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ImageBelarus is situated in the center of Europe, Belarus is bordered by the Russian Federation (East), the Ukraine (South), Poland (West), Lithuania (North West) and Latvia (North). The surface is a hilly plain. One third of the territory (more exactly 36%) is covered with forests.

The biggest rivers are the Dnieper, the Neman, the Western Dvina, and the Pripyat. There are more than 10 thousand lakes in Belarus. The largest is Naroch Lake — 79,6 sq. km, the deepest — Dolgoye Lake — depth 53,7 m). The highest point is Dzerzhinsky Hill (345 m above the sea level) in the Minsk region. The country's lowest place is the Neman Valley in the Grodno region (80-90 m above the sea level). The inalienable part of Belarusian landscape is bogs and swamps, which cover about 13% of the total area and have a large climatic and hydrological significance. The Belarusian swamps are often called “the Lungs of Europe”

The area of Belarus is approximately equal to the area of Great Britain and Romania. Belarus is a bit bigger than Austria, Ireland, Portugal, Greece, the Netherlands, and Czech Republic. The city of Minsk, which may be considered as the geographical center of Belarus, lies roughly on the same latitude as Hamburg, Dublin or York. From East to West Belarus covers 650 km, from North to South-560 km.

The accurate geographical centre of the Republic of Belarus lies in the centre of triangle formed by towns of Cherven, Ossipovichy and Klichev and to be more exact on the northern edge of Krupky village, 2 km North from the right bank of the Beresina river. This centre lies on the crossing of long 53°31'00'' North and latitude 28°54'30'' East.

There are 104 towns and cities, 108 town-type settlements and 24,222 village populated areas in Belarus.

Flora of Belarus includes up to 11.5 thousand species; 214 species of plants are protected by the State. The modern vegetable cover of Belarus occupies 65,9% of the territory.

Fauna of Belarus includes more than 81,000 species.

There are 59 species of fish in the reservoirs of Belarus.


There are more than 20000 rivers and more than 10000 lakes in Belarus. The biggest lake is Naroch (79,6 sq. km.). Forests take one third of the territory; swamps take 13% of the territory of the Republic and are of significant climatic and hydrologic importance. National parks, reserves, monuments of nature are created in Belarus to preserve and increase the number of rare and disappearing species of flora and fauna, to organize the monitoring of the nature changes. The territory to preserve is about 7% of the whole territory of the Republic.

The biggest parks are: National parks “Belovezhskaya poushcha”, “Braslavskiye Oziora”, “Pripiatsky”, “Narochansky”; Berezina biosphere and Polesye radiation-ecological reserve and others. The last years ecological tourism develops successfully here. Hunting is organized in experimental hunting forestries attached to reserves and National parks.


The Republic of Belarus is a multiconfession country. Today there are 26 confessions (15 Protestant confessions). The most numerous are: Orthodox (1224 communities), Catholic (432 communities), Christian confession of the evangelist believe (491 communities), evangelic confession of Christian-Baptists (270 communities). There are also old believers (35 communities), Mussulmans (27 communities), Israelites (25 communities), Greeks-Catholics (14 communities), Lutherans (17 communities), Mormons, Krishnas and representatives of other confessions.

The traditional religions are: Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Lutheranism, Judaism, and Islam. 50% of the population is believers: among them 80% of Orthodox, 14% of Catholics and 2% of Protestants. Today there are 983 churches, 135 are under construction, and 347 Catholic churches, 38 are under construction.

List of the Unesco World Heritage of Belarus

A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State Parties (countries) which are elected by the General Assembly of States Parties for a fixed term.[1] (This is similar to the United Nations Security Council.)

The programme aims to catalogue, name, and conserve sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund. The programme was founded with the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since then, 184 (as of July 2007) States Parties have ratified the convention.

As of 2007, a total of 851 sites are listed: 660 cultural, 166 natural, and 25 mixed properties, in 142 States Parties. UNESCO references each World Heritage Site with a unique identification number; but new inscriptions often include previous sites now listed as part of larger descriptions. As a result, the numbering system currently ends above 1200, even though there are fewer on the actual list.

Each World Heritage Site is the property of the country on whose territory the site is located, but it is considered in the interest of the international community to preserve each site for future generations of humanity. The protection and conservation of these sites are a concern of all the World Heritage countries.

Properties submitted on the Tentative List (some of them)

The White Tower of Kamenets (2004)

St Sophia’s Cathedral in Polotsk (2004)

St Boris and St Gleb’s Church in Grodno (2004)

St Nikolas Church in Mogilev (2004)

Brest Fortress (2004)

Gomel Palace & Park Ensemble in Gomel (2004)


§ H. E.  Mr Viktor Shykh
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiairy of Belarus to France, Permanent Delegate
Permanent Delegation of Belarus to UNESCO
Maison de l'UNESCO
1, rue Miollis
75015 PARIS
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§ Commission of the Republic of Belarus for UNESCO
President: Mr Uladzimir Shchasny
Secrétaire générale: Mme Elena Krasovskaya
29 Miasnikova Str.
220050 MINSK
Tel: (375.172) 00 36 97
Fax: (375.172) 00 36 97
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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Heritage_Site


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