Nesvizh Palace is considered the country’s most beautiful palace by the people of Belarus. Its richly diverse architecture and attractive gardens make it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Belarus.
Nesvizh Palace is on the Nesvizh Estate, one of the oldest settlements and most famous places in Belarus. Nesvizh is in the Minsk region of Belarus, approximately 120km south-west of Minsk.
The estate and town was acquired by the Radziwil family in the middle of the 16th century, and they stayed there until 1939 when they were expelled by the invading Red Army.
The foundation stone of Nesvizh Palace was laid in 1584. It was rebuilt many times and as a consequence has features of manyarchitectural styles including: Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Classicism, Neo-gothic, Modernism.
In 1770 Nesvizh Palace was seized by Russian forces and the Lithuanian Archive removed and sent to Saint Petersburg where it remains to this day. Much of the artwork was distributed among Russian nobility.
In the late 19th century Nesvizh Palace was restored by the Radziwil family who also designed one of largest landscape gardens in Europe on the estate.
After World War 2 Nesvizh Palace was used as a Sanatorium and the gardens became neglected.
In 1994 the estate was designated the national historical and cultural reserve and in 2006 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The construction of the castle began at the end of the 15th century, in the Gothic architecture style. Building of the castle was completed by Duke Ilinich in the early 16th century near village Mir (formerly of Minsk guberniya). Around 1568 the Mir Castle passed into the hands of Mikołaj Krzysztof “the Orphan” Radziwiłł, who finished building the castle in the Renaissance style. A three-storey palace was built along the eastern and northern walls of the castle. Plastered facades were decorated with limestone portals, plates, balconies and porches.
After being abandoned for nearly a century and suffering severe damage during the Napoleonic period, the castle was restored at the end of the 19th century. In 1813, after the death of Dominik Hieronim Radziwiłł, the castle passed into the hands of his daughter Stefania, who married Ludwig zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. The castle later fell into the hands of their daughter Maria, who married Prince Chlodwig Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst. Their son, Maurice Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst sold the castle to Nikolai Sviatopolk-Mirski, of the Bialynia clan, in 1895. Nikolaj’s son Michail began to rebuild the castle according to the plans of architect Teodor Bursze. The Sviatopolk-Mirski family owned the castle up to 1939. During WWII, it came under the dominion of the Nazi occupying force and served as a ghetto for the local Jewish population prior to their liquidation.
Despite numerous destruction’s (the heaviest were during 1812 war) the Mir Castle survived till now; and at present it is being successfully restored. This monument is under UNESCO’s auspices.
Belavezhskaya Pushcha, is an ancient woodland straddling the border between Belarus and Poland, located 70 km (43 mi) north from Brest (BE). It is one of the last and largest remaining parts of the immense primeval forest which once spread across the European Plain.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve lies in parts of the Brest voblast (Kamianiec and Pruzhany districts, BE) and Hrodna Voblast (Svislach district) in Belarus and on the Poland side near the town of Białowieża in the Podlaskie Voivodeship (62 km (39 mi) south-east of Białystok (PL) and 190 km (120 mi) north-east of Warsaw).
The border between the two countries runs through the forest and is closed for large animals and tourists for the time being. The forest is home to 800 wisent, the continent’s heaviest land animals. The security fence keeps the wisent herds physically and genetically separated.