Minsk is a political, cultural and economic centre of the Republic of Belarus. Minsk covers an area of 308 square kilometers. The city is divided into 9 administrative regions. Population is 1,728,900 persons. Time in Minsk is: Central European Time + 2 hours.
The city is located on the southeastern slope of the Minsk Hills on the bank of the river Svisloch. The altitude within the city varies from 184 to 280 meters. Located at the intersection of strategic roads from West to East and from North to South, from Moscow to Warsaw and from Kiev to Vilnius, Minsk is a large transport centre with several bus stations, a railway station, two airports and an underground network.
The climate is moderately continental, with significant influence of Atlantic sea air. Summers are warm, but not hot. The average temperature in July is +18C. Winters are mild, with frequent thaws; the average temperature in January is -6C. However, in recent years there has been a clear tendency to rise in temperature in winter.
Distances from Minsk to European Cities
Warsaw / Poland - 500 km
Vilnius / Lithuania - 185 km
Kiev / Ukraine - 565 km
Moscow / Russia - 720 km
Riga / Latvia - 470 km
Berlin / Germany - 1050 km
London / England - 2100 km
Paris / France - 2150 km
Minsk is a city with quite an ancient history. It was first mentioned in chronicles in 1067 when joint forces of Dukes Yaroslavichy captured Minsk, and then in the Battle on the river Nemiga defeated troops of Vseslav of Polotsk. The origin of the name of the city is interpreted by historians in different ways. According to one legend the name of the founder of the city was Menesk. Historians believe the name of Minsk comes either from a small river Menka on which the city was founded, or from a Slavonic word “mena” which means “exchange” as the city was located at the intersection of trade routes where exchange of commodities took place. Later, in the XVII century, under the influence of the Polish language the word “Mensk” was transformed into its modern form, i.e. Minsk. In 1499 Minsk was granted self-government according to Magdeburg Law. In 1974 Minsk was awarded an honorary title of “Hero City” in commemoration of merits of its citizens in the struggle against fascism during World War II. Since 1991 Minsk has been a capital of the Republic of Belarus. The executive committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Government and the Parliament of the Republic of Belarus are located in Minsk.
Minsk is a treasure house of old churches and cathedrals. In spite of the fact that the city was almost completely destroyed during World War II, today it is one of the most developed cities in Eastern Europe. Rich cultural heritage, a variety of sights, a well-developed infrastructure make the capital of Belarus an attractive place for tourism and rest. We in return are glad to offer you the services of the “Orbita” Hotel in order to make your rest in Minsk as comfortable as possible.
There are about 30 institutes of higher education in Minsk including Belarusian State University, Belarusian StateEconomic University and Minsk State Linguistic University. Besides there are more than 35 specialized secondary schools, more than 100 comprehensive schools and more than 500 preschool institutions.
Minsk is known for its cultural component. There are 16 museums including The National Art Museum, National Museum of History and Culture of Belarus, Museum of the Great Patriotic War History. There are also 11 theatres including Russian State Drama Theatre, Byelorussian Academic Theatre, The National Opera and Ballet Theatre. Besides, there are 20 cinemas and 139 libraries in Minsk.
There are 12 tram lines, 56 trolleybus routes and more than 100 bus routes, 2 underground lines. You can reach any part of the city by taking a fixed route taxi. Urban transport and underground start its work at 5:30 a.m. and finish at about 1 a.m. You can also take taxi to reach any part of the city by dialing 135, 161, 152, 181, 157 or 107.
Using the materials http://minskinfo.com/en and http://welcometobelarus.narod.ru/Belarus_Sights.html