Belarus is situated in Eastern Europe and the country is landlocked by Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland and Latvia. Minsk is the capital of Belarus. Homo erectus and the Neanderthal men lived in this region. Bandkerimik cultures were established by the Neolithic man and the remains of Dnieper-Donets culture were found in the region. During 6th century, Slavic tribes settled in the region who gradually contacted with traders, Varangians and Scandinavians. Russian Empire acquired Belarus in the 18th century and the country was under the control of Russian until it is occupied by German empire at the time of First World War.
The country was divided into two and left under the control of Soviet Russia and Poland in 1919. During WW II, the other part of Belarus was annexed by Soviet Union in 1939. The country got independence from Russia in the year 1990. Belarus is now a presidential republic in which the President is the head of the state. Executive power of the country is vested on the government and head of the government is the prime minister who is appointed by President. Legislative power is exercised by bicameral parliament. The economy of the county is state controlled which is considered as Soviet style. Majority of the population is employed under state-controlled companies and other are employed in private companies.
The total population of the country is more than 9.5 million and about 81.2% of the people constitute ethnic Belarusians. Next ethnic majority is the Russians and other ethnicities of the country are Ukrainians and Poles. The official languages of the country are Russian and Belarusian. Russian is spoken by 72% of the population. Other languages of the country are Ukrainian, Easter Yiddish and Polish. There are different religions in the country such as Orthodox, Catholicism, Protestantism, and Jewish. The country has no official religion.
Minsk is the beautiful and most frequented city of Belarus. The major tourist attractions of Minsk are Botanical Garden, National Arts Museum, Museum of History of Great Patriotic War, Museum of Old Belarusian Culture and National Museum of Belarusian History and Culture. Belarus is famous for its baroque churches and medieval castles. Mir Castle is a medieval castle which is the best example for fortification architecture of 16th century and the castle is recognized as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Brest Fortress is also a popular attraction with its masterpiece architecture and military engineering. During Great Patriotic War, the fortress was the shelter of the Russian army.
Lida Castle is another medieval fortress famous for its architectural construction. The castle was built on sand which is considered as an unstable base for even a house. But the castle is standing there for about seven centuries. Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park is recognized by UNESCO as the World Heritage Site and the park got the title of Biosphere Reserve in the year 1993. Pinsk is a city worth visiting as the city consists of cultural, architectural and ancient wonders. Grodno is a city with numerous attractions such as 11th century castle, Old town centre and Kalozh Church of 11th century.