monuments or nature, but to meet with business partners, visit profile exhibitions or seminars. All conditions are created for business tourism in Belarus. The hotels which are interested in attracting business tourists offer the guests not only accommodation, but also additional services: obligatory Internet in rooms, restaurants, swimming pools, attendant parking, order of airplane and railway tickets, currency exchange, etc. The geographical position of Belarus is a trump card for the development of business tourism: it is very comfortable to hold international exhibitions, business symposiums, conferences and business meetings in the center of Europe. In search for the perfect place for holding business symposiums, organizers are more often paying attention to the new building of the National Library of Belarus. 20 study halls are located on the 25 floors of the building, the library funds store about 14 million print publications, among which are about 70.000 first printed books and manuscripts. There are art and photo galleries, as well as a unique book museum, an internet center, an international press center and a conference hall for 450 people. And when the business issues are solved, corporate outings at rural homesteads can be arranged for informal chats.

Such a direction as nostalgic tourism has been developing quite actively in Belarus recently. Most often nostalgic trips are made by CIS residents, as well as residents of Poland and Israel. The meeting with homeland is always extremely exciting… And those who associate with Belarus only by the origin of their parents want to see the homeland of their ancestors, find the graves of their relatives, and if they are lucky — meet people who remember them.

Rural tourism in Belarus is a possibility to return to one’s roots, to meet with the ethnographic peculiarities of each Belarusian region, and to dive into a simple rural life flowing in slow hasteless rhythm. This is how our grandfathers and grandmothers, our great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers lived. Here, in the Belarusian back country, one can easily feel the spirit of eternity. And breathtaking smells soar here — fresh cut grass and hay on a real hayloft, freshly baked bread and flowery meadows. Rural tourism also includes new milk and cottage cheese, real chicken eggs straight from the chicken, and not from the nearest supermarket. Today agricultural tourism is booming in Belarus: there are almost 1.500 rural households in the country. Most of them are located in scenic areas near rivers, lakes and forests, and their owners will not only provide accommodation, but can also arrange excursions around the local area.

Catalogue of Farmsteads of JSC Belagroprombank

Many Belarusian rural farms hold original festivals, attracting lovers of event tourism. The festival of rural tourism “Zaborsky Fest” and the festival of Belarusian horses are held in the Rossony District. The farm “On Zarechnaya Street” (Kobrin District of the Brest Region) is the center of the traditional culinary competition “Polesskie Delicacies”. The fair-exhibition of national crafts “Komarovo — the Circle of Days” is held in the village Komarovo (Myadel District of the Minsk Region). At the end of summer the Estate “Sandy Beach” (Bykhov District of the Mogilev Region) invites all fans of art songs to “Big Bard’s Fishing”.

In early May, the traditional festival of sandpipers which attracts nature lovers from all over Belarus is held in Turov. The festival takes place near the unique Turov meadow — one of the most important sites for nesting and stopping during migration of many species of wading birds. The largest stable settlement of the Terek sandpiper in Belarus, listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus, is located here.