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Novogrudok town

8 hours

Novogrudok town (155 km from Minsk) – the historical "Novogrudok" was founded in 1044. Therefore it was this area - now part of Belarus', and at the time called Black Russ' with its capital Novogrudok - that became the cradle of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a new and a powerful state in Eastern Europe. The old city had two castles: the residence of the Grand Dukes. Both castles existed from the 10th til 17th century. In 1706 the castles were blown up by the Swedes. The castle had seven towers and was one of the strongest fortifications in Belarus. The walls overlooked the surroundings up to about 70 km (the castle hill is the highest point in the surroundings). The oldest cathedral in Novogrudok was founded in the 11th century. In the 17th century there were already 10 Orthodox churches and a Jesuit College, a Dominican and Franciscan monastery. The Calvinists also had their own churches. In the surroundings of Novogrudok an important part of the population was of Crimean Tartar stock. Today one of the monuments left in Novogrudok, apart from the castle ruins, is the Farny Catholic church, a baroque building. The first church on the spot was founded in 1395 during the reign of Prince Vitaut. in 1723 a new stone-built church was built, it is still in service today. The Nalibokskaya Pushcha, an ancient woodland, and the Svityaz' lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in Belarus', are not far from Novogrudok. All these landscapes have been described in numerous works of poetry and are regarded as one of Belarus' most precious areas.

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