Museum of History and Culture of the Belarusian Jews
(Minsk, Kharuzhai str., 28)
− The Jews appeared in Belarus 600 years ago. Unfortunately, now there is very little evidence that once the population of all the Belarusian cities and towns was half Jewish. According to the museum of the Belarusian Jews, there were more than 1 million Jews (one tenth part of the population) before the Second World War.
The museum of history and culture of the Belarus Jews is one of the witnesses to the existence of this once powerful ethnic group. The exhibition is the result of the effort of the whole community: the exhibits were and are transferred by caring people throughout the existence of the museum (from 2002). Thanks to them the museum visitors can see how the Jews lived at the turn of the century. Another nice bonus – the entrance to the museum is free. But you have to make an appointment in advance.
Contacts: Telephone number: +375 17 286-79-61
Alivaria Corporate Museum
(Minsk, Kisyalyova str., 30)
− Alivaria Corporate Museum is in some way related to the previously described museum: Alivaria brewery was founded by Rokhlya Frumkina, a Jew, when she lost her husband and sources of livelihood. She has a special place in the Museum of the Jewish history.
In Alivaria Corporate Museum one can see how the technology of making beer changed during 150 years. And we answer the most important question: the visitors can try beer, and while doing that one will feel like a real sommelier.
Old Belarusian Culture Museum
(Minsk, Surganava str., 2/1)
− A small museum based at the Academy of Sciences stands out for its amazing collection of folk clothing, belts, icons and other culture-related things. If you want to find out how the art and crafts of Belarus were developing from ancient to modern times, this museum is for you. Here one can see the biggest in the country collection of icons, artistic textiles, folk clothing, household ceramics and a great deal of other things.
If you’ve always wanted to know what the difference between Grodno and Palesye towels is, welcome to this museum. The entrance is free, but only if you’ve made an appointment in advance.
Contacts: Website Telephone number: + 375 17 284-18-82
Savings Bank Belarusbank Museum
(Minsk, Dzyarzhynskaha avenue, 18)
− Belarusbank corporate museum shows the history of banking of Belarus from the first savings banks of the 19th to modern cash machines. Did you know that Yanka Kupala (a famous Belarusian writer) was the first Belarusian to make a savings bank account deposit? The first ATM which is still operating is in the museum and gives a banknote with Yanka Kupala’s portrait instead of real money. If you’ve always wanted to know how Belarusbank was developing under the leadership of Ms. Ermakova (the President of the Bank from 2011 to 2014), which awards from foreign partners and Belarusian authorities it has got, and how Belarusian Ice Hockey team is playing – welcome.Сontacts: Telephone number: +375 17 309-05-96
Vetka Museum of Old Believer Faith
(Vetka town, Chyrvonaya square, 5)
− The town of Vetka was founded either in 1682 or in 1685 (the information depends on the chronicle) by the Old Believers who fled Russia. And now it’s the only place in Belarus where a large quantity of followers of this religion lives. They led isolated lives and developed their special culture that now attracts scientists. The Old Believers were those who were making manuscripts until the 1930s.
The larger part of Vetka museum collection is dedicated to the unique art of the Old Believers: icons, hand embroidery, towels and even Candle ritual: once in a year an icon and a candle was taken from one home to another where it would be kept till next year. Scientists think that this is a mix of ancient cult of fire and Christianity. There are gilded shrines carved from lime-tree, several hundreds of manuscripts and printed books, some of them dating back even to the 17th century and other attractions.
Ivie National Cultures Museum
(Ivie town, 17 Verasnya str., 9)
− Ivie is famous for the fact that representatives of three religions – Christians, Jews and Muslims – used to live there peacefully so that the museum’s collection is divided into three thematic parts. If you are interested in the way of life of the Tatars – in a special section you can see their sacred books, cult objects and other things: chandeliers, minarets and framed pieces of parchment with the verses from Quran.
If you want to know more about the history of the Jews, there’re Torah, Chanukkah candles and Easter dishes in the museum. Besides, you can see there exhibits that tell the history of Ivie region.Contacts: Website Facebook Telephone number: + 375 01595 2-68-96
Polotsk Children’s Museum
(Polotsk, Nizhne-Pakrouskaya str., 46)
− This is the only one museum in Belarus of the kind. Its major goal, according to its workers, is to develop children and show them different sides of the world. In this museum you can find out how basic laws of chemistry and Physics work. There’s no such rule as “Please, don’t touch”. On the contrary, you can and should touch the exhibits as this is the only way to learn the most important things about the world.Contacts: VK Telephone number: + 375 214 42-45-58
Grodno Pharmacy Museum
(Hrodna, Savetskaya square, 4)
− The oldest pharmacy in Hrodna is also a museum. It is situated in the building built in 1687, in the Jesuit monastery which the pharmacy was working for.
There are about one thousand exhibits in the main hall, and the whole museum has twice as more. Everyone participated in collecting the exhibits. The most amazing of them are: Eliza Azheshka’s (a Belarusian writer and public figure of the 19th century) herbarium that is 100 year old, pharmacy vessel and a mortar of the 18th century made in one of Hrodna’s factories. The museum is open every day and entrance is free so that it’s worth visiting.Contacts: Website Telephone number: +372 0152 74-00-81
Hermanavichy Museum of Culture and Way of Life
(Vitsebsk district, Sharkaushchyna region, Hermanavichy village, Shkolnaya str., 20)
− Hermanavichy is a small village in Sharkaushchyna region. It is famous as Jazep Drazdovich who introduced the theme of cosmopolitism into Belarusian art was born there. The museum’s guide say that the main goal of this cultural establishment is to return the figure of Drazdovich into contemporary Belarusian art. The second floor of the museum is dedicated to the works created by this artist. In addition, here you can see a variety of devices for handicrafts as well as find out how clothes were made 100 years ago, and after the excursion walk around this amazing village.
Contacts: Website Telephone number: +375 02154 3-92-93
Museum of Malformations of the Human Body
(Hrodna, Karla Marksa str., 1)
− Belarus has its own Kunstcamera. It’s situated in the center of Hrodna. The local Museum of Malformations of the Human Body is based at Hrodna Medical University.
Two exhibition halls of the museum will help you find out what can happen to our body. You’ve always wanted to look at Siamese twins embryos or compare the lungs of a smoker with those of a healthy person? So you have to visit this museum.Contacts: Telephone number: +375 0152 72-13-78
Strochytsy or Belarusian Folk Museum of Architecture and Rural Life
(Minsk region, Azyartso village)
− This museum imitates Belarusian villages of different regions: Central Belarus, Podneprovie (Overdnepr Land) and Pooziorie (Lakeland). It occupies such a large territory that not every visitor has enough stamina to explore each of these sectors. It had been planned to establish a museum of this kind before the First World War but the plan wasn’t carried out.
In Strochytsy one can observe the differences of Belarusian houses of different regions. In Central Belarus, for instance, the houses in villages were situated very close one to another while in Pooziorie (Lakeland) they used to build houses with amazing roofs.
They guides tell with pleasure about unusual Belarusian customs. For instance, if a girl was 20 years old and still not married, the father was driving around the village with her and shouting: ”A girl to marry off!!!” Every girl before getting married had to prepare her dowry, otherwise she would not be considered a decent candidate for marriage and, consequently, her chances to get a husband were greatly reduced. And you still say we don’t need feminism.Contacts: Website VK Facebook Telephone number: +375 17 209-41-63
Saved Art Treasures Museum
(Brest, Lenina str. 39)
− This museum could have appeared only in Brest as all the exhibits were confiscated by Brest customs authorities on the attempt of illicit trafficking of art and antiquities.
Brest Saved Art Treasures Museum is a branch of Brest Regional Local History Museum. Many things were confiscated so that the museum’s collection occupies 10 exhibition halls.
Here you can see Faberzhe eggs, a unique collection of Russian icons, Chinese vases, unique furniture and many others culture-related objects. And for more pleasure, one of the halls offers to learn about the activities performed by Belarusian customs. Thanks to the work of this establishment this museum was created.Contacts: Website Telephone number: +375 162 20-41-95
A story about (or no) cooperation between government representatives, NGOs and ordinary people that care.
Joris Hanse, Dutch activist from the Doorbraak, speaks about the Netherlands not matching the stereotypes.