- The population of Minsk, the capital of Belarus, is about 2 million, so Minsk is the 11th most populous city in Europe.
The Belarusian city of Polotsk is considered the geographical center of Europe. In honor of this, there is a monument in this ancient city.
- In Belarus, every second child, instead of wanting to become an astronaut, wants to become a programmer. Here, it is a very prestigious profession, and the salaries of programmers are higher than in all neighboring countries, while the average salary one of the lowest in Europe.
Belarus is the “Silicon Valley” of Eastern Europe. About 10 years ago, the High Tech Park was created here, where about 170 companies and 27000 IT specialists work now.
Among the IT companies, it is worth to mention EPAM, which is registered on the New York Stock Exchange with an annual turnover of more than $1 million. Wargaming company, which created the popular game World of Tanks, now has 6,000 employees and 120 million users worldwide. Application Viber is now the third most popular messenger after Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp, and was bought by the Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten for 900 thousand dollars
- Around 40% of Belarus is covered by forest.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘Lungs of Europe’, Belarus is home to one of the last and largest remaining parts of the huge primeval forest that once covered the European Plain – the Białowieża Forest. You’ll also find several stunning national parks to explore here, ideal for avid walkers and fans of the fresh air. Oh, and the green stripe on the Belarusian flag actually represents its forests.
- They love sport.
With 23,000 sporting venues open to the public across the country, if Belarusians aren’t playing sport chances are they’re watching it. Favorites include football, handball, ice hockey and tennis. sports at the local level are also very developed. most children and adults constantly play team games in their area.
Belarus is proud of its athletes and sports achievements. And, not in vain. For such a small country, the achievements in this field are impressive. Moreover, these achievements are in very different sports: biathlon, freestyle, hockey, football, rowing, wrestling, light and heavy athletics, shooting, swimming, rhythmic gymnastics. Read our list of interesting facts about Belarus in the world of sports.
- All Belarusians were recently millionaires. Because of strong inflation, the Belarusian ruble depreciated and for 1 euro it was possible to receive up to 25,000 Belarusian rubles. Due to the constant change in the exchange rate, Belarusians calculated prices for many goods in dollars. In July 2016, a denomination was carried out, and 4 rubles were cut off from the ruble. Now it became more convenient to count. One euro = 2 rubles.
- Street art fans will love Minsk.
Strolling the city streets, you’ll come across a number of large, brightly-colored murals painted by various street artists. Some of the biggest can be found on Oktyabrskaya Street. This area of town used to be an industrial estate, but the local youth have breathed new life into it. Since 2014, Minsk has hosted Vulica Brazil, a street art festival launched in partnership with the Brazilian embassy that brings together artists from around Belarus and Brazil.
- The bison is their national symbol.
When choosing their national animal, the Belarusians opted for the heaviest surviving land mammal in the whole of Europe. Brought back from the brink of extinction in the early 50s, two European bison were released into the Białowieża Forest. Today there are around 600 to be spotted here. Other national symbols include the stork and the cornflower.