by Dzmitry Samakhvalau March. 29, 2007 5642 views

Smilavichy is a small town or a large village in 30 km to the east of Minsk (1 euro bus ticket with discounts for children, students and pensioners). It is known from the late 16th century as a settlement of craftsmen, mainly of saddlers and shoemakers. Nowadays, local inhabitants live thanks to farming and two shoemaking plants. There is a market square with trading buildings of 1920s and three streets with traditional peasant cottages. I have a collection of photos made in Smilavichy by German officers during the World War I and I am able to tell that the changes from that time are not too great. In the early 20th century a large number of inhabitants were of Jewish, Belarusian Muslim (Tartar) and Scottish origin. French sculptor and painter Haim Sutin was born in the Jewish family in Smilavichy. As a young man he came to S-Petersburg on foot to win his fame. (It is very amazing that modern French encyclopedias tell that his motherland Smilowichi was situated in Poland, Russia or Lithuania. Oh, no! Smilavichy is in Belarus.) Well, a modern Israelite writer Boris Nosik has his roots in Smilavichy too. However, during the World War II most Jews were killed by the Nazis. After the war some Russian and Bashkir (a small Turkish nation in Russia) people were settled here for organizing the felt boots industry.
Local attractions are two (Orthodox Christian and Presbyterian) churches and one mosque (all temples are new and not very interesting), several monuments of local victims of the World War II and the ruins of the lord palace.
By the way, I was impressed by local friendly people, especially by very hospitable Muslims.

Orthodox Christian Church

Church Square

Market Square

Traditional Wooden Cottages

Stones near home are an old pagan tradition


Two Epochs of Transporting

A Belarusian Muslim man. The symbol on the wall is his family herb

Reading Koran

Tartar End


Fierce Dog

River of Volma

River of Volma

River of Volma

River of Volma


Lime Path

  Be the first to like this post
Join the conversation
There is 1 comment, add yours!
Yanko V Fabila 13 years, 10 months ago

Thank you my friend! Always a pleasure to learn about your country!

13 years, 10 months ago Edited