Our Guide For The Sculpture-lovers: Minsk

Address: Minsk City
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Monument to Victory

The monument to Victory is the main symbol of Minsk and the general compositional center of the city. The monument appeared on the former Round Square in 1954. It is devoted to Belarusian partisans and Soviet solders. Almost totally ruined during World War Two, Minsk was perfectly rebuilt after 1945. Four sides of the memorial show bronze topic of the high relieves: «The 9 May 1945», «The Soviet Army in the Great Patriotic war», «The Belarusian partisans», and «The Glory of the fallen heroes». The granite for this column had been transported from Ukraine.

Archangel Michael

A four-and-a-half-meter sculpture of Michael Archangel piercing a great snake was placed in front of the Red (because of red bricks) Cathedral (Catholic church of St. Simeon and St. Elena) in 1996. The building of the Church was finished in 1905 by Polish architect Tomash Poyazdersky, who made it in gothic and romantic style. The red bricks had been transported right from Poland. After the revolution of 1917, the State Polish theater occupied the church. Later, in Soviet times, it was used as the Cinema House. In 1990 during the Perestroika years, the building was given back to the Catholic church. In 1996 the bronze sculpture of the Angel created by Igor Golubev appeared. Michael Archangel is a traditional guarding angel of Belarus.

Jakub Kolas

Jacub Kolas is a national poet of Belarus, a classic of the Belarusian literature. His famous poem «New earth» illustrates simple people's life in the village of the late 19th century. In the 1920s the modern Jacub Kolas square used to be an empty field with some wooden houses alongside. In the 1960s the place has been reconstructed constantly. November 3 1972 at the 90th Kolas' birthday a big sculpture ensemble has been placed. The author is Zair Azgur. In the center of the ensemble there is the writer in a long coat sitting on the rock. Next to Kolas there are scenes from his books "Simon-musyka" (Simon and Hanka), and "Drygva" (the old man Talash and his grandson Panas).

Maksim Bogdanovich

In front of the Opera and Ballet Theater, in the Big Theatre park, there is a monument to the famous Belarusian poet, who had lived a short (26 years) life - Maksim Bogdanovich, The author of it is a Belarusian master of arts Lev Gumilevsky, well known by his sculpture to another Belarusian classical poet Yanka Kupala, whose monument appeared also in Moscow in 2005 on Kutuzovsky prospect as a gift of Belarus to Moscow.

Yanka Kupala

It’s a classical Belarusian writer number one, a founder of the modern national literature. Kupala turned out to be a leader for the Belarusian Renascence. His works are the chronicle of the Belarusion nation, the reflection of its national character and mentality. There was just a wooden houses street on the bank of Svisloch before World War II, where a great Belarusian poet Janka Kupala lived. In 1959 two stored building - the literature museum - was opened there. Now this place is one of the central Minsk's parks named after Janka Kupala in 1962. In ten years, in 1972, a six and a half meters bronze and granite monument to the great Belarusian poet was placed instead of Gricevets' military pilot monument. A pretty big sculpture is towering over the legendary spring and a flower of fern -this plant is in a blossom on July, 7 at Ivan Kupala's night, an ancient legend says.

Courage and Grieve Island

The Courage and Grieve Island or Tears Island with small chapel, was founded on 3 August, 1996 at the Svisloch riverbank, in the Troitskoe Predmestie region, an old Minsk's center. This monument is devoted to Belarusian soldiers who fell in fight far away out of the native land in Soviet time. Inside the chapel there is a record of 771 names of Belarusian solders fallen in Afghanistan. Also there are the Bible scenes on the walls of the chapel. In front of the memorial there is a big rock with a bronze icon of God's Mother. A ruby stone is in the center of the chapel's cross. A lather lights the cross from the bottom. Five memorial bells and the figure of a crying angel are elements of the memorial ensemble. But now this place is very popular not among those who fought abroad - just married couples visit the Island constantly, taking pictures of it. The life goes on!

Adam Mickevich

The bronze monument to Adam Mickevich, a well-known Belarusian poet appeared in 2003 in Minsk at the crossroads of Nemiga and Romanovskaya Sloboda streets. Mickevich took part in Polish-Belarusian armed revolt against tsar Nicolay in 1831. He was a real romantic, a rebel and a good friend of Alexander Pushkin, the greatest Russian poet. Although Adam Mickevich wrote in Polish the main topic of his poems was always his motherland Belarus: "Pan Tadeush", "Dziady" - the scenes of these famous poems take place on the Belarusian land. The sculpture of the poet perfectly suits a cozy park situated along Gorodskoy Vahl street. The park which had no name in the past now is named after Adam Mickevich.

Francisk Skorina

The first Belarusian and eastern Slavonic book printer, a professor from the oldest Belarusian city of Polotsk, one of the greatest culture man of the 16th century, printed in Prague his «Ruska Bible» in 1517 - the first printed book of Russian (Belarus, Ukraine and Russia) world of that epoch. Francisk was a great man of his times - he served as a secretary for a bishop of Vilna (now Vilnius), met Martin Luther in Germany, visited Moscow with a cultural mission. In 1506 he was awarded by the Paduan University with a medicine doctor degree. The author of that sculpture is Ales' Dranits. The idea to build the monument has been realizing for 15 years since 1989. The right place for this monument has been a debatable question during all these years. Finally the first Belarusian book printer's sculpture appeared there where it should be - at the National Library, a new symbol of Minsk that was opened a bit later in 2006.

Carriage

The Freedom Square is one of the central squares of the city since the 16th century. In the 16th century the square's name was Upper Marketplace. The square turned into Sobornaya (Synod's) in the 19th. At the middle ages there was a place for Magistrate - the main municipal body. Swedish king Carl XII the Great, Ukraine duke Ivan Mazepa, Napoleon's general Davou, almost all Russian imperators, and a founder of an independed Poland Jozef Pilsudsky - all of them used to stay over here. The bronze sculpture of a carriage appeared for 940th birthday anniversary of Minsk at the Freedom square right opposite the Municipal House. This is one of the Vladimir Zhbanov's work. The sculpture pictures the day from the life of Minsk's governor who got out from the carriage and went to the House.

A Boy With A Swan

For a long time the only example of the European park sculpture has been "The Boy With A Swan". It was installed at the center of the Alexander Park as a fountain in 1874 by the Italian Leonardo Bernini. Untill the beginning of the 1970s green frogs were sitting around the fountain, but now pigeons are real masters of this place. During the 1970s teenagers gave to it a funny nickname "Panikovsky and a goose", after the character from a popular humoristic novel "Twelve Chairs”. This joke nickname is alive up till now.

Seasons

The Winners' Prospect is one of the most beautiful prospects of the Belarusian capital. Its high buildings make a nice line that looks so fine from the opposite bank of Svisloch. The riverside is the place of picturesque parks, gardens with cozy bridges and benches in an old fashion style. The prospect longs for 9 km from Nemiga Street up to the Ring road. The decorative genre sculptures appeared along one side of the Prospect. It was in 1982 when four sculptors placed four sculpture scenes: "Christmas" ("Koliady"), "Spring's Coming" ("Hukanne viasny"), "Kupala's night" ("Kupala"), and Autumn ("Zazhinky") - the traditional season's holidays that Belarusians have been celebrating annually since the ancient times.

 

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