The Republic of Belarus is a beautiful country located on the boarders between Poland and Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and the Ukraine. Belarus is a country of blue lakes, quiet nature and hospitable people. It is a land with ancient history. The first settlements appeared on the territory of modern Belarus in the 6th and 7th centuries. Over its history different parts of Belarus comprised different countries: Kievan Rus, The Great Dutchy of Lithuania, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Russian Empire, Poland, the USSR. In July 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Republic passed the Declaration of Independence. Since then Belarus has been an independent democratic country complying with human rights and freedoms.
The climate of Belarus is temperate: mild humid winter and warm humid summer. The average temperature in January is -6°C (21°F), in July - +18°C (64.5°F). Belarus also enjoys 75-125 days of snow each year, with falls ranging from 15 to 30cm.
Belarus’ unique natural environment is host to a fascinating selection of rare plant and animal species, plus several National Parks and a range of significant conservation projects.
Belarus occupies 207,600 square kilometres. The population comprises about 9.5 mln people.
Main branches of industry are manufacturing, agriculture and light industry.
Famous people born in Belarus:
Francysk Skaryna – a humanist, writer, printer of the first book in the Eastern Slavic language.
Tadeusz Kosciuszko – a national hero in America, Belarus and Poland for his leadership in the American Revolutionary War and the uprising against the Imperial Russia and the Prussian Empire in 1794.
Ignat Domejko – a well-known geologist who spent most of his life in Chile where he became a national hero. He is officially recognised by UNESCO for his achievements.
Napoleon Orda – a world-known composer and artist.
Alexander Chizhevsky – a scientist who studied the biological effects of the sun and the universe, including how solar activity maps to periods of war throughout history.
Zhores Alferov – a famous physicist who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2000.
Marc Chagall – an artist,world-famous master of classic avant-garde art.
Louis Burt Mayer – one of the founders of the Hollywood film studio "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer".
Chaim Wiezman – a scientist and the President of the Zionist World Organization
Olga Korbut – the legendary gymnast who won 4 Olympic Gold medals; Best Female Athlete (1972).
Vitaly Shcherbo – a gymnast, 6-time Olympic gold medalist, 14-time World Champion, 10-time European Champion .
Alexander Medved – the Greatest Wrestler of the 20th Century in Freestyle.
Grodno is the town of castles, churches and king palaces. In the 16th century Grodno was mentioned in Brown’s Cologne encyclopedia as “one of the most beautiful cities of Europe”. The history assigned Grodno a very interesting part in deciding fates of several big European states: here in the 13th century foundations of the Great Duchy of Lithuania were laid, here at the end of 18th century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ceased to exist.
Grodno was founded in the 12th century. Being one of the most ancient cities of Belarus, Grodno over its history served as a king’s residence, the capital of the principality, the cultural and industrial center of the state. Grodno has preserved more historical monuments and sights than any other city in Belarus.
But what makes Grodno so special?
- Gilibert’s Park In the 18th century a French biologist and botanist Jean-Emmanuel Gilibert founded the first Botanic Garden in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was called Royal Botanic Garden and was ranked among the best gardens in Europe alongside with London’s and St.-Petersburg’s gardens.
- 500-year-old tower clock on the Cathedral of Francis Xavier is the oldest of its kind in Eastern Europe.
- In the centre of the city near the Cathedral of Francis Xavier there is the first pharmacy in Eastern Europe.
- The first autopsy in Eastern Europe took place in Grodno in 1586. By the way, students of Grodno State Medical University have anatomy classes in this historical building.
- The first zoo in Belarus was opened in Grodno in 1927.
- Church of Sts. Boris and Hleb of the 12th century is the oldest in the Grodno region and one of the oldest in the Republic.
- The second oldest theatre was founded in Grodno in 1772. Its operatic and ballet company (more than 70 people) was considered to be very highly professional and the theatrical school was one of the best in Belarus.
- The predecessor of our University – Medical Academy was founded in 1775. It was the first higher educational institution on the territory of Belarus.
- The first newspaper in Belarus was also published in Grodno in 1778.