Minsk Architects Dispute Turning of Bernardine Monastery into Hotel

2007 2007-04-20T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

According to Charter’97

Minsk architects have sent an open letter to a number of state organs to condemn the decision of the Ministry of Culture concerning the project of turning the building of Minsk Bernardine Monastery into a hotel complex.


Ministry of Culture of Belarus

Ministry of Architecture and Construction of Belarusian

Minsk City Executive Committee

Presidential Administration

Open letter

Recently information about reconstruction of Bernardine monastery into a hotel complex started appearing in mass media. It is a great architectural monument of the 17th century with a rich history. However, the ‘reconstruction’ is in fact aimed at complete destruction of the authenticity of this unique object. It provides building of a parking. As a result of the large scope of the construction works a unique cultural layer that has formed since the Middle Ages will be removed to a junkyard and the unique dйcor of the buildings (which has survived till now) will be destroyed. The function of this hotel provides placement of amusement objects: casino, bowling, restaurant and swimming pool, which looks at least strange. Neither the projectors, nor the investors are daunted even by the neighborhood of the largest Orthodox temple of the country.

Even if the concept of the object will be changed, according to the ruling of the ambulatory sitting of the national soviet on historical and cultural heritage of the Ministry of Culture of Belarus of 19 April 2007 it is necessary to consider alternative functional usage of the historical block. You won’t find a case when amusement objects were placed in monasteries in any of the European capitals which respect their historical heritage. Besides, there is the only historical complex of such a kind in Minsk.

We earnestly ask you to review the unacceptable functional assignment of the historical building that was determined by ruling #1012 of Minsk city executive committee of 25 May 2006 with the appropriate review of the planning concept of reconstruction of Bernardine monastery.


A.Kaliaskou, I.Naumik, A.Saraikin