History of Trinity Suburb in Minsk: The monument of several centuries

Getting there: The Trinity Suburb can be reached by Minsk metro (the Niamiha station, red line). The brigde across the Svisloch River leads to the Trinity Suburb (it also called Trinity Hill).

Read more about the present-day Trinity Suburb.

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Pitched roofs, bright facades of two-story houses, cobbled streets and the sweet melody of the Svisloch River. The Trinity Suburb seems a mythical town in the midst of modern skyscrapers. It reflects the atmosphere of the old Minsk of the 19th - early 20th centuries. 

Today it is part of most of tourist routes and the symbol of the Belarus capital. Souvenir shops, museums and cozy cafes is what people can enjoy here.

Historically, the Trinity Suburb (or Trinity Mountain, Trinity Hill) stretched much further than today and occupied a vaster territory.

Archaeological finds suggest that people settled here already in the 12th century.

The suburb derives its name from the Holy Trinity Church, which was built at the request of King Jagiełło near ​​the modern Opera Theater.

Timofei Akudovich, tour guide:
Before the 16th century this was one of the main centers of the city. But when people moved to the upper market, the center was also moved there. This place, however, became a great suburb of craftsmen where the biggest bazaar in Minsk - the Trinity Bazaar - eventually formed. Streets, several monasteries and temples were built around the suburb. Basically, they were made of wood. There were many pubs.

A terrible fire of 1809 destroyed almost the entire original appearance of the Trinity Suburb. 

The area was filled with new wooden two- or three-storey houses and about 10 stone houses. This place has never been perfect in terms of housing conditions, but trade life was quite eventful. One could meet farmers, landowners, merchants and even officials in this place. 

One of the latest major renovations took place in the 1980s. It was when the Trinity Hill received the present-day appearance.

It was difficult to save all the original buildings because of the postwar policy, when it was decided to revive the capital. Old houses were gradually demolished. What was earlier Trinity Mountain became a small piece of land near Bogdanovicha Street, Troitskaya Naberezhnaya Street, Starovilenskaya Street and Storozhevskaya Street. That was the first step towards the restoration of the Upper Town. And it was successful.

Today, even professionals will have a hard time distinguishing between ancient building and new ones.

This is the only complex that gives us the perception of how Minsk of the 20th century looked like.

Timofei Akudovich, tour guide:
There is a legend that when Khrushchev was in Minsk, he was shown factories and other industrial facilities but then he asked to see the historical center, which was actually absent. It was therefore decided to kill two birds with one stone: to reconstruct this not very good district in the center of Minsk and at the same time create a beautiful and cozy historical corner. And under the guidance of renowned architects and sculptors, the buildings were given a touch of the urban style of the 19th century. Residents of the city fell in love with this place. 

Many tour guides today claim that colorful facades of the Trinity Hill played an important role. Previously, when there was no numbering of houses, they were painted in bright colors on purpose, to make it easier to find the correct address.

The most fascinating thing to do in the Trinity Suburb is to find original houses among the restored ones. One of such examples is 6a Troitskaya Naberezhnaya Street.

Timofei Akudovich, tour guide:
Originally, the house belonged to Vidgorchyk, a local businessman in the 19th century. It was an ordinary apartment house. Apartments were rented out. Yanka Kupala's father and his son lived here in the course of one year. The future poet was in the first grade and attended a school in Minsk.  Now there are various public institutions here, including the gallery Slavutyya Maistry ["Famous Masters"].

More: Yanka Kupala museum in Minsk

Another example of authentic architecture of the Trinity Suburb is 5 Storozhevskaya Street, the famous Pinsuhovich house. Here the barracks of the 9th and 10th Serpukhov regiments (19th century) were located. Mainly officers lived here.

Next door is a yellow house with a pharmacy. It has been here since the 19th century. And though the building was rebuilt inside in the 1980s, its exterior has not changed.

Early eclecticism. The present-day house of nature at 9a Bogdanovicha Street is the most preserved of all the original buildings of the Trinity Suburb.

In the 19th century, the Kitayevskaya Synagogue was situated here. Probably, the name comes from its owner Borukh Kitaisky (since 1833). This synagogue was the main one for the residents of the Trinity Hill and worked until the introduction of the Soviet regime.

Four buildings have a status of a historical and cultural value: the former Basilian Trinity Monastery of 1799, the residential care home, the alms-house and one of outbuildings, all three coming from the 19th century.

The square which is now occupied by the Opera House was a bustling center of Troitskaya Mountain for four centuries. Peasants from all the villages flocked here with the best products.

The Trinity Bazaar was very popular in the city. It was here until the 1930s until the start of the construction of the theater.

More: Parizhskoi Kommuny Square in Minsk: What was located here before the Opera Theater?

During WWII, many residential neighborhoods of the Trinity Hill were destroyed. A beautiful square near the Opera Theater appeared here, as well as the park, where a monument to Marat Kazei stands.

At the end of the Trinity Hill tour, let's take a look at the inner courtyard of the former House of the Soviets. Once, a group of wooden two-story houses was located here. An apartment house was earlier situated exactly where this monument now stands (watch the video).

Famous folklorist and teacher Adam Bogdanovich rented an apartment in that house. It was there that his second son Maksim was born, who later became a classical writer of Belarusian literature.


Maksim Bogdanovich
 

The house was destroyed during the second half of the 20th century. Just a year ago a decision was made to install a small monument in the form of a house and Belarusian rushnyk [towel] to honor the place of birth of the great poet, reports the program "Minsk and Minsk residents" on the CTV.

Timofei Akudovich, tour guide:
Today the Trinity Hill is a kind of pie which layers represent totally different times and even eras. All together, it is a great and a very beautiful monument where the buildings of the 19th century and the most modern art objects and sculptures stand together. I think it's very interesting and beautiful and I hope it will be respected by future generations.

 

 

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