1. THE KGB STILL EXISTS, 2. THE DIAMOND-SHAPED LIBRARY, 3. A CONFISCATED ART MUSEUM IN BREST, 4. PHOTOGRAPH IN BELARUS, 5. MEDICAL INSURANCE, 6. COURAGE STATUE IN BREST. Belarus might be a fascinating destination for an inquisitive traveler who is tired of European cities. Furthermore, as visa limitations loosen, international nationals are now allowed to visit any part of Belarus within 30 days of their visa–free stay. They must, however, enter and exit the nation through Minsk National Airport. Let's look at the top Things to Know Before Traveling to Belarus.
- THE KGB STILL EXISTS
- THE DIAMOND-SHAPED LIBRARY
- A CONFISCATED ART MUSEUM IN BREST
- PHOTOGRAPH IN BELARUS
- MEDICAL INSURANCE
- COURAGE STATUE IN BREST
THE KGB STILL EXISTS
Except for Belarus, all former Soviet Union countries have altered the names of their central security agencies since the breakup of the Soviet Union. The KGB is still functioning in Belarus, and its headquarters are on Nyezalyezhnastsi Avenue in a lovely edifice.
In internet forums, there is a lot of fear about the Belarussian KGB, and the reality is that it affected me as well. There have even been reports of people being interrogated in the building’s basements if they photograph the facade.
If you picture the building, however, you may have some minor difficulties, although this is not due to the KGB. Because in Belarus, photographing public buildings is prohibited. This is definitely among the top Things to Know Before Traveling to Belarus.
THE DIAMOND-SHAPED LIBRARY
The people are proud of this renowned piece of architecture that can be found throughout Eastern Europe. You’ll have to take the subway to go to the National Library, which is also an adventure. You should plan on 6-7 subway stations from downtown Minsk.
This is an Archimedean solid with eight triangular and eighteen square faces in geometry. If that’s not easy to remember, you may always refer to it as a diamond, like the locals do.This is definitely among the top Things to Know Before Traveling to Belarus.
A CONFISCATED ART MUSEUM IN BREST
Due to the political environment in Russia in the 1990s, the museum concept gained shape. Art looked like a prime target for smugglers back then. To cut a long story short, in the 1990s, smugglers attempted to illegally “export” art from Russia to Poland. The authorities were quite busy, and numerous people were detained and artifacts were confiscated every day. The issue was that the majority of them were unidentified. This presented a problem: what to do with the confiscated items.
They had to either eliminate them or come up with a solution, which they did. They made the decision to build this museum and show them to the public. The collection now numbers over 350 items, ranging from religious icons to sculptures, paintings to Chinese vases.
If you want to take photos at the museum, you should specify so when purchasing your ticket; there is a small fee for this (less than one euro).This is definitely among the top Things to Know Before Traveling to Belarus.
PHOTOGRAPH IN BELARUS
When you want to take images in Belarus, things get a little more tricky. This is one of the most fascinating facts about Belarus, and you should remember it when you visit. When it comes to photography, there are precise rules to follow.
As a general rule, you should avoid photographing public buildings. How do you know who they are? Because every building with a Belorussian flag on top is a public building, you must avoid photographing it. Remember that taking photos in the metro is prohibited, even if there is no apparent flag in the stations.
But, how stringent are these rules? If you want to photograph a public building, you should be very careful: you should be quick and not take too long. Armed guards are stationed around those buildings, and they may approach you and request that you erase the images. Exercise caution and common sense. If you only remember one thing from the 10 fascinating facts about Belarus, make it this one.
You must purchase medical insurance as soon as you arrive in Belarus. Your health insurance from your home country is unlikely to be valid in Belarus, thus you will have to get one. It will cover any unexpected medical bills, so you won’t have to worry about paying if something goes wrong on your trip. Although the cost is reasonable, this is a definite necessity for your stay. The charge was one euro per day during my stay (October 2018). As a result, you’ll require 7 euros/8 USD for a week.
You should check ahead of time to see if a visa is required for your stay. Belarus’ government has been gradually opening up to tourism in recent years, beginning with a 5-day visa-free regime that has recently been expanded to 30 days. You will not require a visa if you are from an EU nation or the United States.
COURAGE STATUE IN BREST
Brest’s most famous landmark is its fortification. This is incentive enough to travel to Brest. It was built in 1840 as a fortification against the Russian Empire. It is also known as a Hero-Fortress since it recalls the soldiers’ valiant defense during the German-Soviet War. The Nazis expected Brest to be a simple target that would surrender in a matter of hours, yet the resistance lasted for weeks. As a result, the Russians had plenty of time to regroup, and the rest is history…
“Courage,” of course, is the most amazing monument. This is a stone memorial that is thirty meters tall. It shows a Soviet soldier’s head next to a hammer and sickle flag. It can virtually be seen from half a kilometer away. Some find it unattractive, while others adore it. Whatever the case may be, this monolithic stone monument creates a powerful image that will stay with you for a long time.