"The most beautiful town in Belarus" Top 5 Page for this destination Hrodna by Carletto76

Hrodna Travel Guide: 115 reviews and 289 photos

An old town at the border among 3 countries

Before starting my trip to Belarus the number 1 place I wanted to visit was Hrodna. I had great expectations for this town and they were satisfied.
Hrodna lies along the banks of the river Nioman (Neman in Russian, Nemunas in Lithuanian, Memel in German), the most important river of the Baltics which flows from Belarus to the Baltic sea passing through Kaunas, the Curonian lagoon and Klaipėda at its end. It's the 14th longest river in Europe and the 3rd in Belarus, while it's the longest in Lithuania.
The river Nioman is important and it has a big role in the history of Hrodna which lies now at te border with two countries, Poland and Lithuania, which are just few kilometres away. But Hrodna nowadays is in Belarus and this fact isolated this once rich and multicultural town.
Yeah, isolation, that's the biggest problem for Hrodna. It has always been multicultural, a typical border town, was it in Poland, Lithuania or Belarus. And it was a major Jewish town, along with Vilnius. In Hrodna there's in fact still the only surviving synagogue in Belarus, yet in bad conditions.
These days Hrodna is not that easy to reach for tourists or commerce. Belarus is an isolated country and the railway which led from Warszawa to Vilnius, passing through Hrodna, is now almost deserted due to visa and border problems while trains pass through the secondary rail connection at Suwalki-Sestokai, skipping Belarus. What's the reason to pay about 100€ for visa, invitation, registration and insurance just to cross a border? That's the main reason why few tourists come here, and it's a pity since Hrodna is really a must see place in this part of Europe

One town, many names....

You can call it Гродна, Гродно, Grodno, Gardinas, גראָדנע, Garten or simply Grodna and it's always the same town. The official name is Hrodna, in Belarusian, but not so many people speak this language. Here around Polish is still very very common; it's a catholic land and the main big cathedral in the main square is a Polish catholic church. Lithuania is also very close, and Hrodna remembers a lot of Vilnius (which has big Polish heritage by the way), in a smaller scale. There are no jews anymore, they once were about 30/40% of the populatin in Hrodna, now there's just a run down synagogue, lying in bad conditions with no money from the State to be restored

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The most beautiful town in Belarus, rich historic heritage
  • Cons:Visa issues keep it out from main tourist routes (which is also a pro)
  • In a nutshell:A wonderful mix of Poland, Lithuanian, Jewish and Belarusian heritage
  • Last visit to Hrodna: Apr 2007
  • Intro Updated Nov 8, 2007
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Reviews (20)

Comments (3)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    Fabulous page with outstanding photos of Hrodna. Just recently we stayed one night in the city and of course we also had dinner at restaurant Karchma.

  • bugulma's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2010 at 2:45 AM

    very interesting architecture with interesting style. I hope to visit the city in near future

  • Raimix's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2007 at 2:25 AM

    Wonderfull page! If I will visit Belarus next time, this city will be my priority. And these churches surely looks like Vilnius churches :)

Carletto76

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