The capital of Belarus is Minsk, a city of 1,836,808 inhabitants (as of 2009). Belarus is divided into six regions, which are named after the cities that serve as their administrative centers. In addition to Minsk, these are Brest, Grodno (Hrodna), Gomel (Homiel), Mogilev (Mahilyow), and Vitebsk (Viciebsk).
Belarus is famous for its unique cultural, architectural, and historical heritage. Many Belarusian towns and cities have preserved ancient temples, cloisters, palaces, castles, and parks that bring history alive. The oldest monuments include the Sophia Cathedral in Polotsk (Vitebsk Region) with unique frescos dating back to the 11th century, the Kolozha Church in Grodno (12th century), as well as castles in Mir and Nesvizh.
Gomel, the second largest city of Belarus, is situated in the southeast of Belarus, on the right bank of Sozh River. The city is famous for the Rumyantsev-Paskevich Palace of the 18th century and numerous parks, museums, and theaters.
Grodno is situated on the river Neman near the borders of Poland and Lithuania. Founded in the 12th century as a fortress, the city features authentic planning of 12th-16th centuries, old churches, and public buildings.
Brest is situated on the border with Poland. First mentioned in chronicles in 1019, the city changed hands many times. During World War 2, the Brest Fortress became famous for its heroic defense. In 1991, in Belovezhskaya Pushcha near Brest, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus signed an agreement on the abolition of the USSR and foundation of the CIS.
Vitebsk is located in the north of Belarus. First mentioned in chronicles in 1021, the city is currently known as the birthplace of Mark Chagall.
Belarusian cities create a magic atmosphere that excites one's passion for knowledge and adventure. Here you will find references to the early Rus principalities, the Great Duchy of Lithuania, the Soviet period, numerous wars and battles, and other historical events. You will discover that Belarus is a native land of Francysk Skaryna, Marc Chagall, Adam Mickiewicz, Kazimir Malevich, and other outstanding people.