Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of the sights to be the subject of many different songs in Belarus, because the best way to show its charm is to describe it with the help of music. The songs perfectly describe all the extraordinary beauty and magic of the ancient forest. Belovezhskaya Pushcha is located in the South-West of Belarus, 52 kilometers away from Brest and 380 kilometers away from Minsk. This trip can be called one of the most exciting in Belarus.
In 1979 the importance of the Forest was noted by the world community when it was inscribed in the UNESCO world heritage list. During the tour guests will visit the residence of the Belarusian Father Frost, as well as enclosures, where they will get acquainted with the inhabitants of the forest. The visit to the residence is interesting for the audience of all ages, as well as the enclosures, where the inhabitants of the ancient relic forest are kept. Belovezhskaya Pushcha is the oldest nature reserve in Europe. It was first mentioned in the chronicle in 983.
In the XIV century Belovezhskaya Pushcha was the property of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, and at the beginning of the XV century it was controlled by the Kingdom of Poland. At this time, the Polish king Jogailo issued a decree according to which only he and his cousin Vytautas are allowed to hunt in the forest. The Pushcha received a protected status, but the hunts of the king and the Grand Duke caused a serious damage to the fauna. In the days of the Commonwealth, the hunt was of another type. Before hunting was necessary to procure provisions for the huge army, and then hunting became only the Royal pastime. When the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha became part of the Russian Empire, Catherine II allowed all hunting in the forest, except hunting for bison. This had a significant impact on the population of the fauna of the Pushcha. Since the beginning of the XIX century a detailed account of bison is kept. And at the end of the XIX century Pushcha officially became the property of the Royal Family. During the World War I, the Germans harvested wood in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, and wood was of the most valuable species. Over the years of the war more than 4 million cubic meters of wood were exported from the forest. Moreover, the bison and deer were completely exterminated. After 1921 Belovezhskaya Pushcha became a part of the Polish Republic and deforestation continued. Before the Second world war, Pushcha was cut down by 20 %. In 1939, when Western Belarus became a part of the BSSR, the Pushcha received a status of protected territory. In 1991 it was reorganized into a National Park. In December 1991, the agreements of the same name were signed in Pushcha, which marked the collapse of the Soviet Union. If we talk about the quantitative composition of the animal world, which is represented in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, it has no equal in Europe. The fauna of Belovezhskaya Pushcha includes 11 000 different groups of animals. It is home to 59 species of mammals, 227 species of birds, 11 species of amphibians, 24 species of fish and more than 10 000 invertebrates. The world's largest population of bison, more than 500 individuals, also lives in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. In addition, wild boar, red deer, elk are found in the forest. Among raptorial animals there are wolf, fox, badger, otter, marten. Climate and humidity in Belovezhskaya Pushcha contribute to the growth of lush vegetation. There are about 900 species of plants in the forest. Pine forests predominate here, they account for more than a half of the forest. The average age of trees is 80 years, but in the Pushcha there are trees that are 400, 500 and even 600 years old. We are talking, of course, about oak. All in all Belovezhskaya Pushcha is a magical forest, which must be visited during your stay in Belarus. Excursion to Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of the most popular in Belarus.