Zaslavl is mentioned in ancient Russian chronicles. If you love history, then you need to visit Zaslavl in order to brag to your friends later: I saw where Princess Rogneda lived. The feeling of traveling back in time will be strengthened by the local ethnographic museum, where you can taste national dishes and take part in an old Belarusian ritual.
Note: according to allcitypopulation, the population of Belarus is 9.34 million (2021).
How to get there
It is convenient to get to Zaslavl by private car or bus. The city is located 15 kilometers from the Moscow Ring Road on the Minsk-Molodechno highway. By train or electric train you need to go to the station “Belarus”.
All suburban buses that can drop you to Zaslavl leave from Minsk.
The best way to get around Zaslavl is by bus. Urban areas connect three areas plus a cottage settlement and an industrial zone, which are located nearby. The fare is 1.50-2 BYN. You can’t pass without a ticket – conductors are watching the passengers. Buses run regularly, so you can get to your destination with a breeze.
Zaslavl is a small town, so there are only one or two hotels here, and there are not many.
Cuisine and restaurants
With cafes and restaurants in Zaslavl tension. Catering is not well developed. However, you can find a decent place for breakfast or lunch. With the first, second and third. Or with students’ favorite fast food for a quick bite to eat. For more detailed ones, there are cafes with Belarusian cuisine.
Judging by the reviews of local residents, the most decent restaurant in the city is Shynok. It attracts with its national flavor – interior, cuisine and so on. Here you can try exclusive dishes and drinks like Krupnik, an alcohol based on 20 different herbs. The average cost of dinner in this restaurant is 30-45 BYN.
Zaslavl is a small town, so there are only one or two hotels here, and there are not many. In the city itself, the Avenue Hotel stands out. You can rent a regular two-room suite or a whole suite, which will have a double bed, Wi-Fi and a TV. A standard room will cost 50-65 BYN per night, a two-room suite – 80-120 BYN, a three-room suite – 160 BYN.
As an option, you can rent a house near Zaslavl. Today in Belarus, it is in fashion to eat farmsteads – this is a kind of agrotourism. In a farm near the city, a house for 5-10 people will cost 360 BYN per night. The benefit is obvious, especially since you will be offered to take a steam bath and figure out morning fishing.
In the city you can buy Belarusian souvenirs, but you need to look for them well. It is easier to buy them in the Zaslavl Museum-Reserve. This is where the eye rejoices in all sorts of crafts: ceramics, glass, porcelain, faience, toys, wood products.
Fans of fresh food should be aware that prices bite at the local market. Local residents themselves are not enthusiastic about such a policy. The cost of some goods is 1.5 times more expensive than in Minsk. So for the sake of savings, it is better to go to ordinary grocery stores.
2 things to do in Zaslavl
- Ride on a motor ship – there is a huge artificial reservoir in the city, which is called the Minsk Sea. There are sanatoriums and boarding houses on the banks of the reservoir. You can go sailing on a boat. There is also a windsurfing station here.
- Wander through the ruins of the restaurant “Zaslavl” – once it was a powerful public catering. Today, the restaurant has turned into ruins, and tourists wandering through the abandoned halls feel like Stalkers. Landscapes resemble a gloomy virtual reality.
Entertainment and attractions of Zaslavl
These are the main attractions of Zaslavl, which every self-respecting tourist needs to see.
The museum-reserve is spread over one hundred hectares of land and includes many monuments important for Belarus: the ancient settlement “Zamechek” and “Val”, burial mounds of the 11th century, the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and others.
This museum is a paradise for archaeologists. These people can spend hours looking at various fragments of dishes, tiles, iron products, amphorae fragments, bone products and jewelry that their colleagues pulled out of the ground. The second big collection is weaving. The creators of the museum bought these items during expeditions from residents of different regions of Belarus.
From other expeditions, researchers brought pottery and glassware, as well as art made from straw, wood, bone, horn, stone, porcelain, and faience. In general, Belarusians turned everything that was at hand into art.
This is one of the main attractions of Zaslavl. The church was built in the middle of the 17th century as a Calvinist church, and after 2 centuries it became Orthodox. The building was rebuilt – you can see that loopholes adjoined the church.
In Soviet times, a branch of the Belarusian State Historical Museum was located here. In the 90s, the church was badly damaged by fire, so it took a long time to restore it. Today she again receives parishioners.
Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This Catholic church, standing on the Market Square, was built at the end of the 18th century. The church was erected on the initiative of the owner of the Zaslavl county – Anthony Pshezdetsky. It remained Catholic for just over a century, as the Russian authorities decided to make it Orthodox. The church was rebuilt, but the locals asked to leave the old image of the Mother of God, which adorned the main altar. At the same time, they did not change the name either.
At the end of the last century, the church was returned to the Catholics. Until now, the building is returning to its original appearance, restoration work is ongoing here. In the lower part of the temple, there was previously a tomb of the Pshezdetsky family.
Judging by the reviews of local residents, the most decent restaurant in the city is Shynok.
The Palace and Park Complex of the Przezdetskys
The Pshezdetskys, who actually owned Zaslavl for several centuries, built a complex with parks and palaces in the European style. Architecture is a cross between baroque and classicism. The green zone was strengthened by trees and shrubs written out with the continents. It turned out a large “ancestral” nest with an eye on the next 300-400 years.
To this day, the complex has not been completely preserved. Today you can see fragments of palace buildings, as well as a large industrial and economic complex with outbuildings, fish ponds, a hydropathic facility, construction plants, greenhouses, a horse farm and agricultural land.
The most valuable exhibit is the building of the palace Hermitage, which is located in the Upper Park. It housed the palace library, an art gallery and a stage for theatrical performances.
In the 10th century, a fortress was built on the outskirts of Zaslavl to protect the state from enemy raids. Today, only ruins remain of the fortress, which are of interest to archaeologists and tourists.
It was a grandiose structure with a waterless moat, powerful towers and geometrically correct fortifications, which made it possible to spot the enemy in time and strike. The fortress performed its functions until the end of the 11th century. Then the fortified center of the city moved to another area, and the soldiers left from here.