Despite having a "dreary" reputation, Minsk is widely considered as being a progressive, modern and clean city.
Once completely re-modelled to the tastes of former Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin, it is now home to fashionable cafes, magnificent restaurants and crowded nightclubs, as well as sushi bars and art galleries.
It was re-built from the ruins after the Great Patriotic War - a term used in Russia and other former republics of the Soviet Union to describe the conflict fought during the period from June 22, 1941 to May 9, 1945 - but this did not weaken its power and influence.
Among the main sights in Minsk is the Holy Spirit Cathedral, which was built in 1642 and is the central cathedral of the Belarusian Orthodox Church.
Its architecture is an example of the Baroque, a highly ornate and often extravagant style.
The Cathedral of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and the Cathedral of Saint Virgin Mary also attract plenty of interest.
Cathedral of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul
The construction of the Cathedral of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul began in 1611 on the left bank of Nemiga River and was completed by 1613.
In the same year, the male orthodox monastery started working and an orthodox school was opened in 1617.
After the Second Partition of Poland, the monastery was dissolved.
In 1795, the renovated church became Minsk Cathedral named after the Russian Empress Catherine the Great.
The Cathedral underwent reconstruction in 1870 and 1871.
After the Second World War, the building was divided into sections and four floors, and adapted for housing.
It was later used as an archive.
In 1991, the building was returned to the church.
Cathedral of Saint Virgin Mary
On the west side of Freedom Square, there is the church in the style of Vilnius Baroque that is adorned with two towers.
It is the former main building of the Jesuit College that is now the Cathedral of Saint Virgin Mary.
Its construction began in 1700.
A decade later, the cathedral was already consecrated, and by 1749 the grounds of the Jesuit College had fully taken shape.
In the years that passed, it has seen a great deal, including the re-design of the second half of the 19th century when the belfry was turned into a fire tower, and the reconstruction of the mid-20th century when the cathedral was rebuilt as a sports society and a dwelling house was constructed on the site of the former Jesuit College.
In 1993, the building was given back to the Roman Catholics and now holds religious services.
The main street of Minsk is Independence Avenue, where visitors can enjoy "all the splendour and pompousness of the Soviet monumental classicism or the Stalinist Empire style".
This is a single ensemble of residential and administrative buildings of ideal proportions and numerous decorative components, which became the face of Minsk restored after the war.
Independence Avenue runs from the southwest to the northeast and includes Independence Square, October Square, Victory Square, Yakub Kolas Square and Kalinin Square.
Every 2 to 2.5 kilometres, it runs into a square with each being smaller than the previous one.
Independence Square is one of the main administrative hubs of Belarus.
It is there that Government House, home to the Council of Ministers and the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, can be found.
Construction of Government House started in the 1930s and it was the first building to emerge in the future Independence Square.
Previously called Lenin Square, Independence Square still has a monument dedicated to Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin in front of Government House.
It was given its new name in 1991, following the acquisition of sovereignty by Belarus.
To the right of Government House, there are the surviving buildings of the early 20th century, including the Church of Saints Simon and Helena.
Visitors to Minsk are also likely to find pleasure in checking out the National Library of Belarus and Troitskoye Predmestie, which translates as Trinity Suburb and is an old picturesque part of the city with neatly coloured 19th-century houses located on the bank of the Svisloch River.
In the vicinity of Trinity Suburb, there is a monument erected on what is known as the Island of Tears.
An icon on a foundation stone located next to a bridge marks the birth of the monument.
It belongs to the chapel where the names of all Belarusian soldiers who died in Afghanistan are carved on the walls.