Prince Michael of Kent, a member of the British Royal Family, is visiting Belarus on 10-13 October. On Tuesday he had a number of official meetings including with President Alexander Lukashenko and Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei. His Royal Highness has also visited the Great Patriotic War museum.
BelarusFeed has decided to come up with our own guide to Belarus for the Prince. These ideas should definitely be included in his agenda and we are sure Prince Michael won’t regret it!
1. Explore the history of Belarusian nobility in Nesvizh
There’s no royal family in Belarus but if we had royals, they would be living in that grand palace in Nesvizh. The XVI estate was once owned by the Radziwiłł family, one of the richest and most powerful nobles of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
In the 19th century, when the estate was owned by Prince Antoni Radziwiłł and his French wife, Marie de Castellane, it has a landscape park in English style. With an area of more than one square kilometre, the park was one of the biggest facilities of the kind in Europe.
In 1994, the castle complex was designated the national historical and cultural reserve and has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 2005.
2. Listen to a classical opera or watch a modern play
In London they have the Royal Opera House – in Minsk we have the Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre. Its company tours a lot and it is welcomed in many countries all over the world – Spain, Russia, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Israel, Portugal, China admirers of opera are well acquainted with the repertoire of this Belarusian theatre.
In October the theatre offers world’s opera and ballet masterpieces like Macbeth, the Nutcracker, Carmen and Swan Lake.
In case His Royal Highness prefers something more fringe, we’d offer him to visit one of the performances of the international theatre forum TEART 2016, taking place in Minsk in September – October. Here one can find see plays by companies from Lithuania, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland and other countries.
3. Travel back in history in Aźjarco village
Like the Stonehenge in England, this place has the power to transfer its visitors back in time.
Belarusian State Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Lifestyle, located not far from Minsk in Aźjarco village, is an open-air museum or, in other words, a skansen museum. Wooden buildings of different types were brought here from all over the country to demonstrate traditional folk culture of Belarus.
This place often becomes a venue for traditional celebrations or a shooting set for historical movies. Experienced visitors say that after the excursion it’s worth dropping in at the tavern for some mouth-watering treats!
4. Buy a stylish Vyshyvanka
These T-shirts with red patterns have been the hit of several last fashion seasons in Belarus. Many designers and brands, including large Belarusian producers, have introduced vyshyvankas or other clothing with traditional patterns in their collections.
Belarusian Olympians even wore them in Rio!
5. Have fun in a Belarusian restaurant
Minsk offers several places where a foreigner can get acquainted with local cuisine. For Prince Michael we would recommend Grai, a new and the biggest traditional restaurant.
The ideal option would be to have a slow walk in the historical centre and then get warmed up inside – with Belarusian beer, juicy meat, flavoured potatoes and live music.
See also: 10 Things To Do In Minsk Like A Local