A landlocked country situated in the heart of Europe, Belarus borders Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. Formerly a part of Russia, it was known as Belorussia, meaning “White Russia”. With the downfall of Russia, Belarus declared independence on 25th August 1991. Regardless of this, Belarus has maintained stronger economic ties with Russia than any other ex-Soviet republic, and has steered clear of involvement in European capitalism and politics.
The lack of western influence is one of Belarus’ major attractions. The land is the dwelling place of some of the most remarkable castles, historic monasteries and enchanting forests. Minsk, the capital city offers tourists numerous parks and chic cafes. The area surrounding the capital was totally devastated during WWII; however the national parks and wetlands with rich wildlife give the tourist a value for the money.
Belarus’ culture and artistic heritage dates back centuries, while the contemporary art and culture scene is equally vibrant. Throughout the year many exhibitions, theatrical performances, exhibitions and festivals are open to visitors.
Cuisine in Belarus employs two main components, local produce and influence of migrants from bordering countries. Many of the foods are similar to Russian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian and Polish cuisines.
The climate in Belarus is moderately continental with summers being warm and winters being humid and cool. Portions of the country get temperatures below zero for more than three months out of the year. However, there are hardly any extremes that can hinder travelling.
Government: Republic with parliamentary democracy.
Area: 207,595 sq km (80,153 sq miles)
Major language: Russian & Belarusian
Major religion: Christianity
Monetary unit: Belarusian rouble
Main exports: Machinery, chemical and petroleum products
Dialling code: +375