Minsk city is the capital of the Republic of Belarus. The city of Minsk is not only a highly developed capital but also an ancient city with a rich history, which has its own puzzles.
It is known for certain that the city was originally called Mensk (Menesk, Mensk). And here there are many assumptions. One of the scientists refers to the name Menesk, who built a mill nearby, on the banks of the Svisloch, and was either a medicine man and a hero, or a sorcerer, or a prince. Others find the name similar to the word “barter”, because the favorable location of the city contributed to the establishment of trade relations.
Finally, there is a version that the sources go to the river Menka that once flowed here. But already at the end of the XVII century, under the influence of the Polish language, the name was transformed into the familiar word Minsk.
Pages of the history of Minsk
There is no exact data on the date and causes of the city. As in the case of many other settlements, the city’s birth year is considered to be its first mention in history. With regard to Minsk, this happened in 1067 and is connected with one of the most fierce battles on the territory of the settlement. It was a
Battle on the Nemiga between the troops of Polotsk Prince Vseslav the Wizard and the heirs of Kiev Prince Yaroslav the Wise.
At that time, the largest city today was located south of the castle (surrounded by the moat of the castle near the confluence of Nemiga in Svisloch) a five-block settlement with a church and the main square.
In the XV century, the city confidently took the position of one of the 15 largest in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The further development of Minsk was facilitated by the passage of the main roads: the northern (via Logoisk, Orsha and Borisov) and the southeastern (Slutsk and Volyn). Later, in the 19th century, when railroad tracks became widespread, the Moscow-Brest and Libavo-Romny roads led to Minsk.
However, the convenient location at the intersection of roads had its drawbacks – Minsk was regularly invaded and became a tidbit during many battles. The most massive battles and destruction occurred during the war with Napoleon and, of course, two World Wars. After World War II, the city had to be literally restored from ruins, but this did not weaken its power and influence in the least. Already in 1952, the first trolleybuses began to walk here.
Modern Minsk today
Taking into account the fact that Minsk was almost destroyed after the Second World War, one should not expect a large number of preserved historical monuments. Nevertheless, there are a lot of sights in Minsk. They can be viewed both independently and during a sightseeing tour.
Among the existing churches, the Cathedral built in 1642 stands out. Its architecture is an example of the Baroque style. In addition, lovers of history will be interested in the Peter and Paul Cathedral (1622) and the Catholic Cathedral (1710).
One of the unchanging symbols of the capital is located in the city center, on Independence Square, the Red Church, or the Church of Saints Simeon and Elena. Its distinguishing feature is the original combination of neo-Gothic style and modernism.
Walking along the main street of the capital – Independence Avenue, you can first-hand appreciate the charm of urban planning during the Soviet Union. Architects did their best to give the avenue maximum integrity, and even today its central part has changed little, being under the protection of the state as a historical and cultural value.