Exhibits transport visitors to early 19th century

1812 War in Minsk’s History exhibition unveiled at National History Museum of Belarus

There are six thematic sections united by the idea of war. On show are cold steel and firearms, ammunition, articles from military daily life, documents, maps, commemorative medals and historical reconstructions. The exhibition aims to give an objective and historically true version of the past, with Minsk at the core.

The daily routine of the war years is under focus, with collections on loan from the National History Museum, Vitebsk’s Regional Local History Museum, Mogilev’s Regional Local History Museum, Kobrin’s Military-Historical Museum, Belarus’ National Historical Archives and the National Library.

The dramatic history of our country is closely linked with the most famous and bloody wars in Europe. The Napoleonic wars were no exception, while being a turning point in the early 19th century. The 1812 War is known as the Patriotic War in Russia and, in Europe, as the Napoleonic Russian campaign. It changed the fates of European nations, turning to ashes the hopes of those who wished to revive the Rzech Pospolita.

In 1812, Minsk (the second most important city after Vilnius in the Belarusian-Lithuanian region) was an important military-strategic centre within the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania. From July-November 1812, over 80,000 Napoleonic soldiers passed through the city. Fortunately, no major battle occurred — unlike those witnessed by Borisov, Vitebsk and Mogilev.

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