Kamenets is a town in the Brest region and the center of Kamenets district. It is a small town with a long history. Kamenets is one of the most popular tourist destinations amongst the fans of recreation and tourism in Belarus. The town is placed 40 km north of Brest and has a population of just over 8000 people.
Kamenets was founded in 1276 by the order of Prince Vladimir Vasilkovich, known at the time as Alex ‘gradorub’ (person who builds settlements). He built a wooden fortress which was located in the center of a stone tower-dungeon. The tower was destined to become the town’s symbol for centuries. When Kamenets entered into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania its owners were Prince Kęstutis and Prince Vytautas. The city was repeatedly attacked by Crusaders, who would destroy the wooden fortress but never managing to capture the tower-dungeon. Small Kamenets settlement has long been in the shadow of its larger neighbours and became a town only in 1983.
|Area (sq.km)||10 km²|
|Phone code||+375 1631|
Kamenets Tower is most certainly a hallmark and one of the most recognizable monuments in Belarus. The tower, located on a hill by the river Forest, has a simple form but leaves a majestic impression. The tower performed its main function for a long time, which was to protect citizens from enemy attacks, but later was used as a warehouse and arsenal. The lower tiers in the tower which were the coldest were used to store food in case of war and the upper levels were used to store arms and ammunition. Today, the ancient building is open to the public; there is also a branch of the Brest Regional Local History Museum. There is a wonderful view of the surroundings from the observation deck of the tower, which a few centuries ago was still guarded by armed soldiers.
While visiting the city one should pay attention to the St. Simeon Church which was built in 1914 in retrospective-Russian style. The church is a place of great interest not only because of interesting architectural forms, but also due to a magnificent three-tiered iconostasis decorating the interiors of the church.
There is also the catholic church of St. Peter and Paul in Kamenets. The construction of the church started in 1925 by the Polish authorities, however due to a lack of funds, construction had to be halted. After Kamenets became a part of the Soviet Union in 1939, local authorities opened a teahouse within the church’s walls. Later, when Belarus gained its independence the church was returned to believers.
Leading from the tower to St. Simeon’s Church, tourists will be able to see on their route a monument erected in honour of the founder of Kamenets – Prince Vladimir Vasilkovich.
Just half a century ago, the city was home to many Jews who left behind a number of peculiar buildings. A school building called ‘Beit Midrash’ and a synagogue known as ‘Der Meyer’ stand out amongst them retaining the characteristic elements of the exterior garnish.
Excursions in Kamenets will be interesting not only for those who are interested in military history and the architecture of fortifications, but to all tourists. Visitors will be able to imagine themselves in the place of the glorious knights in the heart of this historical center.
Accommodation choice varies depending on one’s preferences. There are a number of hotels, motels, farmsteads, cottages with saunas and a couple of sanatoriums called ‘Belaya vezha’ and ‘Solnechniy’, therefore there is something for everyone.
Most of the industrial enterprises of the region concentrate on processed agricultural products. The district operates seven food processing enterprises and these are ‘Belovezhskie syry’, Kamenetsk branch of ‘Savushkin products” (hard cheese production) and ‘Verhovichsky krahmalniy zavod’, these products are sold in the Republic of Belarus and abroad. ‘Santa Bremor’ processes fish and ‘Agroprodukt’ processes canola, and the resulting canola oil is mainly exported.
Copyright © 2012 - 2021 | The Minsk Herald