Search of Belarus hotels
National Tourism Agency
16.03.12 / The 46th International Tourism Fair, «ITB Berlin 2012», which took place from March 7 to 11 in Berlin, once again confirmed its status as the world's biggest tourism and services exhibition.
Links & publications
The heart of hetman Jan Karol Khodkevich, an outstanding public figure of the Great Principality of Lithuania, is kept in a sarcophagus in the cathedral of Berestovitsa.
According to a legend, the ghost of the hetman rises above the cathedral once a year and floats above the town up in the sky. The ghost is said to bring luck to everyone who sees it.
The town of Bolshaya Berestovitsa is situated 60 km away from Grodno and 10 km away from the cognominal railway station (the Baranovichi Branch of the Belarusian Railways).
In 1506 King of Poland and Prince of Lithuania Alexander Yagelonchik handed a number of settlements, including Berestovitsa, to nobleman Alexander Khodkevich. It was then that Berestovitsa was mentioned in chronicles for the first time.
The town used to belong to the noble families of Mnishek, Pototski and Kosakovski.
In 1754 Berestovitsa received Magdebourg Right (the right to self-government) and an emblem with a squirrel.
A wonder-working icon of Our Lady was brought to Berestovitsa’s Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral in the early 18th century. Unfortunately, later the icon was lost.
On September 19 1794 Berestovitsa turned into a battlefield for rebels led by Tadeusz Kosciusko and Russian troops. Over 250 rebels were killed in that battle. The hero of the battle was Prince Petr Bagration, who later made an immense contribution to the Russian victory over Napoleon troops (1812).
The upheaval of 1863 led by Kastus Kalinovski also left an imprint on the town’s history.
From 1921 to 1939 Berestovitsa belonged to Poland, and in September 1939 it became part of the Soviet Union.
On September 20 1944 the Soviet authorities signed a decree that stipulated the formation of Grodno Region and Berestovitsa District. In February 1947 Berestovitsa received the status of a town.
The most famous son of Berestovitsa is hetman of the Great principality of Lithuania Jan Karol Khodkevich (took part in the wars with Sweden and Turkey) who asked descendants to bury his heart in the local cathedral after his death (1621).
In 1863 dean of the cathedral Ignaty Kozlovski and poet Felix Razhanski issued a newspaper with content aimed against the pressure of the Russian regime.
Another famous Belarusian revolution activist Sergey Pritytski also used to work in Berestovitsa.
The Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral of Berestovitsa has very much in common with the Cathedral of St Peter and Paul that is located in Krakow. The cathedral used to host a school and a charity hospital.
In addition, there is the Assumption Church (1741) and the Transfiguration cathedral (1912, neo-gothic style).
Besides, there is an old wooden inn (early 19th cent.).
A four-metre-high bronze sculpture called the Life Tree was unveiled in 2006 on the eve of the 500th anniversary of Berestovitsa.
A circle in the crown of the tree symbolizes the Sun. In the middle of the circle there is a squirrel (the symbol of the town) and the date of foundation of Berestovitsa — 1506.
There is a hotel called Konstantin in the nearby located village of Pogranichny (2 km away from the Belarusian-Polish border, berestovitsa-Bobrovniki checkpoint). In addition to 50 rooms, the hotel has a restaurant, a bar, a parking lot, a petrol filling station, a carwash, a car service station and a currency exchange office.
Target group — families with children, school students. Informative excursions, historical tours.
According to a legend, the town was founded by young lovers Berest and Tavitsa, who had to flee their homeland. Their names merged to give the tow its present title.
In 2006 the wooden sculptures of Betest and Tavitsa were installed by the entrance to Berestovitsa.
Favorable geographic position (close to the border between Belarus and Poland) makes visits to Berestovitsa an inseparable part of numerous international tours and excursions.