Sightseeing in European, Israeli cities, pictures, information, photo tours, attractions in Europa and Israel. Tips and tools for travelling in blog.

Rakov town (on RU), Rakaw – on Belarussian, Raków – on Polish. This place has been inhabited since ancient times. This was proven when the settlement ‘Valy’ (‘Валы’) was found here on the river Isloch. In the XVI century these ruins were used as a platform for feudal castle building. The Rakaw castle can be found on the map created by Tomash Makovski in 1613. In XIV century documents, settlements near contemporary Rakaw are mentioned for the first time. Rakow itself is mentioned in XV century chronicles. In 1465 Kazimir Yagelon gave Rakaw as a gift to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania chancellor Mihail Kyazhgailo. Kyazhgailo’s family owned Rakaw for almost 100 years. Only in the middle of the XVI century Rakaw went to Zavish family as a part of inheritance. In the XVII century the village belonged to Sangushki family. They constructed there a Dominican Catholic cloister in 1686 and a wooden castle, the Basilian Uniat cloister, in 1702.

Some sources state that by the end of the 18th century Rakaw belonged to the Oginskiya family. At that time, the territory of Belarus was a part of Rech’ Pospolitaya. And this was the time when the Belarusian territory was divided between Rech’ Pospolitaya and the Russian Empire three times. Difficult political situations provoked Kastus Kalinovsky Rebel in 1863-1864. There is information that the famous composer Mihail Kleofas Oginski participated in it. To punish the rebellious Oginskiya family, the Russian Empress Catherine the Great (Catherine II) took Rakov from Oginskiya and gave it to General Saltykov.

In 1793 Rakaw become a part of the Russian Empire. Also in 1793 the first stone castle was built in Rakow. After Kastus’ Kalinovski Rebel it was turned into an Orthodox Our Saviour and Transformation church. To do this they removed towers and built a cupola. This church still exists.

In 1804 the Zdzehovskiya family bought Rakow from Saltykov and owned it until 1939. This was the time of prosperity in this place. In 1843 they opened manufactures to produce agricultural machines. By 1880 about 16 glass manufactures worked in Rakaw. The village had Magdenburg rights – privileges. There were two watermills, brick manufacture and lumber mill, postal telegraph office (its ruins still remain). By the end of the 19th century the population of Rakow was about 3,6 thousand people, almost 60% of them were Jews.

In 1904–1906 the construction of the Mother of God Rosaria and the Holy Spirit castle was finished. It was done on donations of the local people and it is an example of Neo-Gothic architecture.

In 1921-1939 the Rakaw was in Poland. 1500m from the town was a border with the Soviet Union, which contributed to its great economic recovery. At this time, Rakaw was a favorite place of smugglers, spies on both sides, there were many restaurants and even a brothels. After 1939 Rakaw was in the USSR. All bourgeois infrastructure had been destroyed.

Pictures of Rakaw photo gallery taken at 10 of July, 2010

Suburb of Liege, Belgium. Pictures taken at 6 of October, 2010.

It is a major city and municipality of Belgium located in the province of Liège, of which it is the administrative capital, in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium.

The city is situated in the valley of the Meuse River, near Belgium’s eastern borders with the Netherlands and Germany, where the Meuse meets the Ourthe. It is in the former sillon industriel, the industrial backbone of Wallonia. The Liège municipality includes the former communes of Angleur, Bressoux, Chênée, Glain, Grivegnée, Jupille-sur-Meuse, Rocourt, and Wandre.

The city is the principal economic and cultural centre of Wallonia. Liège is, with 194,054 inhabitants as of 1 May 2009, the second most populous city in Wallonia, after Charleroi. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 1,879 km2 and has a total population of 749,110 as of 1 January 2008. This includes a total of 52 municipalities, a.o. Herstal and Seraing, and ranks as the third most populous in Belgium, after Brussels and Antwerp.

The small town of Byarozawka (Belarusian: Бярозаўка, Russian: Берёзовка, Beryozovka, sometimes as Berozovka) is a city in Lida district, Belarus.

The whole history of this city is associated with the development of the glass industry. Byarozawka was founded in the late XIX century.
The first blown glass workshop opened in 1875 on the territory of the farm in Ustran Borky. Blown glass workshop in the tract of Byarozawka started working in 1883. September 19, 1883, a local landowner the Zenon Lenski sent a request to Lida powiat management for permission “near the woodland summer residence of Zaenchitsy build the Glassworks.” But he was not allowed to build.
In 1891 the Lenski’s blown glass workshop rented Wilhelm Krajewski and Julius Stole. After some time, these masters built their own glass factory. From that moment began flourishing industry and town.

Pictures from Byarozawka photo gallery taken at 12 of December, 2009.

The Tsnyanskoye lake is not natural origin, it was created in 1982. Originally the lake was intended for drinking and technical water supply for the city. In recent years near the lake created a recreational area and beaches.

Pictures of Tsnyanskoye Lake in Minsk photo gallery added 3 of April, 2009.

Pictures taken at 13 of October, 2008.
The misty and dull morning in small Czech town. Hustopece, Czech.


Hustopeče was first mentioned in 1303. By the end of the 19th century, it was on the byline from Šakvice north to the Vienna-Bruno-Prague line. Until the end of the Second World War, most of its inhabitants were ethnic Germans.

The town skyline was dominated by the Gothic St.Wenceslaus Church. Its 74 m high steeple collapsed in 1961, which damaged the church’s structure greatly, and in 1962 the Czechoslovak government ordered it to be torn down. A new futuristic church was built on the site of the old one between 1990 and 1994, and was designed by L. Kolka. The new St. Wenceslaus’ church has a 47 m high steeple (52 m including its cross).