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Hall of postal glory

After reconstruction, Minsk central post office opens doors of its legendary Round Hall: a striking calling card of the capital
By Anna Osokina

City residents have been waiting for the reopening of the building with impatience. As one of the first to be built after the Great Patriotic War, it soon celebrates its 60th anniversary. The Director General of Belpochta, Irina Saksonova, tells us that the Ministry for Culture was closely involved in all aspects of rebuilding the site, maintaining its unique architectural spirit. Almost everything has been done ‘by hand’ rather than using hoisting cranes or special equipment. Some modern innovations did prove useful of course.

Tours of the Round Hall are likely to appeal to tourists. Meanwhile, as the Minister of Communications and Informatisation, Sergey Popkov, emphasises, the updated hall now enjoys the latest technologies, to raise the efficiency of operators and the quality of services. Electronic queuing is designed to make waiting more bearable — especially as soft seating is provided. With 14 ‘windows’ offering over 60 services, the Round Hall is a model of postal operations. Around 10,000 customers are expected to enter the doors daily. Ms. Saksonova tells us that, since March, Minsk post offices have been able to issue pension payments, with the innovation to spread countrywide. Money transfer will also soon be possible at any branch.

The Round Hall still bears its sign specifying the distances to various cities across Belarus and Europe, and boasts its original mosaic window design (though the window units have been changed). Its ‘clock of the world’ still shows times around the globe too.

The Republican Unitary Enterprise Belpochta has also decided to issue ‘Minsk Post Office’ calendar stamps (launching them at the opening ceremony).
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