“Mensk Starazhytny”: Ancient Minsk

On the second Saturday of September Minsk residents celebrate the City Day. The programme of the events dedicated to this holiday promises to be very diverse. So according to an existing tradition a festival of history and culture “Mensk Starazhytny” (Ancient Minsk) will take place on September, 8 as part of the City Day celebrations.  

Festival events will tell a story of a thousand-year history of the Belarusian land, starting from the first settlements  of the Upper Paleolithic, through medieval knight tournaments ‒ up until the events of the Second World War. Sisters of St Elisabeth Convent will also take part in this year’s festival.


What do they have in store for a resident of a modern megalopolis?

The sisters will acquaint the guests with the origin of writing on slavic lands and invite everyone to participate in workshops on calligraphy.

CALLIGRAPHY is an ancient art of fine writing which has been unfairly neglected with the invention of a ballpoint pen and gadgets later on. The art of calligraphy contributes to the development of aesthetic sense, as well as fine motor skills. It makes positive impact on attentiveness, memory, thinking processes and observation skills of children and adults.  Participants of the workshop will learn how to choose writing tools (quill pen, paper, ink), master basic hand movements during writing, get an understanding of classic techniques of writing with a quill pen, learn some calligraphic fonts.

Workshops on calligraphy are held by a sister of mercy and an incredibly talented and experienced craftsperson Alla Sidorova. She takes part in fairs and creative events in Belarus and abroad. Moreover Alla gives master-classes on straw plaiting, making traditional Belarusian dolls and belt weaving. In 2017 Alla’s calligraphy workshops were a big success at the international book fair in Belgrade.


There’s no festival without a fair!

Trading has always been an integral part of the life of historical Minsk. According to one of the versions the city’s name originated from the word “miena” (“exchange”). On the bank of the river Svisloch, near the Minsk Palace people traded various goods brought there by foreign merchants from the Baltic countries and East Crimea.

At the stand of St Elisabeth convent residents and guests of the city will find a wide range of handmade souvenirs: unique ceramics, items made of stained glass, eco-toys for kids, as well as  goods made in the convent’s leather workshop and smithery.


All proceeds from the fair will go to support social projects: helping kids with peculiarities of physical and mental development, people suffering from drug- and alcohol addictions, support of visiting nurse care.

Programme of the Festival

Guests of the “Mensk Starazhytny” festival will have an opportunity to visit the fair of Belarusian craftspeople, try prentice hand in smithcraft, pottery, gunnery and gold work. Everyone will be able to make a shot at archery, javelin and medieval dances.

Photos: https://vk.com/mensk_starazitny