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Amazing blue lakes of Belarus


12,000 years ago, Belarus was shaped by the Valdai glacier, which sculpted numerous lakes, giving us a 'blue-eyed' country.

Lake Stoyacheye (Krupsky District, Minsk Region)

Allegedly, when Napoleon Bonaparte was retreating from Moscow, he swore that he’d rather eat with his hands than leave a single fork bearing his monogram to the Russians. However, as his army had to cross the Berezina, they had no other choice but to leave the booty somewhere near the river. This mystery continues to stir the appetite of archaeologists, historians and relic hunters. There are so many potential hiding places for these 'French souvenirs'. However, it seems likely that baggage carts of looted treasures are sitting at the bottom of Lake Stoyacheye. 

Lake Plissa (Glubokoe District, Vitebsk Region) 

This forest lake is fed by numerous springs, making it one of the purest in the country. Praised for its beautiful shores, it has seven small islands and offers excellent fishing and swimming opportunities, being up to 17 metres deep. Within just a few metres of the bank, the water is 'neck-deep’. Plissa is also a source of mineral-rich mud, as used for treatments at its local resort. 

Lake Glukhoye (Myadel District, Minsk Region) 

Located 14 kilometres from the Lithuanian-Belarusian border, this small lake seems ordinary, but it evokes interest for two reasons. Its name means 'deaf', translated from Russian, and originates from the belief that no echo can be heard at its shores. Secondly, the lake features in Jan Barszczewski’s Nobleman Zawalnia, or Belarus in Fantastic Stories: a collection of folktales. Lake Glukhoye is a 'protagonist' in the story Fisherman Rod’ka, where it’s portrayed as mysterious and slightly malevolent, surrounded by dark forests, where 'even in lovely weather, one can’t see the sun, clouds, moon or stars. The water is always murky, and, by night, terrors lurk.

Lake Ghinkovo (Glubokoe District, Vitebsk Region)

Due to impassable terrain surrounding this narrow, sickle-shaped lake, it remains one of Belarus' least studied places, making it attractive for fans of extreme tourism. Those who’ve seen it say it’s unlike any other part of Belarus, with sheer bluffs (with 40 to 50 degree angles), water 40 metres deep, shores intersected by deep gullies, and only a couple of walkable paths.

Lake Yanovo (Polotsk District, Vitebsk Region) 

The lake is one of hundreds similar, being small and only average in depth, though it has many fish. However, it’s the Belarusian version of famous Stonehenge. Located near Bikulnichi village, there are large stones with mysterious notches. These are said to have been placed there by a strange order, known only to ancient oracles.

Date: 8/08/2017


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