Trinity Suburb is an old picturesque part of Minsk located on the bank of the Svisloch River in the city center. Its cozy little streets and houses, with tile roofs and delicate colors, have become a symbol of Minsk. Their image can be often seen on souvenirs and candy.
Trinity Suburb, Upper Town, the surroundings of the destroyed Minsk Castle and Rakov Suburb form the historic center of Minsk with its captivating historic buildings, Orthodox and Catholic churches.
The settlement Trinity Hill appeared near the Svisloch River in the 12th-13th centuries. Nobody knows exactly how the name came about. Some believe it came after the name of the ancient Trinity Catholic Church founded by Grand Duke of Lithuania Jahajla. Others think that the name derives from the defensive redoubt of the Holy Trinity, or the Church of the Holy Trinity.
In ancient times these suburb was a commercial center. It was a place where roads from Vilno, Polotsk, Smolensk and Mogilev intersected. In late 16th century it became the largest marketplace in the town called Trinity Market.
In the 15th -17th centuries Trinity Hill, Lower Market and Rakov Suburb were surrounded by fortresses next to which stood little wooden houses of artisans, merchants, peasants and servicemen.
The ancient design of the suburb was lost in the great fire of 1809. This place was redeveloped and, in line with the project approved by Emperor Alexander I, new stone buildings were built here.
In the 1930s-1960s some buildings and entire streets of the suburb were ruined.
Buildings in Trinity Suburb and Upper Town were renovated in the 1980s to give them a touch of the 19th -century Minsk.
In 2004 the borders of the historic center and the concept of its renovation were approved by a presidential decree.
Trinity Suburb was included in the Old Town complex. Special protection measures were introduced with respect to the western part of the suburb. After the renovation this part was turned into an open-air museum where one can enjoy the stone architecture of the 19th century.
In 2009 the park built at the site of the former marketplace was given its historic name Trinity Hill. The Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater, built in the 1930s, is also located here.
Many buildings located in Trinity Suburb house museums, antique shops, souvenir stores, cafes, restaurants and art galleries.
Work is also underway to reproduce the historic appearance of Trinity Suburb and rebuild the missing buildings in Upper Town. Work is also in progress to redevelop one of the main sights of Minsk’s historic center, the surroundings of the ancient Minsk Castle.
Trinity Suburb is a “gem” of the city architecture where one can enjoy the old Minsk and get familiar with its cultural heritage. Here you can visit:
Many houses in this part of Minsk are considered to be architectural landmarks though people still dwell in many of them.
Trinity Suburb features fascinating sculptures of famous persons such as artist Yazep Drozdovich (Life-Long Wanderer), and Maksim Bogdanovich.
Next to Trinity Suburb there is a small island, with a pedestrian arch bridge leading to it. A memorial to Belarusians who took part in the Soviet War in Afghanistan was unveiled here in 1996.
This island, called the Island of Tears or the Island of Courage and Sorrow, has become one of the most famous sights of Minsk. A symbolic chapel stands in the center of the memorial. The design of the chapel derives from that of the 12th-century Church of Euphrosyne of Polotsk. A stone with a bronze icon of the Mother of God adorns the entrance to the isle…
At present the Minsk Suvorov Military School is located in the building of the Church of the Mariavites which was situated in Trinity Suburb. Olivaria, the oldest Belarusian brewery in operation, is located a bit farther.
Cozy little restaurants, cafes and coffee houses operate in Trinity Suburb. Their antique interiors are a perfect place to get some rest after a stroll around the city.
Minsk’s only restaurant on water is located on the bank of the Svisloch River in Trinity Suburb. There you will be able to enjoy picturesque city views and taste Belarusian national dishes.
Upper Town is a historic center of Minsk. The town was granted the Magdeburg Rights in 1499 and later a stone town hall was erected in its central square. History was not merciful to the town hall as it was rebuilt many times.
The renovated present-day town hall opened in 2003. These days this building has exhibition halls and a reception hall. Little souvenir stores are located near the town hall.
Upper Town also features such buildings as:
The renovated complex of the former Bernardians monastery (18th century) in Cyril and Methodius Street houses a four-star Monastyrsky Hotel and museum exhibitions featuring archeological finds from the cloister and things that local residents used in their daily life.
Minsk’ Sports Palace and the national exhibition center BelExpo are located near Trinity Suburb.