«The military cemetery in Minsk is one of the most beautiful places in town that has its unique atmosphere»
It may seem strange to someone, but in my opinion, the military cemetery in Minsk is one of the most beautiful places in town that has its unique atmosphere. I first had a chance to go there, when I was doing my first year at University that was not far away from the cemetery.
One evening, on my way home from University, the old cemetery right in the center of the city drew my attention. I saw through the bars graves, some well-groomed, some completely abandoned. And suddenly thought it would be interesting to go there in order «to touch the past»… Historical military cemetery in Minsk dates back to the 40s of the XIX century — the first cemetery of this type was in the Hospital St. By the end of the century necropolis was crowded, and in 1895 it was decided to close it.
New military cemetery was founded nearby. Alleys divided its territory into four parts. In two parts there were buried marines, in the other two — gunners and representatives of other branches.
Here are also buried many famous personalities of Belarus: Vsevolod Ignatovskiy (Belarusian historian, ethnographer and public figure, the first president of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus), Yakub Kolas and Yanka Kupala (our favorite writers), Kuzma Chorny (writer).
Later I became interested in the history of the chapel and the church of St. Alexander Nevsky, which was built in the cemetery and it is designed to perpetuate the memory of soldiers killed during the Russian-Turkish war of 1877−1878. It is said that during the bombing into the belfry of the church was thrown a bomb, but it did not explode. The church was given the status of the regimental church of the 119th Kolomna Infantry Regiment. Till now the church keeps relics of Regiment, and two marble plaques with the names of fallen soldiers.
Indeed, the military cemetery is a monument not only of the Belarusian and Russian history. As it’s known, in 2011 an Armenian cross stone in memory of those killed in Spitak earthquake and the victims of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 was installed near the church.
Here it is my favorite place in Minsk, a place where you can be alone with yourself and honor the memory of our countrymen.
Photo by Алексей Варган