HomeEuropeBelarusWhat to see in Belovezhskaya Pushcha?

What to see in Belovezhskaya Pushcha?

Every inhabitant of the post-Soviet space dreams of visiting Belovezhskaya Pushcha. People have been hearing about the primal beauty and sights of this place since childhood. This is a unique nature reserve, which is simultaneously located in Belarus and Poland. Here you will not hear the clatter of the axe or the noise of the crowd. The nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is the same as it was before the mass settlement of people.

History of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The official date of opening is 1409. But the first mentions are found long before that. As early as 983 in the Ipatievskaya Chronicle were listed places with marvelous plants and unique animals. Prince Jagiello was the first ruler to ban hunting in these areas. True, he himself loved to go with his brother for rare trophies in the relic forest.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha - Belarus

In 1897, Tsar Nicholas II issued a decree forbidding any encroachment on Belovezhskaya Pushcha to preserve its pristine appearance. Since then, the area has greatly diminished as a result of human economic activity. The reserve was also damaged by a fire in 1811, as well as after an attack by Napoleon’s troops.

At the beginning of the last century, the “National Park in Belovezh” was opened here, and the state authorities actively undertook the restoration of the natural population of horses, bears, deer, roe deer and bison.


After the liberation of Belovezhskaya Pushcha from the Nazi invaders, a bilateral meeting of the leaders of Poland and Belarus was held in Minsk. A document was approved, the result of which was the division of the territory into two independent forests. Interestingly, since 1957, party officials and executives of various levels were officially allowed to hunt in the reserve.

After the collapse of the USSR, the authorities decided to name Belovezhskaya Pushcha and developed a list of measures to actively and passively intervene in the protection of flora and fauna. In 1992, the area was inscribed by members of UNESCO on the list of important sites of the World Heritage of Humanity. In 1997, Belovezhskaya Pushcha received the European Diploma of Exemplary Institution status.

Today the biosphere reserve occupies an area of 163 thousand square meters.

Protected areas

Specifically to preserve the primeval nature of the forest, Belovezhskaya Pushcha has been divided into separate protection zones, which can be seen at the entrance. The accessible area is allowed to be visited by hikers and accompanied by guides. Various mass events are also held here. Facilities for the reception and temporary accommodation of tourists and inspection bodies are placed in the economic zone. The hotel complex and restaurants are located exclusively here.

Most of the reserve is open to a small circle of people. Only employees and scientists are allowed in here with special passes.

The sights of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

In addition to walking along the forest paths, there are places in the reserve that always attract tourists. Here you will see:

  • oak tree more than 600 years old and a pine tree 350 years old;
  • the road used by Soviet partisans during the war;
  • a growth on a birch that resembles the head of a bison;
  • “royal tract,” which is a cast-iron railing cast in 1902.

But some places require special attention because they are considered the pride of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

Scheme of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Map of attractions in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Nature Museum

Museum of Nature in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

In 1963, a museum was opened on the territory of the reserve, which is now considered one of the largest in the country. In the 7 halls you can see a variety of expositions, close to reality. Be sure to visit the photo exhibition about the royal hunt, watch the film about the local nature. Here you can learn about all the inhabitants of the reserve. Stuffed animals look as if they are alive. The ungulates, raptors, fish, rodents, butterflies, birds, and herbarium collections will leave no one indifferent.

Museum of Nature in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The impression of visiting the museum is enhanced by the sounds of nature: the noise of water, animal voices, the rustling of leaves and grass.

Museum of Folk Life and Antique Technology

An interesting museum has been opened in the 19th century manor house, restored with the preservation of the architectural design. It offers a look at the everyday objects of the people who lived in the suburbs at different times. Exhibits were collected from nearby villages, and some items people still bring to the museum staff.

Museum of Folk Life and Old Technologies in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

There is a workshop on the territory of the museum complex, where you can try to mint a real coin. In the tavern must be offered to taste the national dishes, and a real brower will show how to make homemade real moonshine.

For those wishing to become more familiar with Belarusian handicrafts, the museum offers master classes.

Residence of Santa Claus

Of course, most visitors to Santa Claus in the winter, but at other times tourists do not mind looking into the middle of the abode of the main New Year’s Elder. The residence is elaborately decorated with openwork carvings and sculptures by local artists. The location was not chosen by chance. It was here that the Christmas tree, which had been decorated for many years, grew. It is almost 150 years old. Unfortunately, in recent years, the tree began to wither, and the decision was made to cut it down. But there were trees left in the forest, which worthily replaced the forest beauty.

The residence of Santa Claus - the landmark of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

On the territory of the Residence tourists will visit the house where Ded Moroz prepares presents himself, the hut of Snow Maiden, windmill, magic well and a separate museum house, where the letters of children from all over the world are kept. Knights Elm-Vyazovich and Dub-Dubovich meet at the entrance. Every child lucky enough to visit this place on New Year’s Eve will receive a small gift.

Falling Crosses Memorial

Falling Crosses Memorial - Belovezhskaya Pushcha

In the heart of the reserve there is a monument at the site of the tragedy that took place during World War II. On August 1, 1941, the Nazis brutally murdered 130 civilians who did not want to leave their homes. The remains were discovered accidentally during repair work. The unusual concrete sculpture unites the crosses, which rise above the tombstone, recalling the events of yesteryear.

Residents of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Residents of Belovezhskaya Pushcha - Bisons

Separately, it is worth mentioning the wildlife of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Literally on every corner you will meet the inhabitants of the reserve, for which this beautiful place was created. More than 200 species of birds, more than 20 species of fish and 60 different species of animals live here. Park workers treat bison, one of the oldest inhabitants of the forest, with special care. They are rightfully considered a symbol of the reserve.

During the reign of Catherine II, the bison were almost completely exterminated, and only thanks to the care of local residents, they began to breed again and feel free. According to the latest data, today there are about 350 bison.

Residents of Belovezhskaya Pushcha - Deer

In addition, wild boars, moose, otters, ermines, polecats, bears and other animals live in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Many of them are listed in the Red Book.

No matter what time of the year you go to Belovezhskaya Pushcha, you will get an unforgettable experience in a place, untouched by the civilization destructive to nature.

How to get there?

The most convenient way to get to Belovezhskaya Pushcha is by own transport. As a reference point, take the village Kamenyuki and go in the direction of Kamenets on road R83. On the way you can visit the local market and stop at the Brest Fortress.

If you are traveling by train, pre-book tickets from the station by bus or shuttle, so you do not find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.

The nearest airport is in Minsk. Great if you go with a tour group.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha on the map of Belarus

Belovezhskaya Pushcha on the map of Belarus and the world

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