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Tour "Belarus. Remembrance of Jews"


Itinerary: Grodno
Duration: 3 days

Back in the 14th-13th centuries, persecuted by the Inquisition in Europe, the Jews found an asylum in the Great Principality of Lithuania. The Laws of Prince Witowt granted them the rights of free residents protected directly by the Great Prince.

The 15th century was peculiar for a mass emigration of the Jews from German cities to Poland, Lithuania, and Belarus - these countries opened their borders for the Jews who suffered from oppression and violence in Western Europe.

There are a number of itineraries where foreign visitors can see the native places of the outstanding representatives of the Jewish people who were born in Belarus, to see the architectural monuments and national and cultural traditions of the Jews in Belarus.

Vitebsk, Pinsk, Grodno, Slonim, Minsk, Brest, Polotsk, Volozhin, Bobruysk as well as many other places could be most attractive for Jewish heritage tours.

Grodno is situated 300 km West of Minsk on the border with Poland. It was founded in the 11th cent. as a fortress on the banks of the Neman, today the city ranks number one among old Belarusian cities in its authentic planning and 12th-16th cent. churches, numerous 17th-18th cent. religious and public buildings.

In Grodno one can get acquainted with the history of an earliest Jewish community in Belarus (late 14th century). The community was the most influential community in Belarus. It was one of the religious centers of Belarusian, Lithuanian and Polish Jewish community. The cultural heritages of Jewish community in Grodno are the medieval Jewish ghetto, synagogues, hospitals, a women pedagogical course. The women pedagogical course was a unique course in Russia for training teachers for Jewish schools. In 1893-1897 lived in Grodno L.M. Zamenhofh. He was an ophthalmologist and was editor of the magazine 'Esperanto'. You can visit the house where L.M. Zamenhofh has lived. There lived and died Layba Naydus. He was a translator and a poet. Grodno is the fatherland for Lev Bakst (1866), he was a foremost scene-painter of "Russian seasons" of Dyagelev in Paris. In Grodno was born Ilya Ginzburtg too. He was an academician, a well-known sculptor, the author of the portraits of Russian men of science and cultural workers.

The places worth to be visited are:

In Grodno you can visit The Old Castle - the complex of defensive religious and secular buildings of the 12th - 19th cent. In 1580 the palace was rebuilt for Stephan Batoriy, the king of the Commonwealth (Rzecz Pospolita).

The King Palace (The New Castle) - the monument of the architecture of the second quarter of the 18th cent. built by August III, the king of the Commonwealth. In 1944 the palace was considerably destroyed. Only entrance gates are preserved in original state.

The Farny (Principal) Catholic Church - the monument of the architecture of the 18th cent. built in 1783.

The Orthodox Church of St. Vladimir - the monument of the architecture of the end of the 19th cent. built in Retrospective and Russian styles, has features of Moscow architecture of the 17th cent. The church is open for services. The Orthodox Church Of The Protection Of The Virgin - the monument of the architecture of the beginning of the 20th cent. built in Pseudo-Russian Style. The church is open for services.

During the trip you have an opportunity to get acquainted with Derechin. It was the estate of Leu Sapega. Leu Sapega is one of the greatest Belarusian political figures, a renown by his wisdom statesman, lawyer and military commander. He stood at the head of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania at the times of G.D.L.'s highest cultural blossoming. At all times Leu Sapega was a powerful guardian of Belarusian national interests and a stronghold of our independence. Here you will visit to Jewish cemetery too.

Then we go to Slonim. Slonim, one of the most ancient towns of Grodno oblast, is interesting, first of all, by architectural monuments survived from various epochs and by its streets planning pattern. Slonim is known as a typical old Belarusian town where Jewish population prevailed before WWII (75%), there is a 17th cent.

Synagogue - the only Synagogue in Belarus where the entire interior is preserved, a 19th cent. Synagogue, the 18th-19th cent. Jewish housing areas, a Jewish cemetery. You will visit the memorial in honour of shot Jews during World War II. Then our tour goes to Zhyrovichi, known as "Mekka" of Belarus, is home to a famous Orthodox monastery. You will visit The Theological Seminary of Zhirovitchy - the monument of the architecture of the 17th - 18th cent. built in Baroque style.

The Church Of Syncovichi, built in late 15th - early 16th cent. on the northern outskirts of the village is an example of defence architecture featuring also Gothic elements.

After that we will visit Volpa, where the architecture of the 17th century is presented by a wooden church. Here you can visit to Jewish cemetery.

Programme

Day 1

Arrival in Grodno
Transfer to the hotel with guide assistance
Check-in at the hotel in the centre of the city
Time at leisure
Dinner

Day 2

Breakfest

Sightseeing tour of Grodno

Visit to The New Palace (the exposition of medieval weapon)
Visit to The Old Castle
Visit to the Bernadine Monastery
Visit to the Orthodox Church Of St. Boris And St. Gleb
Dinner
Visit to the church of St. Franziskus Ksawery)
The Orthodox Church of The Protection Of The Virgin

Visit to the medieval Jewish ghetto
Visit to synagogues
Visit to Jewish cemetery
Supper

Day 3

Breakfest

Derechin - The estate of Leu Sapega
Visit to Jewish cemetery
Slonim - The Catholic Church Of St. Andrew
The Catholic Bernadine Church and Monastery, St. Andrew Cathedral, a synagogue, The Old Town Hall Building
Dinner
Visit to the memorial in honour of shot Jews during World War II
Zhyrovichi - The Dormition Cathedral, The Holy Crossday Church
Synkovichi - the church of the 16th century.
Volpa - Visit to Jewish cemetery
Arrival in Grodno
Supper

Cost according to demands.
The cost included: entrance visa, full board and lodging, a guide, transfer, passage service, bus and excursion service, entrance tickets to the museums

The company leaves the right to make some alterations in the program without decreasing whole volume and quality of services.

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