Virtual Tour of the Palace of Independence
Sites of the Palace of Independence
Grand Ceremonial Hall
The Grand Ceremonial Hall - the largest hall in the Palace of Independence - has a special atmosphere. It hosts the most symbolic and iconic events with the participation of the Head of State. In this hall, the country’s best graduates are awarded commendation letters and diplomas. Outstanding Belarusian athletes and coaches receive well-deserved awards here. The hall was the venue for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the VLKSM youth organization, the best traditions of which are still honored in Belarus. On 6 November 2015, the Grand Ceremonial Hall witnessed the most important event in the political life of the country - the inauguration of the newly elected President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko.
Balcony of the Left Wing
The balcony of the left wing of the Palace of Independence welcomes foreign guests on their way to the Fireplace Hall, which usually hosts the President’s meetings with foreign delegations.
Balcony of the Right Wing
The balcony of the right wing of the Palace of Independence leads to the gallery of halls for negotiations and official gatherings.
Small Conference Hall
The hall for private talks is also called the Slutsk Hall. It is because of its special decoration: canvases with decorative embroidery are themed around the traditional Belarusian ornaments and Slutsk belts. The hall, in the form of an octagon, is designed to host small delegations for private talks and meetings. The Head of State traditionally meets with the leaders of Russian regions here. The presidents of the CIS member states had talks here during the CIS Summit. Here in 2019, the President of Belarus gave a many-hour interview to Ukraine’s largest media outlets.
State Award Ceremony Hall
The State Award Hall, also known as the Belarus Hall, is one of the most important sites of the Palace of Independence. It is here where the Head of State presents awards to the country’s best people, like mothers with many children, brave Motherland defenders, people who achieved extraordinary results in the manufacturing industry and social sector, outstanding athletes, scholars and people of culture.
The finishing of the hall is made from dark green marble that sets the tone of the interior. The 32 columns placed along the walls resemble a guard of honor. The walls are decorated with medallions and mosaic panels depicting state symbols and the highest state awards of the Republic of Belarus.
Credentials Ceremony Hall
This hall hosts important protocol events, like ceremonies to present credentials to the Belarusian President by foreign ambassadors.
In 2019 the hall started hosting another important ceremony that became a new tradition of sovereign Belarus – here the president presents the first passports to young Belarusians.
The walls of the hall feature original and symbolic elements – scrolls with ancient texts.
Small Conference Room
This Small Conference Room is also called the National Room, because it usually hosts the President’s meetings with small foreign delegations. This room witnessed the talks of the Normandy Four delegations and the President’s press conference for China’s largest mass media outlets.
The classical interior design is enhanced by modern artwork made by famous Belarusian artists, including Vladimir Savich, Leonid Khobotov, and Grigory Sitnitsa. These works celebrate national traditions.
Big Conference Hall
The Big Conference Hall features a mosaic panel with a Belarusian ornament, a Greek-style portico, Venetian plasterwork and a coffered ceiling. The walls are embellished by eleven medallions with panels depicting Belarus’ architectural landmarks. The Big Conference Hall hosts important meetings on domestic agenda as well as international meetings.
It hosted the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council and the CIS Summit in 2013 and a meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Belarus and Russia in 2018.
Winter Garden Patio
The spacious Winter Garden Patio lets in a lot of air and light. Two white marble staircases lead to the first floor.
The hall is decorated with light marble. Six massive columns add to the sense of monumentality of the hall. Decorative stucco and a snow-white coffered ceiling project a feeling of spaciousness and lightness.
The 18-meter-high Winter Garden is widely admired by high-ranking guest. Flowerbeds with exotic plants are lined up along the arched stained glass windows. The garden boasts a variety of plants, including dracenas, yucca palms, zamioculcas zamiifolia, anthurium andraeanum, guzmanias, etc.
A beautiful fountain with bronze sculptures The Neman and The Pripyat, symbolizing Belarusian rivers, on both sides make up the centerpiece of the Winter Garden.
All in all, the Palace of Independence features over 150 plant species.
The rectangular hall with strict and minimalist design is intended for working meetings to discuss important domestic and foreign affairs. In addition, the Head of State often uses the Red Hall to announce new appointments.
Blue wallpaper, heavy red curtains, and parquet with a geometric pattern give the hall a businesslike feeling and highlight the importance and official character of events. Walls are decorated with paintings by Belarusian artists. A golden ornament with elements of Slutsk belts patterns runs just below the ceiling.
The small and cozy Fireplace Hall is perfect for thorough conversations and exchange of opinions in a friendly atmosphere. This hall holds the record in terms of the number of international meetings with the participation of the Head of State it hosted. The Belarusian President also gave numerous interviews to influential foreign media here.
The Fireplace Hall boasts an artistic painting in the center of the ceiling and the marble fireplace Odyssey.
The Green Hall of the Palace of Independence is without exaggeration world famous. It hosted the bulk of the difficult talks of the Normandy Four between the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany on 11-12 February 2015. As a result, the parties signed Minsk II agreement which has played an important role in the efforts to establish peace in Ukraine ever since.
The Green Hall is used for private talks.
The hall is very elegant due to its round shape. The whole composition is centered around a fireplace with a clock in the Baroque style.
Side Room of the Green Hall
This room came into the spotlight during the Normandy Four talks in the Palace of Independence in February 2015. The leaders of Germany, France, Russia, and Ukraine retired to the side room of the Green Hall during the hours-long talks for more private discussions. Since then, the room has not hosted any significant events, but many journalists want to get here to feel and capture the atmosphere of that historic moment.
The Universal Hall, distinct for its amphitheater shape, is one of the largest halls in the Palace of Independence. It is used for press conferences and other major events with live TV broadcasts. During major summits which the Palace of Independence hosts, this hall often becomes the final venue for the official part of events: heads of state address numerous media representatives here.
The walls are painted satin-blue and decorated with white plaster and wood. The draw of the interior is the symbol of the country’s statehood, the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Belarus, made in a mosaic technique.
Dozens of media representatives work in the Palace of Independence every day. Hundreds of journalists come to cover international events. More than half a thousand media representatives from all over the world worked in Minsk to cover the Normandy Four talks.
There are two press centers in the palace for comfortable work of journalists. The “blue” one is considered the main press room. It provides video broadcasts from any hall of the palace. Special zones are dedicated for interviews. The press center is kitted out with necessary sound, light and other equipment. The interior successfully blends hi-tech and classics.
Hall of Enfilades
The hall boasts an elegant and original form. The architects managed to turn a waiting area into the pride of the palace. This hall opens into all the enfilades. The walls of the hall are decorated by stucco work, mosaic and levkas paintings, as well as a large hand-made tapestry.
Russia President Vladimir Putin chose this hall as a site for his press conference after the Normandy Four talks on 12 February 2015.
The White Hall is a twin of the Red Hall in design, but still has its distinctive features. It hosts discussions of the most important social, political, and economic matters and consultations with representatives of government bodies and local authorities.
The hall has a cozy and businesslike feel at the same time. The wallpaper and furniture are pearl-golden, the ceiling is of a cold blue hue, and the embroidered curtains are cornflower-blue. The hall also has one of the main features of the decor of the Palace of Independence – the golden ornament with elements of Slutsk belts patterns running just below the ceiling.
The Palace of Independence is the hallmark of the Belarusian capital city, a symbol of the inviolability of Belarusian statehood and sovereignty. The most important meetings and momentous talks are held and key decisions regarding the development of the country are made in the halls of the palace which was erected by Belarusian builders from Belarusian materials. The Palace of Independence officially opened on 24 October 2013.
The facade of the Palace of Independence has been designed in the spirit of postmodernism with the use of classical architectural forms and traditional national patterns. The decor is themed around Slutsk belts and is made from polished steel. This is a good combination of Belarusian national traditions and modern architectural solutions. The main facade of the palace is crowned with the national coat of arms of the Republic of Belarus.
Belarusian and foreign TV viewers are familiar with the courtyard of the Palace of Independence as a venue of official welcome ceremonies for the country’s high-ranking guests – foreign heads of state. This is where the first meeting with a foreign leader takes place during official visits to Belarus. An open-air ceremony is always solemn, spectacular and impressive, featuring a guard of honor, the display of flags and the performance of the national anthems of the two countries. Official welcome ceremonies have already been held for the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, the leaders of China, Turkey, India, Egypt, Cuba, Serbia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Georgia and Turkmenistan.
Hall of the First Floor
A spacious hall of the first floor welcomes guests arriving to the Palace of Independence for the meetings with the President of Belarus. High-ranking Belarusian officials also spend their time before the reports to the Head of State here.
This hall often hosts small expositions of Belarusian landscape artists. The themes of the expositions depend on the season of the year. The permanent exposition, which is a gift to the Head of State, features paintings of his native places.
First Floor Balcony
The central balcony of the first floor, which overlooks the Grand Ceremonial Hall, features symbolic presents and works of renowned Belarusian sculptors.