In the very center of Minsk, opposite October Square, there is an ancient park - Alexandrovsky Square, where you can see the first city fountain - “Boy with a Swan”. The place is iconic for the capital, rich in a variety of stories and legends, and has also been preserved within its original borders and even with its old name. The formation of this city park began back in 1836, but it is precisely as Alexander Square that has been known since 1872. It is believed that the name of the park is associated with Alexander Nevsky’s chapel, which was located right at today’s entrance.

Alexandrovsky Square in Minsk

Alyaksandraski Square
pashtouka 1918 with kalektsy Aliaksandr Likhadzedav

The chapel had so-called Russian-Byzantine architecture and was built in 1869. The building was demolished in 1929, which is quite sad; in its last years the building was used for the needs of a newsstand. On the old postcard below (1930) this chapel no longer exists, and the functions of a newsstand are now performed by a new stall.

Alexandrovsky Square in Minsk
pashtouka 1930, from Kalektsy Alexander Likhadzedav

The boy with a swan fountain appeared in the park in 1874 and immediately created a sensation. Well, how could it be otherwise, because this was the very first fountain in Minsk, and it was launched by the way in honor of the opening of the city water supply.

Fonta Boy with a Swan

Where did the idea for such an unusual sculpture come from? There are many mentions that the project is based on the works of the Italian Giovanni Bernini. Perhaps this is what Theodore Kalida did, who in 1833 made his first sculpture, “Boy with a Swan. Yes, yes, you were not mistaken, there are many similar compositions around the world, in Poland, Germany, Italy, the USA and other countries.

The oldest fountain in Minsk
2 old pashtouki times

The Minsk fountain is unique in that it was able to survive the major redevelopment of the city, when many old buildings were destroyed. There was a plan to replace the sculpture of a boy with a swan with a more understandable idea - a collective farmer with a worker. There is also an interesting story with the bronze figurines of frogs, which appeared and then disappeared. Of course, over such a long history, it also went to the swan, whose neck was broken more than once. So in 1981, after further damage, the composition was restored by the famous architect Zaire Azgur.

Alyaksandraўski park cotton with a swan

The 90s became a strange time for Alexander Square and took place under a different name - “Panikovka”, a place where young people, informals, musicians, and various marginalized people gathered. The last reconstruction of the fountain took place in 2016, when the frogs returned to their place, and the park itself was dramatically transformed. Below is a dot marking this city attraction:

Look 15 pictures of old and new Minsk.

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