The Palace of Independence, which hosted the first dignitaries on 24 October 2013, is located in the northwestern part of Minsk, along one of the city’s thoroughfares – Pobeditelei Avenue.
The building harmoniously fits into the city’s iconic district. Nearby are the State Flag Square, just a little further away is Victory Park, the Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War and the famous Minsk Hero City Stele.
Although the Palace of Independence was built not so long ago, it has already made it into history books. The momentous summit of the Normandy Four was held here in February 2015. The negotiations that lasted more than 15 hours brought together the leaders of Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France.
The Palace of Independence is part of the cultural heritage of the entire Belarusian nation, therefore, President Lukashenko ordered to keep it open for the general public. People can come here for excursions at certain times.
The Palace of Independence displays the versatility of talents of Belarusians. The rich spiritual and cultural legacy of the Belarusian nation and their advanced architectural and engineering solutions were materialized in metal, wood, stone, glass, textile and canvas.
The decision to build an administrative and representative complex - a symbol of the sovereignty and independence of the country - was made by President Lukashenko in 2011.
The Head of State set a difficult task: in a fairly short time to build an official ceremonial complex Belarus had never known before. The exterior and interior of this building should incorporate national, cultural and historical motives.
He put together a large team of professionals from Minskproyekt Company and other organizations to craft the design of the building and each of its rooms, skillfully blending national traditions and modernity.
The Palace of Independence is a three-level rectangular building of the post-modernism style. The building is 120 by 140 meters big. Its total area is 53,778.6 square meters.
The facades of the building are made of glass, metal and stone. The main facades, which overlook Pobeditelei Avenue, Orlovskaya Street and the BelEXPO national exhibition center, are decorated with the state symbols.
The 15-hectare area surrounding the Palace of Independence features a flowerbed “Mini Belarus”, the Alley of Distinguished Guests, the central alley with a fountain, the venue for official ceremonies, lanes for strolls and a variety of landscape architecture.
Domestic materials were used in interior décor of the palace. It was only some types of marble and granite that were brought from abroad.
The interior design combines the Classical style with national patterns, primarily elements of Slutsk belts. Traditional Belarusian patterns are present in many elements of the interior design, they are easily noticeable in marble and metal elements, mosaics, artistic paintings on the walls and ceilings.
The interior space of the building is filled with natural and artificial light. All chandeliers and sconces in the palace were made by the Cascade company based in Lida. They are as elaborate and artistic as works of famous Czech and Italian manufacturers.
The cozy atmosphere of the rooms and halls of the palace was created with participation of Belarusian furniture makers Pinskdrev Holding Company, Bobruiskmebel, Molodechnomebel, and Gomeldrev that are known far beyond the borders of the country.
The third floor is home to the Museum of Gifts. It is a true treasury that holds several hundred gifts to the Belarusian President from foreign leaders, senior officials, delegations, diplomats, famous public figures, renowned athletes, as well as ordinary Belarusians and Belarusian enterprises.
Ten Facts About the Palace of Independence
- The Palace of Independence of the Republic of Belarus was officially unveiled on 24 October 2013.
- The building occupies 53,778.6 square meters.
- The territory of the complex is 15 hectares.
- The palace was erected within 30 months instead of the projected 58 months.
- The Grand Ceremonial Hall with the height of the ceiling of 18 meters and the total area of 3,500 square meters is the largest ceremonial hall in the Republic of Belarus.
- The diameter of the biggest national emblem in the Palace of Independence is 5.5 meters. It weighs almost 1.5 tonnes.
- The State Award Ceremony Hall is the only room in the Palace of Independence without access to natural light.
- The Universal Hall has an unusual shape of an amphitheater.
- 150 exotic plant species grow in the Palace of Independence.
- The dome of the Winter Garden is designed to create special acoustic effects. Thanks to the architectural solution, even the slightest sounds acquire particular strength and fullness and can be heard in all corners of the room.