Krugloe was a district centre where few desired to stay long
Not long ago, this was a district centre where few desired to stay long
Not long ago, this was a district centre where few desired to stay long. Situated far from central roads, you felt that the town had sunk into a chasm, away from reality. It lacked bright facades, flowers on its streets and modern children’s playgrounds. Moreover, local residents seemed not to appreciate their town.
Tamara Aksenova, the Deputy Chair of the Krugloe District Executive Committee, recollects, “There were times when we were simply afraid to plant flowers in the streets, as they were immediately torn out by vandals. The situation is different now. Just have a look: what beauty surrounds us.”
Grey, dull Krugloe has transformed into a centre of hospitality. Around 7,500 people live here and, since early 2015, almost 8,000 tourists have visited. Moreover, the flow of guests never stops: Krugloe’s hotels have no vacant rooms at the weekend. In addition, the town boasts seven fast food outlets: around one per 1,000 citizens (including the elderly and babies). It’s not difficult for tourists to find a meal.
People arrive from remote Minsk, as well as Vitebsk and Russia, all eager to rest and relax: in recent years, the local entertainment industry has grown in Krugloe, with the Izumrud (Emerald) complex uniting a restaurant, hotel and bowling. It even offers medical services.
Parking my car, I meet Vladimir Odintsov, from the village of Rakushevo. He tells us, “It’s truly changed here. In the past, Krugloe was a hole; now, it’s charming. There’s real pleasure to be had in walking through its streets, as all are beautiful. I’ve taken up bowling, having heard a lot about it in books and on TV. I visited once and found I enjoyed playing!”
Izumrud was built in Krugloe by PMK-266. The head of the local company, Nikolay Patronchik, admits, “Krugloe’s entertainment industry provides a safety cushion for our enterprise. There were times when we had plenty of orders but, suddenly, their number began to fall. We thought of creating something innovative for the construction sphere, and Izumrud was launched. It has offered new jobs, and pleasingly embellished our town. Krugloe is now truly beautiful. It attracts couples for wedding celebrations from all over the country and, even, Russia.”
Not long ago, another interesting site opened near Krugloe: the Nikolaevskie Prudy tourist base, which attracts plenty of holidaymakers. Around a dozen cars were in the car park as I went by, displaying plates from the Mogilev, Vitebsk and Minsk regions, as well as from Moscow.
Krugloe is managing to ‘persuade’ the younger generation to stay, as the Deputy Director of Pride Union enterprise, Yevgeny Kamaev, tells us. Most of his employees are young people.
It’s so comfortable to live in this small town that the birth rate is now higher than that for mortality. The Chairman of the Krugloe District Executive Committee, Anatoly Shchuplenkov, notes, “In the first half of 2015, 89 babies were born (three more than in 2014). We’re building accommodation and, soon, a block of 40 flats will welcome its first residents. A two-flat house is being built, as are 10 houses constructed by individuals. Overall, 4,200 square metres of new accommodation will have been built by late 2015.” This offers the greatest proof that the town has bright prospects.
By Pavel Minchenko
Photo: Pavel Minchenko, BelTA