Not far from the metro station, you'll find the towering intellectual treasures of an unusual building; the National Library of Belarus designed by architects Mihail Vinogradov and Viktor Kramarenko.
After the Second World War, the capital of Belarus – Minsk, laid in ruins. To save the remains of the literary fund, rebuilding the library was immediately scheduled after the hostilities ended. But for several decades, the demand for the library’s services continued to increase which led to the old building unable to cope with its responsibilities. And so in 2002, a grand plan for a new library building started and was eventually opened in 2006.
The new building project for the National Library of Belarus symbolizes a diamond; the hardest gem in the world. Symbolically, it shows the value of knowledge and the benefits it provides; as well as the uncommonness of the building, which is a complicated geometric shape – rhombicuboctahedron (a three-dimensional figure of 18 squares and 18 triangles). In addition, the library is covered with a special finish – lots of LEDs, so every second at night, the building changes colors and patterns. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to see the lights at night.
Inside the crystal is a place of storage for the library, which was designed to fit 15 million books, reading rooms which can accommodate 2000 guests, and an automatic delivery system which makes it possible to give readers any book in just 10-15 minutes.
The architectural plan for the library is so unusual that it made it to two lists for outstanding works of world architecture. According to Russian Wikipedia, it is in the top 50 most “unusual buildings in the world” as well as in the website called “Village of Joy” (24th place), at the same time, the National Library of Belarus was also listed as one of the ugliest buildings in the world, according to U.S. magazine “Travel & Leisure”.
Near the library on a granite pedestal, stands a bronze statue of Belarusian and Eastern-Slavonic printing pioneer and enlightener, Francysk Skaryna (sculptor A. Drants, 2005), who contributed a lot to education in Belarus back in the 16th century.
At the main entrance of the library, there are 2 marble panels of light granite, made in the form of an open book’s pages. They are devoted to the theme of the world and Slavic Literature. The bases of the composition of the left page of this «book» is a fragment of an image model of the universe in the form in which it was represented in the XVI century. You can also read the famous quote from Psalms Skaryna “Let it be the perfect man ….”. This phrase is shown in Old Church Slavonic, English, Greek, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Polish, German, Serbian, Hebrew, Latin and Glagolitic and West Syrian script. At the center of the composition of the right panels are images of Skaryna’s characters – Moon and Sun.
The library is around a beautiful park which is divided into channels, paths, and fountains. I strongly recommend that you go up the elevator to the observation platform of the library which offers a magnificent panorama of Minsk.