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Minsk Travel Guide, Belarus

Minsk is Belarus' capital and biggest city, and it is located on the Niamiha and Svislach rivers.  It is also one of the headquarters for the Commonwealth of Independent States.  This national capital has a special administrative status and is also an administrative center for Minsk Voblast, a province, and Minsk Raion, the district.  The population of Minsk as of 2008 is 1,830,000.

The farthest back that references were made of Minsk date from 1067.  The city became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuanian in 1242 and received its privileges as a town in 1499.  It was a Minsk Voivodship capital from 1569 in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.  Russia annexed the city in 1793, as a Second Partition of Poland consequence.  Then Minsk was the Byelorussian SSR's capital from 1919 to 1991.

Geography and Climate

The city is situated in a rolling hills region that runs from the southwest to the northeast.  Minsk's geography was formed from the last two Ice Ages.  The Svislach River runs through the city from the northwest to southeast and is an ancient river that was formed from the melted ice of the most recent Ice Age.  The city was established on the hills to begin with, but during the 1900s it grew, including the relatively flat lands to the southeast.

Minsk has a humid continental climate thanks to the moist Atlantic air and the dry air from the landmass of Europe, and the weather isn't stable, as it changes often.  The average temperature in January is 21°F, while July's average temperature is 64°F.  On average, there are 135 humid days every year in comparison to only having an average of 6 dry days.  The average rainfall a year is about 25 inches, and one third of it comes in the form of rain and snow during the cold months.


The Minsk International Airport serves the city with flights to many destinations, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Iran, Russia, Cyprus, Israel, Austria, Poland, and many more.  The flights are operated by Belavia, the national airline; Lufthansa, the German carrier; AirBaltic, the Latvian airline; LOT Polish Airlines; and the Austrian Airlines Group.

Minsk is Belarus' biggest transportation hub and runs railway services and three intercity bus stations.  The bus stations link Minsk with suburbs, neighboring countries, and other cities within Belarus.  They operate frequent schedules that connect the city to  Warsaw, Kiev, Riga, Vilnius, and Moscow.

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