See photos of Prague, Czech Republic (including Old Prague view, Valtava river panoramic view, panoramic picture of Prague Pilharmonic Orchestra, Peace Square, Prazsky hrad view from sky, Old Town Square at night panoramic view, Charles Bridge view, St.Vitus Cathedral spherical panorama, inside the Sadlec Ossuary panoramic view – Kutna Gora, St.Bsrbara Cathedral view, Parague images at night and more) in this travel photo gallery from Verde Wanderer and AirPano.com – 360° Aerial Panorama.
Pictures taken at 13 of October, 2010.

  • Ancient age

The area on which Prague was founded was settled as early as the Paleolithic age. Around 200 BC the Celts established an oppidum (settlement) in the south, now called Závist. By the end of the 1st century BC, the population was comprised mostly of the Marcomanni (and possibly the Suebi), a Germanic people. In the 6th century AD, during the great migration period following the collapse of the Roman empire, the Marcomanni people migrated westwards or were assimilated into the invading West Slavic people.

According to legends, Prague was founded by Libuše and her husband, Přemysl, founder of the dynasty of the same name. By the year 800 there was a simple fort fortified with wooden buildings, occupying about two-thirds of the area that is now Prague Castle. The first masonry under Prague Castle dates from the year 885.

The other Prague fort, the Přemyslid fort Vyšehrad was founded in the 10th century, some 70 years later than Prague Castle. Prague Castle is dominated by the cathedral, which was founded in 1344, but completed in the 20th century.

The region became the seat of the dukes, and later kings, of Bohemia. Under Emperor Otto II the area became a bishopric in 973. Until Prague was elevated to archbishopric in 1344, it was under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Mainz.

Prague was an important seat for trading where merchants from all of Europe settled, including many Jews, as recalled in 965 by the Jewish merchant and traveler Ibrahim ibn Ya’qub. The Old New Synagogue of 1270 still stands. Prague contained an important slave market.

At the site of the ford in the Vltava River, King Vladislaus II had the first bridge built in 1170, the Judith Bridge named honor of his wife Judith of Thuringia. This bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1342. Some of the original foundation stones of that bridge remain.

In 1257, under King Ottokar II, Malá Strana was founded in Prague on the site of an older village in what would become the Hradčany (Prague Castle) area. This was the district of the German people, who had the right to administer the law autonomously, pursuant to Magdeburg rights. The new district was on the bank opposite of the Staré Město (“Old Town”), which had borough status and was bordered by a line of walls and fortifications.

  • History in 20th century
Main article: Czechoslovak Republic (1918–1938)

Stiassny’s Jubilee Synagogue built in 1906 is the largest in Prague

The First World War ended with the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the creation of Czechoslovakia. Prague was chosen as its capital and Prague Castle as the seat of president (Tomáš Masaryk). At this time Prague was a true European capital with highly developed industry. By 1930, the population had risen to 850,000.

Second World War

Main article: German occupation of Czechoslovakia

Hitler ordered the German Army to enter Prague on 15 March 1939 and from Prague Castle proclaimed Bohemia and Moravia a German protectorate. For most of its history Prague had been a multiethnic city with important Czech, German and (mostly Czech- and/or German-speaking) Jewish populations. From 1939, when the country was occupied by Nazi Germany, and during World War II, most Jews fled the city or were deported.

In 1942, Prague was witness to the assassination of one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany – Reinhard Heydrich. Hitler ordered bloody reprisals. At the end of the war Prague suffered several bombing raids by the USAAF. Over 1,000 people were killed and hundreds of buildings, factories and historical landmarks were destroyed (however the damage was small compared to the total destruction of many other cities in that time). On 5 May 1945, two days before Germany capitulated, an uprising against Germany occurred. Four days later the 3rd Shock Army entered the city. The majority of the German population either fled or was expelled by the Beneš decrees in the aftermath of the war.

Cold War

Main article: History of Czechoslovakia (1948–1968)

Prague was a city in the territory of military and political control of the Soviet Union (see Iron Curtain). The 4th Czechoslovakian Writers’ Congress held in the city in 1967 took a strong position against the regime. This spurred the new secretary of the Communist Party, Alexander Dubček to proclaim a new deal in his city’s and country’s life, starting the short-lived season of the “socialism with a human face”. It was the “Prague Spring”, which aimed at the renovation of institutions in a democratic way. The Soviet Union and its allies reacted with the invasion of Czechoslovakia and the capital on 21 August 1968 by tanks, suppressing any attempt at work.

Era after the Velvet Revolution

In 1989, after the riot police beat back a peaceful student demonstration, the Velvet Revolution crowded the streets of Prague and the Czechoslovak capital benefited greatly from the new mood. In 1993, after the split of Czechoslovakia, Prague became the capital city of the new Czech Republic. In the late 1990s Prague again became an important cultural centre of Europe and was notably influenced by globalisation. In 2000 anti-globalisation protests in Prague (some 15,000 protesters) turned violent during the IMF and World Bank summits. In 2002 Prague suffered from widespread floods that damaged buildings and also its underground transport system. Prague launched a bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics, but failed to make the candidate city shortlist. Due to low political support, Prague’s officials chose in June 2009 to cancel the city’s planned bid for 2020 Summer Olympics as well.

 

wikipedia.org

Prushinsky’s country estate in Loshitsa park complex (Lošyca or Loshica), Minsk City, Belarus. Date of construction: 2nd half of XVII – 2nd half of XIX centuries.
Manor house built Stanislaw Prushinsky in the second half of the eighteenth century and rebuilt in the style of Russian Art Nouveau and eclecticism in the nineteenth by the owner of Evstaphi Luban, the now exposed global restoration.
It should be noted that in these places haunted by a ghost. Witnesses claim that it can be seen sometimes in the night.

Loshitsa panoramas photo and just photos are shooted:
28 of April, 2007.
01 of July, 2012.
04 of July, 2014.

The old cemetery in Lida city. There is Chapel of St. Barbara,  date of construction of chapel is 1930.  The cemetery is located not so far from Lida Castle. This is the old part of the city that has not survived to the present time except the contours of streets .

A pictures and panorams photo of Lida old cemetery photo gallery added 04 March, 2012 and 27 September, 2012, 06 October, 2013.

 

Information: little about Lida castle history
There are passing mentions of Lida in chronicles from 1180. Until the early 14th century the settlement at Lida was a wooden fortress in the Lithuania proper. In 1323, the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas built a brick fortress there, it was a real defensive castle in Europe. 1380 is generally considered the founding year of the city of Lida. The fortress withstood Crusader attacks from Prussia in 1392 and 1394 but it was burned to the ground in 1710. Following the death of Gediminas, when Lithuania was divided into principalities, Lida became the capital of one of them, the seat of Algirdas.

Lida was in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In the second half of the 14th century, after the Christianization of Lithuania the Catholic parish was established in former pagan lands and a Church was built by Jogaila (ruins are still preserved). Subsequently in 15th century town became a centre of production by craftsmen and trade. Lida was connected with Vilnius, Navahrudak and Minsk. At that time the town had a market square and four streets Wielenska, Zamkowa, Kamieńska and Krivaya. In 1588 Lida became the seat of Lida District in Vilnius Voivodeship. Magdeburg Rights were granted to the town in 1590 and confirmed in 1776 by the Polish Sejm. By these rights Lida held two annual fairs of little import to the local economy. The population was between 2000 to 5000 people.

The 17th century was a difficult time in Lida. Caught by invading to Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth forces of Russia and Sweden. A depression resulted, and people moved out of Lida. By 1786, 514 inhabitants were left in Lida. in 1795, Lida was annexed by the Russian Empire as a powiat centre of the Slonim Governorate (1795). Afterwards, Lida was a part of the Lithuania Governorate in 1797 and of Grodno Governorate since 1801.

The town was greatly destroyed during the French occupation in 1812. In 1817 the population was 1366 people. Since 1842 Lida was the “district” centre in Vilna Governorate. In 1863 and 1873, two beer factories were built in Lida. In 1884, the railway Vilnius-Lunenets was finished. In 1907, the railway Molodechno-Mosty opened. The 1897 population was 8626 people.

A two-year school opened. Then, a parish school with the department for girls opened as did a Jewish school. In 1899 a hospital opened which consisted of 25 beds. In 1901 cast-iron plant began to operate. In 1903 sawmill started its operation. At the end of 19th century and at the beginning of 20 century two brick plants were built. In 1904, there were 1000 houses of which 275 were brick, fourteen small enterprises, four hospitals with beds for 115 people, and six elementary schools for 700 pupils. In 1904, near Minsk the Russian Social Democratic Party was formed. During the revolutions of 1905-07, the uprisings of the workers took place, complete with political slogans. In 1914, there were almost 40 factories.

There is a mystical legend of the pine trees at Lida Castle. One day, nine Franciscan monks came to the castle to preach Christianity. But local residents rejected the new religion, they killed the missionaries and the bodies thrown into a pit near the castle. In the place grew slender pine. By the time the townspeople have become Catholics. No one was cutting pine. But one day a plowman cut off a branch, and blood flowed from the branches. Since then, no one has dared to raise the ax to the trees.

Today Belarusian castle in Lida town ( Лідскі замак – in belarusian, Лидский замок – in russian ) is one of successfully surviving castles of Belarus.

Lida Castle map and Location

Get help with directions to Lida Castle, Lida, Hrodna Province, Belarus, using this map provided bellow.

Pictures taken in 28 of June, 2009. Lida Castle photos before the global restoration.
Pictures taken in 12 of April, 2012 and 12 of January, 2013; 11 of July, 2015. Lida Castle panorama after the global restoration.

 

Minsk in winter. Taken on January 2, 2017.

The Belarus introduces five-day visa-free regime for citizens of 80 countries from 12 February 2017.
The document introduces the visa-free entry through the border checkpoint at the Minsk National Airport  and the visa-free stay in Belarus for up to 5 days for the citizens of 80 states. These are 39 countries of Europe, including the entire European Union, Brazil, Indonesia, the USA, Japan, and other countries.

History of Minsk started when Early East Slavs settled the forested hills of today’s Minsk by the 9th century. They had been migrating from further south and pushing the preceding Balts northwards. The valley of Svislach river was settlement boundary between two Early East Slavs’ tribal unions – Krivich and Dregovichs. By 980 the area was incorporated into the early medieval Principality of Polatsk, one of the earliest East Slav states alongside with the principalities of Kiev and Novgorod. There is no exact historical record for the date when Minsk was founded. It was first mentioned (as Mensk) in the Primary Chronicle in 1067. Minsk was hosted the 2014 IIHF World Championship. By the by, the visa requirements for the entry to Belarus during the 2014 Men’s World Ice Hockey Championships: (on 25 April – 31 May 2014) was visa-free.

26 Places to visit in Minsk or things to see:
  1. The Minsk upper town, Nemiga: the cathedral, church, Town Hall.
  2. Kilometer Zero.
  3. Circus.
  4. Opera house.
  5. Troitskoye Predmestye (Trinity Suburb).
  6. Niezaliežnasci Square (Independence Square).
  7. The Parliament building.
  8. Church of St. Simon and St. Helena (Red Church).
  9. Church of the Holy Trinity (St.Roch) on the Golden Jam.
  10. Gorky Park.
  11. Independence Avenue (praspiekt Niezaliežnasci).
  12. Building of KGB Headquarters is a historical landmark in the heart of the capital city.
  13. The National Museum.
  14. Passenger Railway Station and the Railway station (Pryvakzalnaja) square.
  15. Orthodox Elisavetinsky Monastery.
  16. Cemetery. Calvary Chapel.
  17. Yakub Kolas Square.
  18. Children’s Railroad
  19. Palats Mastatsva (Art Palace) – opens from 10 am until 7 pm Tuesdays through Sundays and offers FREE admission sometimes.
  20. The National Library.
  21. Museum of History of the Great Patriotic War
  22. The Komsomolskoye lake.
  23. Pischalovsky Castle – Prison.
  24. Belarusian State Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Lifestyle.
  25. Prushinsky’s country estate in Loshica.
  26. Osmolovka is the first luxury neighborhood after 1945, probably, will soon be demolished.

We also recommend walk around city at night till 24:00h.: The buildings are highlighted. Here’s another travel tips.

Where to eat cheaply in Minsk? Recommended ‘budget’ place in center of city for lunch, save money on food.
  1. Cheap Eats: Central Department Store (ЦУМ: Belarussian, TSUM),  Olymp сafe on the second floor. There you can eat dense for 4-7 Euro. Attention! There is no WC. Addess of TSUM: praspiekt Niezaliežnasci 54 (Independence Avenue, 54). Plošča Jakuba Kolasa underground station.
  2. Near the Central Department Store, on the opposite side of the Independence Avenue (praspiekt Niezaliežnasci) located Lido restaurant fastfood. There lunch will be more expensive, but the interior is modern than interior of epoch of the Soviet Union at the TSUM cafe. There is free WC. Address of LIDO: praspiekt Niezaliežnasci 49/1 (Independence Avenue, 49/1). Plošča Jakuba Kolasa underground station.

 

Scheme of lines Minsk underground.

Scheme of lines Minsk undergroun

 

360 panoramic tour – Yakub Kolas Square


 

Tips and Warnings for traveling to Minsk and Belarus.

Have to say the Belarus retains the flavor of the old Soviet Union a still. English is not widely spoken here. The official languages are Belarusian and Russian.

Best free things to do today in Minsk.

Hmm… 😉 I have not found still. And you?

Where is the watercloset here, please?

To see waterclosets in Minsk on a map of the big size.
And furthermore, WC are located at metro stations.

 

A pictures to photo gallery added 17 of September, 2006 and a new updating from 13 of September, 2010; 06 of October, 2012; 18 of October, 2012; 24 of October, 2013; 22 of March, 2014;  01 of December 2014.