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Cruise “Pearls of Polessje”

Excursion cruise program

!!! A unique and very interesting and incredibly beautiful route

BREST – Kobrin – Watershed – Lyakhovichi – Duboe – Motol – Dostoevo – Pinsk 2 days – Kachanovichi – Stakhovo – Turov – National Park “Pripyatsky” – Lyaskovichi – Novoselki – MOZYR

The cruise route is 523 km.

Круиз "Жемчужины Полесья". Экскурсионная круизная программа. Беларусь.

Day one. BREST

Standing above the steep at the Terespol Gates of the Brest Fortress and looking down to where the dark and impetuous, curled in funnels Bug connects with the quiet and smooth Mukhavets, you realize that the first settlers wisely predetermined the fate and significance of Brest for future ages. Having taken a cape where these rivers confluence and the neighboring islands, braided by sleeves and sloughs, the city gained its control over the waterways to the Baltic from the east and south. It is not surprising that in the era of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the customs of these area was the second largest income in the entire state!

All that was transported: fur, leather, wax and honey to the west, paper, tin, salt, spices from the west. Everything was poured onto the city by golden and silver rain. And Berestje which was called “Venice of Polessje” at the mouth of river Mukhavets was all blossoming, dressing up in stone dresses, tossing bridges between islands and mastering all new territories.

The city was ahead of its time. Therefore it was marked by fateful historical events. In 1390 Berestje was the second city after Vilnia in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which received the Magdeburg rights and its own coat of arms with a silver bow and arrow on the blue background of the shield. In 1596 a church union was proclaimed in Brest, uniting the eastern and western branches of Christianity in the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Favorable geographical position enriched the city for many centuries, but it also destroyed the “Venice of Polessje”. The verdict to this island city, its magnificent monastic ensembles, the collegium, the largest synagogue in Europe and everything else – to the last stone and the bridge – was signed by the Russian Emperor Nicholas I: in 1830 he approved the plan for the Brest Fortress construction. And 12 years later the Russian flag has flown up.

The Fortress which is a masterpiece of military and engineering construction, has occupied four islands. In the First World War, the Brest Fortress was occupied by German troops. On March 3, 1918, the Brest Peace Treaty was signed on its territory – in the White Palace. And on June 22, 1941, the German troops attacked the fortress again expecting to seize it in a few hours. The heroic defense of the Brest Fortress covered its unfading glory with its garrison. Today it is the main attraction in Brest.

Boarding begins at 13:00. Assignment in cabins. Lunch on board at 14:00. Bus excursion to the Brest Fortress. Returning to the ship. Acquaintance with the crew and a safety briefing. Dinner on board. Departure at 23:00. The ship follows the Dnieper-Bug Canal. The Dnieper-Bug Canal is a navigable canal in the territory of Polessje territory, it was under construction from 1775 to 1873.

Originally, the idea of building a navigable canal connecting the basins of Pripyat and Bug rivers was announced during the Seim in 1655 by Jerzy Ossolinsky, the crown chancellor of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Mikhail Kazimir Oginsky, the hetman of the Great Dutchy of Lithuania and Mateusz Butrimovich, the judge and swordsman of Pinsk were active supporters of the canal construction.

Works on the canal construction began in 1775 during the reign of Stanislaus August Poniatowski. Beloozerski and Orekhovo water supply systems were built to fill the canal. In spring of 1784 ships loaded with smoked fish, honey, wax and other local goods went on the canal from Pinsk to Warsaw and further to Gdansk for the first time. In September of the same year, the king visited the construction area and officially opened the shipping on the canal, sailing along it with a retinue of 40 people on a ship made from the trunk of one oak.

At the end of the century, the general crisis of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth actually ruined the construction of the canal, which was resumed only in 1837 by the Russian authorities. Wooden movable dams were constructed, which allowed maintaining the water level necessary for stable shipping at any time of navigation. By 1867, 22 dams were built from Pinsk to Brest. The width along the bottom of the route was brought to 14 m, and the maximum draft of ships was 70 cm.

The canal was of strategic importance to the Russian Empire in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as it was the only navigable canal – the inland waterway connecting the Baltic and Black Seas. In particular, in 1886 and 1890 five torpedo boats with displacement from 89 to 164 tons, one of the first in the Black Sea Fleet, were transferred along it from the construction site in Elbing to Sevastopol by towed paddle steamer and by boatmen’s force.

In 1919, the territory of the canal was included in the Second Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

During the operation on the accession of Belarus to the West of the USSR the Polish flotilla attempted to pull back through the canal, but due to the preterm detonation of a regulator it could not get to Bug and was flooded. In 1940, most of these vessels were raised, repaired and incorporated into the Soviet Pinsk military flotilla.

The Soviet government prioritize the canal even more. The Dnieper-Bug road restoration was entrusted to the People's Commissariat of the river fleet of the USSR.

In 1940, shipping along the canal was resumed.

In June 1941 the canal was seized by the troops of Wehrmacht. The invaders began to use the canal actively. However, in spring of 1943 the regulators were blown up by the partisans and thus the canal was put out of order.

After Belarus was liberated, the active restoration of the canal began. In 1945, the shipping was restored. During the Soviet era, the development of the canal did not stop. Due to the traffic growth and the operation of larger vessels in the period of 1952-1956 the canalization section was extended by 50 km. In 1976, the work on the overall improvement of the canal dimensions began: the bottom width was 40 m, and the depth was 240 cm. During the period of 1978-1991, 17.58 million cubic meters of soil was recovered and 244 km of the waterway was reconstructed.

According to the European Agreement on Main Inland Waterways of International Importance, the canal is a part of the main Dnieper-Vislyanski waterway (Gdansk-Warsaw-Brest-Mozyr-Kiev-Kherson). With the help of the canal, it is theoretically possible to have a water connection between the basins of the Baltic and Black Seas. Nevertheless, through shipping along this waterway is still impossible due to the fact that the section from Brest to Warsaw along the West Bug River is not boatable, and also because the river Mukhavets is blocked in Brest by a tightly closed dam. River vessels passage was carried out according to a temporary scheme: artificial canal chambers were created in the water area of the Brest river port, ships were launched there, then the passage was piled up, and in front the protection embankment was opened and the ships appeared on the water.

The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus adopted a program of the river and sea transport development, including a plan for hydraulic structures of the Dnieper-Bug Canal reconstruction. The reconstruction of locks, replacement of old hydraulic structures and other types of works was carried out.

In July 2016, the first river cruise ship of the Republic of Belarus was launched to cruise along the Dnieper-Bug waterway and the river Pripyat from Brest to Mozyr. The ship “White Russia” corresponds to all modern standards and for the first time gives the opportunity to make a unique cruise along this great waterway.

Day two. KOBRIN-WATERSHID-LYAKHOVICHI. In 1795 the estate “Kobrinski key” was presented to A.V. Suvorov. He should have owned Kobrin Castle. However, by that time, it became very dilapidated and it was impossible to live in it. On July 15, 1812 in the ruins of Kobrin Castle the remnants of the detachment of General Klengel were maintaining resistance, who came here with Napoleon army. The first victory over the troops of Napoleon within the Russian state was won this day in Kobrin, and the first victory, in that war, salute was given from the walls of the Peter and Paul Fortress.

Kobrin, according to legend, was founded in the 11th-12th centuries by heirs of the Kiev prince Izyaslav. For the first time it was mentioned in the Ipatiev Chronicle under 1287 as a property of Vladimir-Volyn Prince Vladimir Vasilkovich.

Arrival to Kobrin at 05:00. After breakfast, a walking tour around the city of Kobrin visiting Military History Museum named after Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov. Departure at 12:30. Free time on board. The motor ship passes through the Watershed. The main European watershed is a line dividing the basins of European rivers, some of which flow into the Atlantic Ocean and the North Atlantic seas, others to the Mediterranean Sea and the seas of the Mediterranean Sea basin, as well as to the Caspian Sea. There is a memorial sign on the site of the watershed on the Dnieper-Bug canal. A small stop for a photo. Approximately at 18:30 the motor ship arrives in Lyakhovichi. Green parking, rest on the beach, swimming in the river. BBQ dinner on the beach. Departure at 23:30.

Day three. DUBOE-MOTOL-DOSTOEVO-PINSK. Early in the morning the ship arrives at the hydroelectric complex of Duboe. Here the river Pina became a part of the Dnieper-Bug waterway, which includes famous “Royal Canal”, built in 1775-1783. The water drop in the area of the hydroelectric complex may reach 3.5 meters, what created favorable water and energy conditions for a small hydroelectric power station location. The small hydroelectric generating station (HEP) was located on the site of the old lock, the dam connected the shores with a building in which three low-pressure hydropower plants were installed. And large window openings allow the viewer to understand the process of obtaining electricity. Elements of landscaping and lighting give the hydroelectric complex a beautiful view. Lock’s gates open in different ways: they are swinging from the side of Pinsk, and inclined from the side of Brest. This is determined on the basis of the technological necessity, and due to these differences, visiting this hydroelectric complex is particularly interesting. From 6:00 to 8:00 everyone can have a hot bath on the beach with the possibility of bathing. After breakfast there will be an inspection of the Hydroelectric Complex and hydroelectric generating station. Bus excursion to Motol and Dostoevo. People appeared in the vicinity of Motol in the Stone Age, and the first mention of the village dates back to 1422. The first Israeli president, Chaim Weizmann, was born and grew up in Motol. For a long time Motol has been rich in his talents. It owes his fame due to the craftsmanship of weavers, tailors, woodcarvers. Motol sheepskin coats, towels are known not only in the Republic, but also beyond its borders. Motolans saved their original culture, did not let it get lost in the centuries and brought it to this day. You will have an excursion to the Motol Museum of Folk Art with an interactive excursion and a tea party with the famous Motol cottage loaf. The history of the family that gave the world the greatest writer of the nineteenth century, Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, began in the Belarusian Polessje. In 1506 the boyar Danila Rtishchev received an official document from the Pinsk prince on owing the local lands and built an estate in the village of Dostoevo between the rivers Pina and Yaselda. The first son of the owner had the double surname Rtishchev-Dostoyevsky, and the following generations became Dostoevsky.

Dostoevo was mentioned ror the first time in the composition of the Pinsk principality in 1452. Where did the name of the village of Dostoevo come from? The Pinsk princes liked to rest in the vicinity of the village. This is evidenced by the names of individual places: “Gradnoye” – the place where the prince's squad stayed, “Sokolnitsa” – the place of the falconry of the prince. The worthy men were settled in the village by the prince. V.Dal in his famous dictionary of the Great Russian language indicates that a worthy man is a person who has wealth, a certain difference, a craft. Confirmation that the native inhabitants of Dostoevo were "worthy" is evidenced by their surnames: Tkachuk, Shevchuk, Kukharchuk, Kovalchuk, Bondaruk.

The following facts testify the special status of Dostoevo inhabitants: according to the old residents’ remembrances before the Second World War the inhabitants of the neighboring villages when they met inhabitants of Dostoevo took off their hats and were the first to greet them, and in the neighboring village of Molodovo until recently there was a special saying.

In the 16th century, Dostoevo was surrounded by forests, bogs alternating with sandy dunes. Until now, the eastern part of Dostoevo is called “Bervi” – from the word log. It was possible to pass here only by logs laid in the bog.

The history of Dostoevo is closely connected with the history of Belarus. In 1956, the Brest Union was unified, uniting the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church on the territory of Belarus and Ukraine. A significant part of the population was against such an association. In 1595 a large anti-feudal uprising took place on the territory of Ukraine, covering a significant part of Belarus. In 1596, Nalivaika detachments went to Polessje.

During the Russo-Swedish war, the Swedes and Russian troops passed through this territory.

Visiting the Museum of Fyodor Dostoevsky in the local school and the temple. Lunch on board during the transfer to Pinsk. Ancient Pinsk, the third largest city of the Brest region with a population of over 130 thousand people, is the true capital of Polessje. Tender waters of slow Pina, on the left bank of which, the resinous blockhouses began to grow nine and a half centuries ago under the clatter of axes whispered the name of the city to the first builders. Glory, wealth, rapid growth and importance – all this was forever predetermined by the location of Pinsk at the junction of the waterways that connected East and West, the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea, passing through the rivers Pina, Pripyat and Yaselde.

Firstly mentioned in 1097 Pinsk which was the second most important city of the Turov principality became the capital city of the Pinsk princes of the Yurievichi family in the XII century. Lithuania and Volyn crossed their spears in wanting to have an influence on it.

In the XIV century, Pinsk was ruled by the son of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas Narimunt, baptized under the name of Gleb who died in 1348 defending Pinsk from the crusaders. And his descendant – Prince of Pinsk Yuri Nos along with the Pinsk gonfanon (military formation) participated in the Battle of Grunwald (1410).

During the reign of the last Pinsk prince Fedor Ivanovich Yaroslavich, in the city above the river Pina, the bells of 16 Orthodox churches were ringing for the glory of the Lord. There was one Orthodox and Catholic monastery and a synagogue, where the five-century history of the Jewish community of Pinsk began. Then the mistress of Pinsk and Pinsk region was Queen Bona of the Italian family Sforza, who left a trace in the history with her economic reforms. In 1581, her son-in-law, King Stefan Batory, gave Pinsk the Magdeburg rights and approved the city coat of arms – a golden bow with an arrow on the background of a red shield.

The era of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth left its mark in Pinsk with beautiful baroque monuments. The ensemble of the monastery of Franciscans (XVII-XVIII centuries.) is a real decoration and dominant place of the old city. In the interior of the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, among the murals and gold-trimmed carvings, the Pinsk Madonna of the brush of Alfred Remer herself is walking along the clouds, gently hugging the baby Jesus.

In the last years of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth existence in Pinsk, the palace “Mur” was built (1784-1790). Classicism and baroque styles intertwined in its appearance, in the history that were names of Napoleon Orda, Helena and Constantia Skirmunt, who were descendants of the first master of the palace Mateusz Butrimovich, who was a deputy starost and the town judge, the economic and political figure of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Pinsk is unusually beautiful. There is no such other city in Belarus and it can only be compared with the picturesque Grodno, which was the capital of the entire Polish-Polish Commonwealth three centuries ago.

If you look at Pinsk from above, from a bird's eye view, you can clearly see the three main historical zones, sometimes very well delineated by “the rings of growth”. These are streets and avenues. All city highways go towards the river Pina and then merge in one place – on Lenin Square, the former architectural center.

The ancient buildings of palaces, churches and monasteries look mysteriously on the streets and squares, behind fences and walls of which there was recently such an incomprehensible and unusual life for us.

This city is rich in the past as well as exuberant now.

The yellowish building of the unusual architecture which is the Collegium is visible from everywhere. When entering the city from behind the river, it is the first place that meets everyone. This magnificent monument of the Baroque era looks like in the palm of your hand if watch from the bridge over the river Pina. Until 1953, a huge church was standing beside it, which, including some other small rooms constituted a single complex of the former Jesuit monastery. The collegium was built from brick in 1631-1635. The collegium and the whole monastery have a rich history. In addition to an educational institution which was very famous in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, here in different years was a printing house and one of the first pharmacies in Belarus.

Going a little left from the collegium, when viewed from the side of the river, there was a former trading area - "rynek", where only recently were trading rows destroyed following the baroque church of the Jesuit monastery. Previously, this square with rows, the hills leading to it from the river, and the river itself were a single trade, a place where a hectic purchase and sale was going on, both on land and on water. Boats were sailing from all over Polessje and the wagons were driving up. Boats, carts, rows became benches, counters, temporary warehouses of goods. Those who came from Minsk, Warsaw, Kiev, Vilno and other cities were especially impressed by the “boat market”, where they traded directly from boats, on the river, often without even landing to the shore.

Lenin Street, the former Big Kievskaya, is the main one in the city. The best preserved and, perhaps, the richest and most valuable architectural monument in Pinsk, and perhaps throughout Belarus, is the magnificent ensemble of the Franciscan monastery.

A beautiful view on the monastery of the Franciscans with many its buildings, the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the bell tower, which some people in Pinsk called “Pisa” because of its inclination. The tower rises over the entire monastery. The monastery of the Franciscans is one of the oldest monasteries in Pinsk. Its main building is a three-nave baroque church where the middle, central nave is dominated which is arched over by semicircular arches. The main facade of the church is very attired. It is decorated with baroque cornices, niches, belts, pilasters, wrought-iron lattice of the balcony and is completed with a complicated in composition pediment with two turrets along the edges.

Near the embankment there is the Pinsk Palace, often called the Butrimovich Palace, by the name of the owner, the local nobleman Mateush Butrimovich.

The Stone Varvarinskaya church was rebuilt from the baroque church, which was built in 1786. Rebuilt in the first half of the XIX century in the Orthodox Church, the temple looked like a completely amazing structure, in which an unsuccessful attempt to merge the Catholic and Orthodox elements was made.

Across the street there is the church of Karl Baromeusch, built in 1770-1780 on the site of an old wooden one. It even resembles a castle in some ways, but not a cult structure. Massive belfry and walls in their construction resemble provincial buildings of the Renaissance era, while the decorative elements of the bell tower are clearly baroque.

Pinsk is a truly amazing city, whose wealth is proved by its unique architectural masterpieces.

Excursion around the amazing Pinsk, visiting the Museum of the Belarusian Polessje. After dinner on board, there will be an evening program. The motor ship spends the night in Pinsk.

Day four. PINSK. Bus excursion with the visit to famous Belarusian productions. Having lunch on board. Walking excursion “Across the Jewish places”. Free time. Having dinner on board. Departure at 23:59.

Day five. KACHANOVICH-STAKHOVO. An early arrival to Kachanovichi. “Be busy as a bee” – as the saying says. You will visit a truly remote village of Kachanovichi, where an amazing apiary is situated. All the nations know that a bee is an example of hard-working and unblinking devotion to its beehive and family.

Here, on the sacred land of Polessje, there are majestic floodplain oak forests, which, perhaps, don’t exist elsewhere in the world today. The average age of trees is over two hundred years, but there are also older patriarchal oaks, where in the hollows wild bees live. This is a special aboriginal breed of bees, the so-called dark flattery, which has been living there for centuries. In Belarus, it is now heavily pressed by the “overseas” breeds as Carpathian, Caucasian, Ukrainian and others. But here, in Polissje, you can still meet those unpretentious hard-working bees who served the distant ancestors of the Slavs.

Here a special forest industry was founded, which, due to its widest distribution and enormous economic importance, determined the character of the development of this forest area for several centuries. The craft was given the name of the beekeeping. It is still known to several Eastern European peoples: the Eastern and Western Slavs, the Lithuanians, the Chuvashes, the Mordovians of the Bashkir and many others, who have been developing certain and very similar traditions of beekeeping for centuries. These traditions are reflected in the language, the methods of the farm itself, contributed to the emergence of a unique, in many ways a unified culture of beekeeping craft.

There are only a few wild hives left today in the territory of Polessje, which are the artificial tree hole, where bees live. But there used to be a lot of thousands of wild hives. Due to the intensive deforestation, the beekeeping disappeared on our eyes. In small forest villages and towns, the last beekeepers, whose age is already very respectable, live out their days. These are unusually quiet, tactful and sensitive people, possessing an extraordinary talent in understanding the secrets of nature, magnificent carpenters, carvers, in short, handy-men. The work of the beekeeper required great practical knowledge, dexterity and physical strength. The wild hive was hollowed out long before the bees were mown, more often in the pine or oak, where the beekeeper was climbing by means of a special device called wattle. One had to hang high above the ground for many hours, hollowing out a new wild hive, which was then often marked with special badges, called beekeeping banners. There were up to several dozen beekeeping trees in charge of one beekeeper. Some trees had up to three or more wild hives. Such trees were especially appreciated, they were the beekeeper’s pride. In the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which included Polessje, some of the beekeepers, mostly townspeople and small gentry, united in special professional corporations – shops that had statutes, their own banners and ritual of initiation. The industry of beekeeping and its product production was very developed, as evidenced by the names of specialties related to the production and processing of honey and wax, as well as the gradation of the settlements and regions, where they were mainly engaged in beekeeping.

The beekeeper used a large number of various tools that help him at all stages of his hard work. Some of them he did himself, others bought in the city or ordered to the local smiths, carpenters, saddlers. As a rule, the beekeeper had several axes with a wide blade, called barta; metal adzes, various bitbraces of special constructions, chisels, scratches, hammers, icepicks, original measuring instrument made of wood and other materials. All of these instruments were used mainly to hole out the wild hive. Actually, the beekeeper's inventory consisted of a sickle-knife, a sieve hat, like a cosmonaut's helmet, protecting the head from the bite of bees; smoke, swarming basket, made of chip or birch bark, intended for collection and transportation of departed swarms; devices for pushing up honey and some others. Each beekeeper had one or even several lifting devices called wattles. The main part of it consisted of five woven rawhide strips of skin, a thirty-meter rope with a wooden plaque at one end, a crochet on the other and a movable working bench. Good wattle served for a very long time and was used at all stages of work on the wild hive construction and honey extraction. Beekeepers also had special dishes in which they collected honey and stored it. These dishes made from bass and birch bark, and other wood which are oblong wooden hollow crocks with a tightly fitting wooden lid. The dishes, tools and other objects of the beekeeper’s inventory were almost always adorned. It could be a notch of different patterns, carving, unusual shape of the tool, etc. Sometimes it was easy to distinguish the products of this or that master, many of which were famous for the whole Polessje both Belarusian and Ukrainian. Beekeeper’s banners, or “writings” appeared, perhaps, even when the Slavs did not have any written language. It is possible that the beekeeper’s banners have gone through many centuries of evolution in their development. They are not as simple as it might seem at first glance. This is a kind of peasant heraldic system, which is very difficult to thoroughly understand. The profession of a beekeeper was hereditary, its secrets were passed on from father to son, whom he taught from a small age to a difficult, almost magical craft. And in fact, in order to attract a bee swarm to a new wild hive, a whole action was carried out including a secret part with spells and conspiracies, as well as spraying with infusion of herbs and flowers, fumigating with heather, rubbing, etc.

Not surprisingly, just before death, the beekeeper was telling his successor the most sacred secrets. He was teaching him the witchcraft and passing his beekeeper’s banner which was a sign that almost always consisted of combinations of different in size and shape triangles, brackets, rings, dashes.

A little later, when beekeeping began to decrease due to the primeval forests clearance, the colonial beekeeping began to develop on Polessje where the hole for the bees was hollowed out not in the living tree, but in its severed part called deck. The decks could be hung in the trees, partially installed on special platforms – paddlers, attached to the trunk of a tree, or placed on the ground. To protect the decks from bears, and at the beginning of the nineteenth century there were quite a lot of them in Polessje, they smoked using hammered wooden or iron pins from the below. Other devices were used as a protection from bears. The most common of these was a thick log or a stone on a tawed belt. There are such logs in Kachanovichi. Decks of different shapes and sizes made by local craftsmen are the most common monument of ancient folk culture.

Nikolai Kachanovsky, the owner of the apiary in Kachanovichi, will prove to everyone that every corner of Polessje is really unique. During the visit to the apiary, the guests will see the hundred-year old oak boards, where the bees still live, as well as old objects that were used in the household and farming field. The owner of the apiary will treat you with honey and a special herbal tea, and you can buy souvenirs like honey as well as souvenirs made by the beekeeper. A visit to the noble apiary of Kachanovski, where the features of the archaic Polessje are preserved will not leave anyone indifferent! Departure at 13:00. During lunch, transfer to Stakhovo. Arrival at 15:30. Green parking on an amazing island for relaxing on the beach, swimming in the river, walking or fishing. BBQ  dinner on the beach. Departure at 20:00.

Day six. TUROV. The motor ship arrives in the city of Turov in the morning. The city is a monument. Turov is the oldest city on the territory where representatives of the East Slavic tribe called Dregovichi settled many centuries ago. In the tenth century, Turov principality emerged here.

For the first time the city is mentioned in the “Tale of Bygone Years” in 980. Turov was a citadel and a devious city at this time.

From the southeast, the citadel defended a military moat filled with water. In the second half of the 13th century the citadel already had a castle with a stone tower. Turov was repidly developing, becoming the center of this region. And not only political and economic, but also religious. It was here where in 1005 one of the earliest dioceses in Ancient Rus appeared. It included cities such as Pinsk, Mozyr, David-Gorodok and others. True, after the devastating raid by the Tatars in the 13th century, the episcopal chair was moved to Pinsk, and the diocese was called Turov-Pinsk.

Ancient Turov could be proud of the fact that the oldest manuscript book created in Belarus appeared here in the 11th century  called the Turov Gospel. Unfortunately, now it is stored on the territory of Lithuania in the library of the Academy of Sciences of Lithuania. In Turov, at that time, was a small monastery, which was one of the centers of book copying equally with the Polotsk monastery.

The history of the city is full of various events, including tragic events. In 1113 the heirs of Vladimir Monomakh began to own Turov. And in 1158, the Kiev prince Izyaslav was standing under the walls of the city for ten days, but the walls of the impregnable Turov did not succumb to him. In the same century, the city began to build a stone church.

The history of Turov can’t be complete without mentioning Kirill of Turov – a prominent church figure, enlightener and preacher. He was one of the novices of the Nikolsky Monastery in Turov, and in the 60s of the 12th century he was elected to the episcopal chair. The well-known preacher ended his famous path in seclusion in the monastery of Boris and Gleb. In 1993, a monument to Kirill Turovsky was built in the city. A sculpture seven meters high on the background of the massive Constantinian cross is a visiting card of Turov.

The city wasn’t independent for long. In 1320, it became a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. At the same time, a new castle complex was built here, as well as two suburbs. In different years Turov was raided by the Tatars and Cossacks, the troops of Bogdan Khmelnitsky and Janusz Radziwill. The latter burned the city to the ground.

The main architectural attraction of Turov is the Church of All Saints. This temple is a monument of wooden architecture of 1810. There are two stone crosses near the church. There is a legend that they sailed into the city along the river immediately after the baptism of Rus by Prince Vladimir.

The cross which “grows” from the ground caused a great rush in the old cemetery at the end of the XX century.

Walking tour “Turov through the millennium”. During the program you will visit the historic part of the city – the medieval Turov hill fortress, where the remains of the ancient capital are above the picturesque canal. The unique ruins of the ancient temple with numerous archaeological finds are witnesses and participants of vivid historical pages. The Cathedral of Saints Cyril, Lavrenty and Martin Turovsky stands in the center of the city. Visit of the famous Turov cross on Cathedral Square which, according to legend, sailed to Turov against the current of the river, visiting the temple. Lunch on board. Bus tour of Turov. Visiting the “growing” miraculous stone crosses, which according to the legend heal from illnesses. Crosses are located on the site of the ancient monastery of Boris and Gleb which is another puzzle of the Turov land. Excursion to the Dairy Plant of Turov which is an ultramodern cheese making enterprise. Dinner on board and the opportunity to walk around the evening city. Departure at 23:59.

Day seven. NATIONAL PARK “PRIPYATSKI”-LYASKOVICHI-NOVOSELKI. The motor ship arrives in Doroshevichi early in the morning. Here is not only the residence of the President of the Republic of Belarus, but also one of the assets of the Republic – the national park “Pripyatski”. In the south of Belarus, in the center of the vast Polessje lowland, there is an interesting geographic region called Pripyat Polessje, stretched on both sides of the river Pripyat in its average flow. This area is characterized by fine natural complexes. The national park “Pripyatski” is a unique combination of natural, cultural and historical heritage, namely: unique and typical natural landscapes, the so-called Belarus “Amazonia” in the center of Europe.

There are 51 species of mammals, 250 bird species, 7 species of reptiles, 13 species of amphibians, 38 species of fish, and more than 3300 species of invertebrates in the national park. Especially numerous are the boar and roe deer, muskrat, American mink, raccoon dog.

Aurochs of Belovezhslaya Pushcha (about 90 individuals) and noble deer (about 300 individuals) worth a special noting.

The natural balance of animals is maintained by such predators as the wolf, fox, lynx, forest marten, forest ferret, ermine. Among the species included in the red book there are: European mink, auroch, European lynx, badger, garden dormouse, dormouse and nightingale dormouse. The avifauna includes 256 species of birds, which is 98% of the feathered fauna of Polessje and 79% of the bird fauna of the whole country. Here there is a gray crane, a black stork, a marshy owl, a green woodpecker, a white azure, an eagle a whitetail.

After breakfast, there will be an excursion on a road train to the unique Safari Park of the “Pripyatski” national park nature reserve and a visit to the Nature Museum in Lyaskovichi. Departure at 13:00. During lunch the motor ship passes to Novoselki, where the Museum of Grandfather Talash is located. Department of the history of the national hero of Grandfather Talash and partisan movement in Petrikov district is dedicated to grandfather Talash. The museum shows the reconstructed estate of the Talash family. Grandfather Talash was famous for his active partisan activity. Even during the Soviet-Polish war of 1919-1921, he was 75 years old, he participated in military operations on the side of the Red Army. At the age of one hundred years he fought against the German fascist invaders. Walking tour to the Museum of Grandfather Talash. Free-time on board surrounded by unforgettable landscapes of Polessje. The farewell dinner on board.

Day eight. MOZYR. Even before dawn the motor ship arrives in Mozyr, one of the oldest cities in Belarus. The history of Mozyr goes back in antiquity.

Here, among the boundless bogs of Polessje and unusually high hills, skilled craftsmen worked. Patient plowmen seeded the fields, enterprising merchants traded, and courageous knights fought bravely with their enemies. The city was burning to the ground more than once during numerous uprisings and wars. Again and again, the inhabitants were building it from the ashes, making legends about it, keeping the traditions of his ancestors.

Archaeological findings indicate that the first settlements of people within the boundaries of modern Mozyr appeared long before the birth of Christ. The surviving fragments of tools, objects of everyday life and ornaments are direct proof and formed the basis for the most interesting expositions of the Mozyr Museum of Local History.

The landscape of Mozyr highlands provided our ancestors with a convenient place to settle for a long time. A beautiful Pripyat with the numerous tributaries not only fed, but also helped to maintain extensive trade ties.

Widely stretched on the slopes of high hills, mentioned in the annals from 1155, the city survived a lot – internecine feuds of the princes and devastating raids by the Tatar-Mongol nomads, numerous wars with foreign invaders. And yet, no matter what, the city continued to live and develop. And in 1577 Stefan Batory gave Mozyr and Mozyr citizens the privileges of the Magdeburg rights and the coat of arms, which first performed the functions of the city seal.

Along with crafts and trade, the inhabitants were engaged in horticulture, gardening and fishing. The first large enterprises were the match factory “Flash”, the plywood factory “Prima” and the brewery – appeared only in the mid-90s of the XIX century.

Fires were a real disaster, and the unpaved streets were drowned in impassable mud during floods and torrential rains.

The Mozyrians also had their achievements. The glory about excellent pears and plums from the Mozyr gardens was carried throughout the province. Honey beer of Mozyr brewers was delivered to the table of the Russian Emperor Nicholas II. Fish, fish oil and crayfish were traded even to Europe. And in the XIX century Mozyr became the largest center of tannery in all of Belarus.

Thousands of tons of cargoes were driven annually across the river Pripyat, trading in wood, wool, flax, hemp, salo (cured slabs of fatback or pork belly) and other goods.

The population of the city was more than variable. Political transformations and economic trends at the beginning of the century drove the ruined small gentry to the cities. The rural population also sought their livelihood here. Not mentioning the large number of Jews, who was drove into the cities and towns of the western provinces by the repressive policy of the Russian Empire. As a result, at that time in Mozyr there were almost twice as many Jews as Christian of a middle-class.

According to the researchers, residents of Mozyr did not have a lot of money. Therefore, the city treasury could not cover all the necessary expenses and a part of the city's needs was not satisfied. To maintain the fire brigade proved to be problematic.

But here are the statistics of some serious violations and other misfortunes. From 1861 to 1865, only 4 casualties were recorded. There were no suicides, no victims of violent death, no robberies, not even foundlings.

Numerous temples and monasteries of Mozyr played an important role not only in the religious, but also in the cultural life of the entire county. They opened the first schools and extensive libraries were collected. The synagogue and several prayer houses provided the needs of the Jewish population. There was a hospital, 1 tavern, 1 bakery and 1 restaurant.

Concerning the origin of the name "Mozyr" there are two versions. The first goes on behalf of the “mazur” nationality. The second is from the term “mosyr”, which means dampness.

Breakfast on board. The cabin should be empty until 09:00 (things can be left on board). Walking tour to the museum of local lore Zamkovaya Gora. The end of the cruise.

!!! A unique and very interesting and incredibly beautiful route