Independence Square in Minsk and the surrounding buildings were designed in the classic, constructivist style of architecture by renowned Soviet architect, Iosif Langbard. The square is immense and is designated for various public events.
In stark contrast to the monumental scale and austere grandeur of the square is the beautiful Fountain of Three Storks that was installed in 2005.
The fountain features a bronze sculpture of artistically crafted storks taking flight and sits on a glass dome, which is the roof of an underground mall, the Stolitsa. The circular granite base of the fountain holds the water jets.
The sculpture on the fountain is an apt metaphor for the city of Minsk. The first written reference to the city can be traced to 1067, when it was a fortified settlement on the River Nyamiha. Since then, its recorded history has been fraught with turmoil. Repeatedly ravaged by war and devastating fires, the city has risen from its ashes multiple times, renewing and reinventing itself. Today, it is a modern metropolis with a population of almost two million.
The white stork is the national bird of Belarus, celebrated in local folklore as a harbinger of hope and regeneration. Each spring, the return of the migratory birds for the nesting season is welcomed with joy. Throughout the summer, stork nests are a common sight in the Belarusian countryside.
Know Before You Go
The Romanesque Red Church, which overlooks Independence Square, merits a visit as well.