Minsk 2019/2020

Since being in Minsk I explore the differences to the places I have grown up, know and am used to. And I am pretty sure that what I find interesting causes surprise for locals because it's ordinary and boring for them. Nevertheless, everyone has his/her own interests and sees things with different eyes. This section will be updated from time to time due to explorations from my side. And in case of any suggestions or ideas, please feel free to contact me: go2reach@poechali.world

Architecture and Geometry

This might be the a pretty awkward topic :-] I know that in the east prefabricated buildings (Plattenbau) are very unpopular and regarded as ugly. Still, I see them also differently. I see history, you can say at what time they were built and what idea was behind! In addition, even though you could argue them as sea of grey (prefabricated buildings), I can spot the claims to break the waves of grey: In forms (arches, circles,...), geometry, details, symmetries etc. And as I have been around in the three slavic countries of post-soviet space, I can say that in comparison to Ukraine and Russia the buildings here are in a (far) better condition and a lot more colours were used. Either for the whole building/complex (what means that it was taken care of on municipal level) or on private basis, where people set colour dots and paintings (inside of buildings like staircases and outside, in front of the door area and/or gardens).

And what I also like are the different entrances with different ornaments:


Not to say a lot here, except the fact that these „small“ cinemas are still existing. From my childhood (in Salzburg) I can also remember those smaller cinemas having maybe one or three screens and five was the maximum – and almost all disappeared because of the „known“ chains...

However, they are spread all over the city and I'd say that they cover „their“ neighbourhood/disctrict. Their names are typical and could be found all over the post-Soviet space - in case these facilities still exist. At least in Minsk they are well kept, in good shape and also modernised. As far as a I know there are about two of these big ones and I wonder if the smaller ones will go the same way one day as ours. I don't hope so because this also means the loss individuality... (more pictures to follow)

The cascade system (Slyapyanskaya Vodnaya Sistema)
In the 1980s the Slyapyanskaya water system project was implemented. You cannot compare this with the danube island, nevertheless I was suprised about the diversity of the channel.
When you look on the map of Minsk (the whole city), you can see the beltway of the city MKAD (МКАД: Московская кольцевая автомобильная дорога / Moskowskaja kolzewaja awtomobilnaja doroga) encircling the city.
The system starts in the north at the Tsnyanskoe Reservoir (also see subpoint „Nature“) and leads all the way to the south the Svislatch reservoir. The highlights are the cascades (about 10 but have not all photos yet) but also the waterway itself as it was planned as recreation area for the citizens and really really nice! When going along I sometimes felt reminded either the danube channel or danube island. I'd see a lot potential to do something there to make places even nicer and a place to stay and relax (please have a look at the menu „Vienna“ and the links regarding Donaukanal and Donauinsel). I did this route in 3 different days and would say that you'd need at least the whole day to go along the whole system. Please have a look:


Above I mentioned the Tsnyanskoe Reservoir. I didn't know anything about this park. Initially I was simply continuing my Slyapyanskaya Vodnaya Sistema tour, where I stopped one day at the national library and continued another day to follow further north. When I arrived there I was overwhelmed because of this area. It is a combined beach and recreation area and an island in the reservoir, where you can watch birds.In the parks respectively along the Svislatch river are suqirrels around and also birds, which are all pretty trusting and coming close. Even the crows, which are very shy in Austria or anyway hardly in the city, are confident and come close, and other birds.  And last but not least the area in the south, above „Minsk Zoo“ on the map, reminds me of my Danube Island in Vienna. I have also seen Muskrats at a dam (even though smaller it also reminded me at the dam at Danube Island). Could be interesting to see what might be around in summer time:



Modern Art

When it's about art, in Minsk/Belarus it seems that the amount of legacy mosaics was smaller than in comparison to Russia or Ukraine. I'll bring these on a later phase.
Instead, modern art is now filling grey walls – and they look awesome! But also small electricity or gas relays are very often painted and makes them prettier. I try to find as many as possible and mark them on a map.