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Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park

Father Frost’s Residence. Belovezhskaya Pushcha
Father Frost’s Residence. Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The primeval forest of this National Park is home to over 900 plants and 250 animals and birds, including several rare species

History of Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park

A key tourist attraction of Belarus, Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park is what’s left of the primeval forest which used to stretch from the Baltic Sea to the Buh River and from Odder to the Dnieper River.

The park is located 340km to the south-west of Minsk in the Brest region of Belarus  It is one of 4 National Parks in Belarus  and the largest forest in the lowlands of central Europe.

Read more about the natural history of Belarus.

The first records of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park date back to the year 983. The name comes from a white tower in the vicinity (Belaya Vezha) erected 700 years ago, and the name Pushcha is mentioned in both Lithuanian and Polish historical documents dating back to the 15th century.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park has been a battleground throughout the ages. The Napoleonic War and world wars have all taken their toll on the forest.

In 1939 the land was declared a state reserve and in 1944 part of the reserve was given to neighbouring Poland.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. In 1993 it was granted UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park today

Today Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park is one of the most famous places in Belarus and plays a very important role in the ecology of Belarus.

The park is famous for its ancient named oak trees dating back more than 500 years. In all there are almost 900 species of trees and flowers here including:

  • old ash
  • pine
  • silver fir
  • rare grass plants

Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park is also home to more than 250 animal and bird species, including:

  • the largest population of the rare European bison
  • wolf
  • lynx
  • otter
  • tarpan European wild horse
  • greater spotted eagle
  • crane
  • woodpecker
  • long tailed tawny owl

As well as the forest, Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park also boats a zoo, library and a museum, and supports wood processing, handicrafts and various local industries.  

Getting to Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park and where to stay

Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park is about 70km west of Brest and 20km from the nearest town of Kamenyets.

It’s best to take an organised tour to this important place in Belarus, as no other transport is allowed on the site.

There are five buses a day to Kamenyets from Brest, but Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park is still a taxi ride away.

There are two small hotels on the site. Many visitors choose to stay in a hotel in Brest and take a tour to Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park.

Things to see near Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park

There is plenty to keep you busy in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, but if you are in the region for a while other local attractions include:

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