Belarus #9 From Minsk to Grodno: Mir, Nesvizh, and somehow Novogroudok

As I was telling you recently on this blog, last year I went with my friend Marie to visit the beautiful city of Grodno in Belarus. It was a great and very tiring trip as we could only afford to stay there for a couple of days, travel included. And, although we left Minsk quite late thanks to my bad renting-car-organization skills, still, we tried to make a few stops on the way to have a look at Belarusians most well-known monuments : Mir and Nesvizh castles. Both of them are on Unesco Heritage list so, you know, I guess it’s worth going there, right?

By the way, in Belarusian, Grodno is Hrodna, Mir is Mir, Nesvizh is Niasvij, and Novogroudok is Navahroudak (I think – please correct me if wrong)

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Arrivées au château de Mir, la nuit commence déjà à tomber


But first how to get there?
The Mir castle and the Nesvizh castle are located in two different towns, Mir and Nesvizh (easy to remember), not far away from each other. By car, it will take you a bit more than an hour to reach Mir, and then around 40 minutes to get to Nesvizh. It’s very easy to do visit both places in one day if you are not a late sleeper as my friend and I (yes, we didn’t make it actually). The legend says it is also possible to visit both places with public transport, if you have a strong sense of organization (and a strong trust in Belarusian public transport, which you can indeed rely on most of the time to be honest). I would recommend some skills in the russian language too as you will need to take several trains and buses to be able to complete this difficult, but do-able, mission. 

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Une partie du château est dédiée à l’histoire des Juifs de Mir
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Un décor ma foi fort chaleureux…
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…et tout en sobriété, j’adore !

 

Anyway, Marie and I didn’t make it: we left Minsk too late, barely arrived before Mir castle closed, and visited the place while the employees were turning off the lights behind us. It’s a very beautiful place though with a lot to see. We then tried to visit Nesvizh castle, only to find a close door. So we had a small walk around the snowy park by night and went back in the car.

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Les portes fermées du château de Nezvizh 😥


An hour later, we then stopped again  in Novogroudok for some reason I can’t really remember now. I guess we just saw some lights and some ruins and wanted to check it out? Probably. That’s how we like to travel: we go, and then we see what happens 🙂 It was a very peaceful moment. From the old ruins we could have a clear view of the city. No one was outside (it was sooo freezing!!) and we really enjoyed this moment. Thanks to this adventure, I could take a few gloomy photos of nighty Belarus: I hope you will enjoy them!

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Petit parc biélorusse sous la neige
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Tout est calme, il n’y a personne, pas un bruit
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Les ruines du château de Novogroudok surplombent le reste de la ville
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Une ville qui semble par ailleurs endormie. En même temps, c’est un peu tard, quelle idée d’être encore sur la route à cette heure-ci !
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Dernier coup d’oeil sur Novogroudok, et on repart, direction Grodno 🙂

See you and have a good trip!

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