One of the most western cities of Belarus (15km to the border with Poland and 30km to the Lithuania) - Grodno. It is a city rich in history and interesting past. The once small industrial city at the crossroads of trade routes, Grodno for it's long life and has experienced moments of world-wide fame, and the years of bitter oblivion.
History. The third capital of Rzeczpospolita, from greatness to oblivion.
The history of Grodno, perhaps one of the richest among the cities all over the country. At a time when the current capital of Belarus - Minsk - was in a state of territorial uncertainty, Grodno has carried the status of the unofficial capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the third capital Rzeczpospolita (after Krakow and Vilnius).
The events that occurred on the territory of medieval Grodno, had a special influence on the course of not only local, but also the entire European history. So, from 1676, every third General Sejm took place in Grodno and in 1705 on the territory of Farnham church in the heart of the city there was a historical meeting of Peter I and Charles XII. At the end of the XVIII century there was signed the Act of the second separation one of the most powerful countries in Europe - Rzeczpospolita.
Soviet period have not benefited Grodno. Despite the fact that during World War II city was damaged only slightly, a lot of sightseeing places, museums, monasteries and churches were turned into a "party rooms", halls for sports and general education schools. Very significant in this case is the fact of demolition in 1961 of the Farny church wich Grand Duke Vytautas built in XIV century. Or destruction of the Bernardine Monastery in 1977 (right after demolishing of building on its site the Soviet builders began construction of the regional drama theater in the style of socialist realism).
Today, unfortunately, it is angular and awkward drama theater building is considered to be the hallmark of the city, not Borisoglebskaya Kalozha Church of the XII century and the Cathedral Church of St. Francis Xavier.
Modern Grodno certainly a big city. However, such a pompous grandeur that he could be proud of a couple of centuries ago, there is no more. The only recall to the rise and fall - are the ruins of the old castle, which the Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas built as his residence. New Castle, which was the main site for the signing of such important documents of the Rzeczpospolita, today has a very pale appearance. Here is located Historical and Archaeological Museum but the exhibition is not too impressive. By the way, rebuilt after the destruction in 1941, the medieval castle is now proudly decorated with the Soviet coat of arms, beaming at the head of the roof of the main building in whole castle complex.
If you're a fan of eclecticism, the Grodno - this is exactly what you are looking for. New York, combines architecture, romanticism, neo-Gothic, Art Nouveau and technocratic, can not compare to Grodno. During a walk through the city in a few minutes there is a sense of being neither in Vilnius nor in Kiev or in Moscow. And where is the true face of the city? It is in this eclecticism. Where seemingly most incongruous styles of classical Russian architecture and the desperate Catholic gothic completely and organically coexist on the same street. Where the entrance to the ordinary Soviet courtyard opens eyes to the outskirts of New York's SoHo. Where cobblestone street named after the famous Polish writer Eliza Orzeszkowa ends on the Soviet square, where surprisingly different Church Cathedral and the Palace of the textile face each other.