THREE HUNDRED METERS ABOVE SEA LEVEL
The republican landscape reserve "Novogrudok" is a unique for its natural beauty corner of the Grodno region. It is has picturesque recreation, hunting and fishing areas. Its original landscape cannot leave anyone indifferent: the absolute marks of the earth's surface here are about the maximum elevation marks in Belarus and range from 270 to 305 meters above sea level. The fluctuation of relative heights here is 25-30 meters or more. This gives the Novogrudok landscapes a unique charm.
The reserve is located in the basin of the Neman River, on the watershed of its left branches Valovka, Izva and Plisa. The total area is 1697 hectares. It is under the jurisdiction of the Novogrudok regional executive committee.
“The reserve was created in 1994 on the lands of the forest fund of the Novogrudok forestry enterprise to preserve the unique landscape complex in its natural state. It has areas of ripe spruce, broad-leaf forests and plant species that are rare for the flora of Belarus.” the head of the Novogrudok inspectorate of natural resources and environmental protection Pavel Krainik says. “Its territory is interesting because it represents typical landscapes of the Novogrudok Upland, which is part of the Belarusian ridge: high moraine and kame hills, ravines and hollows.
Forests cover 96.2 percent of the territory of the Novogrudok reserve, the rest of it is swamps, glades and roads. The main forest-forming species are spruce, pine and pedunculate oak. In the late 19th - early 20th centuries, Novogrudok oak forests were among the best oak plantations in the region, along with Buda-Koshelev, Turov, Zhornovsky and Belovezhsky. And now they are even older and more beautiful.
The area of oak groves, where century-old and older trees grow, is more than 400 hectares, one fourth of the territory of the Pushcha. These forests, according to experts, serve as a source for the restoration of native broadleaf communities. Well, for us, studying the history of our small homeland, it is a source of inspiration and delight.
“Take a closer look at the clearly seen transition from dark coniferous forests to broad-leaf forests, where oak and spruce forests are mixed” Sergey Kraskovsky says. He is a forester of the Lovtsovsky forestry of the Novogrudok forestry enterprise, on whose territory the reserve is spread.
The flora of the reserve is represented by 495 herbaceous and 63 woody plant species. There are 3 species of lycopodium, 6 species of horsetails, 8 ferns, 3 gymnosperms and 538 species of angiosperms. Within the reserve there are 7 species of rare and endangered plants included in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus: northern firmoss, globeflower, bitter vetch, hawksbeard, broad-leaved marsh orchid, arrow-leaved helleborine, eggleaf twayblade. All these rare plants have been seen and registered in different quarters of the Lovtsovskoye forestry.
Lamb, Eurasian pygmy owl, hazel dormouse
The fauna of the small reserve is represented by 146 species of terrestrial vertebrates, including 4 species of reptiles, 6 species of amphibians, 108 species of birds and 28 species of mammals. Bison and deer are not found here, but you can find elk, European roe deer, hare, fox and other animals common in Belarusian forests. The reserve is also home to two species of rare and endangered mammals (badger, hazel dormouse) and eight bird species listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus (black stork, kestrel, hobby, lesser spotted eagle, corncrake, Eurasian pygmy owl, white-backed woodpecker, collared flycatcher).
THE SKY IS REFLECTED IN THE FOREST AS IN THE WATER….
This small lake on the outskirts of the reserve, a few kilometers from Novogrudok, is known all over the world, thanks to the poem "Grazhina" by Adam Mitskevich. The plot of the poem was a local legend about how the fearless princess Grazhina, dressed as a knight, led the army to the lake. She did it secretly from her husband, the Novogrudok prince Litavor, who almost inclined to an inglorious alliance with the Teutonic knights. In the bloody battle, she was mortally wounded and died. The prince came to help an unknown knight, and the Novgorodian army won. Lake Litovka was named in honor of the feat of Grazhina
No one in Novogrudok
Can be found now
Who wouldn’t sing songs to you
Who wouldn’t sing about Grazyna.
Pipers play it in the old fashioned way,
And the valley is called as Litvinki
According to the remaining manuscripts, the lake and the village of Litovka in the XII century belonged to Christian, the first biskup of Lithuania. Today it is a favorite vacation place of Novogrudok residents, and once was one of the favorite places of the great poet Adam Mickiewicz. Here he created and dreamed.
Here in August 1969, the poet and actor Vladimir Vysotsky and the French actress Marina Vladi had a rest. "...The sky is reflected in the forest, as in water...", – wrote Vysotsky about the Litovka. In August 1969, during the shooting of the film "Sons go into Battle", Vladimir Vysotsky lived in a village near the lake, his beautiful beloved Marina Vladi came to him. Local residents say that Vysotsky even arranged an impromptu concert for the residents of the village of Litovka in the Lastochka shopping pavilion.
Fans of of Vladimir Vysotsky tend to get into his room, where they spend hours looking at the details. Next to the image of the famous bard there is a model of the perpetual motion machine as a symbol of the infinity of being. And next to the estate and the lake there is a stunning bus stop, based on the work of Adam Mickiewicz "Grazina". Every year in July, the regional festival-competition of the bard song in memory of Vladimir Vysotsky "Music of Hearts" is held on the lake shore.
"HEART OF THE Grazhina"
The cycling route 15 kilometers long, which runs from the lake to Novogrudok itself, is called "Heart of Grazhina".
“This route allows you to see the most beautiful places of Novogrudok region, to touch legends and stories,” Yekaterina Kivach says, the head of the tourism department of the Novogrudok regional executive committee. “It is marked along its entire length, suitable for quiet solo, group or family riding.”
The cycle path that runs along the P5 highway starts at the exit of Novogrudok and runs to Lake Litovka. The most interesting objects on the route are: the museum in secondary school No. 1 of Novogrudok, the monument at the place of execution of prisoners of the Novogrudok ghetto, the natural monument “Big Lithuanian stone”, fragments of the Novogrudok castle of the XIV-XVII centuries, Farny church of the XVIII century, the house-museum of Adam Mitskevich.
House of Adam Mickiewicz is a museum located on the place where the parents of the famous Polish-Belarusian poet, publicist and public figure once lived. The building of the museum has been completely reconstructed according to the historical original of the 19th century, the exposition has about 8,000 exhibits, including various materials about the Mitskevich family (documents, portraits of parents and brothers, personal belongings), archaeological finds in the poet's homeland, survived books dating from the 18th century, and many more.
The tourist route “The paths of Adam Mitskevich” runs through the “Novogrudok” and “Svityaziansky” reserves. Guests of the region and residents of Novogrudok have the opportunity to visit the house-museum of Adam Mitskevich and immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the life of the Belarusian gentry at the end of the 18th century, see the ancient city and get acquainted with the various monuments of Novogrudok, reflected in the poetry of Mitskevich.
"BIG STONE LITHUANIA"
A boulder of pinkish-gray medium-grained granite with a large number of inclusions of dark-colored minerals of biotite and oval xenoliths that is situated near Litovka along the road to the village of Gorodechno is, at first glance, an ordinary stone. But this boulder was brought by a glacier about 220 - 150 thousand years ago during the Sozh glaciation from the territory of Scandinavia. It is respected as a part of the great history of mankind.
In 1997, the Big Lithuanian Stone was declared a natural monument and taken under protection. The size of this granite block is 270x240x160 centimeters, however, according to the recollections of local residents, this is only a third of its original size. The rest of the boulder was used during construction work.
Tourists come here to touch the stone to feel the natural power.
OBEYING THE WIND
Do not take your eyes off the white giants near the village of Grabniki: 20 wind turbines, obeying the wind, turn their blades and generate electricity.
The capacity of "green" energy in the region today is 33.3 MW, of which: wind energy - 32.05 MW, solar energy - 1.25 MW. The history of wind energy in the Novogrudok region begins in 2011. That year the largest wind power plant in Belarus with a capacity of 1.5 MW began to operate in the area of the settlement of Grabniki. At this site, in accordance with the State Program of Innovative Development of the Republic of Belarus for 2011–2015, a project was implemented in 2016 and five more wind turbines with a total capacity of 7.5 MW were put into operation. In April 2018, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection installed another wind turbine with a capacity of 2.5 MW, as part of an international technical assistance project.
POINTS OF ATTRACTION
The town of Novogrudok lies on the hills not far from the territory of the Novogrudok reserve. The town of Novogrudok is a sacred place for all Belarusians. In the past it was the first capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, where a huge number of historical and cultural attractions of international republican, regional and local significance have been preserved. Tourists from all over the world come here to climb the Castle Hill and see the ruins of once majestic castle, to learn the history of the Grand Duke Mindaugas and see Mickiewicz places, pray in the Novogrudok shrines, and discover the history of Jewish resistance.