The historical significance of cemeteries in Belarus
Very often, when being in an unknown city, tourists visit not only traditional sights, but also cemeteries. Today they have become a part of the nostalgic tourism. Many people want to pay homage to great writers, poets and other celebrities by putting flowers on their graves. But for that, cemeteries are often of a great artistic value. Many grave sites can tell you about history and culture of the country much more than the sites listed in the Guide.
In many countries the interest to deceased people is used profitably. In the capital of Chile you can visit the oldest cemetery at night, making possible to experience the ominous atmosphere and see crematoria, crypts and monuments in the moonlight. Tourists with flashlights follow the guide in a monk robe. The most important tombs are illuminated. Participants of such tours say that it is an amazing experience.
In Lvov you can also experience the similar emotions by visiting “Lviv cemetery” museum-preserve.
The tour along the Russian cemetery in Paris takes about five hours. Here you can see the tombs of princes and princesses, memorial complexes devoted to the Cossacks, cadets, Wrangle soldiers and their leaders, founders of the France Ballet –Kshesinskaya, Lifar, Preobrazhenskaya and artists Makovsky and Korovin. Also the writers are buried here – Nekrasov, Teffy, Bunin, Zaitsev, Galich.
Certainly, it is difficult to compare Minsk cemeteries with the Nirvana-Memorial Park, which is located in Kuala-Lumpur. It's a giant park with waterfalls, where buried are the followers of Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity. In funeral processions elephants take part. But for those who are interested in Belarusian history, it will be interesting to visit cemeteries of Minsk and other cities of Belarus.
To get on a tour in Grodno cemetery you can only by means of local fans, but the war cemetery in Minsk is a part of the city visiting program. Today in the capital city and its environs there are over 20 burial sites. If you would like to arrange a guided tour, you can find schemes of cemeteries in the Internet.
Unfortunately for historians, many monasteries were destroyed and instead of them built are houses with parks and squares. The ever-expanding city has simply absorbed the burial of Polish, Tatar, Jewish and German settlements.
In the South West of the city at the beginning of XX century discovered were over 200 mounds, where the Slavs buried their dead people before Christianity. Next to “Star” Hotel previously was the mound dated X-XI centuries. It was also a pagan temple in center of the capital, next to the “Minsk” concert hall.
The first Christian Cemetery dates back to XIII century. There discovered were over 20 tombs, which according to sarcophaguses made of pine boards belonged to the rich populations. Sarcophaguses were made without nails and boards were joined with wooden spikes. Just over here in 1999 a terrible crush in the subway occurred.
The War cemetery is located in center of the city. It worked since 1840 till 1958. Here there is one of the most beautiful churches - the temple built in honor of the Prince Alexander Nevsky and dedicated to heroes of the Bulgarian company.
But for people died during that campaign here buried are heroes of the Great Patriotic war, Belarusian writers and poets, among them are Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolos.
In memory of the earthquake in the Armenian city of Spitak, which occurred in 1989, near the altar in the temple an obelisk was built. Each year next to it there are meetings organized by the Armenian community of the city.
Among celebrities of the cemetery there is Ruth Waller, an employee who worked in one of first UNO agencies. Invaluable is contribution to the post-war fate of Belarus.