Another UNESCO place - Nesvizh
Nesvizh, located some 50 kilometers from Mir, is another tourism place of Belarus. Nesvizh city is famous because of its castle - the residence of Radziwill family. The castle was built at 16th century and all that time was the place for culture of that region, the mix of Western and Southern European cultures and architectural styles. The castle had very big library, lots of treasury inside. It is said, that there were 12 statues of Saints (about 1 meter height) in the castle. Eight of them were from silver, other four - from gold. Later statues were hidden or robbed. Radziwills were keeping bears in the castle cellar - in winter they used bears for riding around castle park.
Zhirovichi monastery complex
The most beautiful place I visited in rural Belarus is without any doubt Zhirovichi and its monastery complex. It's once again not very close to Mir, but since I visited it on the same day-trip I found it easier to write something here on the off the beaten path tips.
In there's Zhirovichi the only working seminary in Belarus, the "Minsk Priesthood Seminary". The Zhirovichi Convent and Monastery (17th century) is an impressive complex of orthodox religious buildings. One of the churches of the monastery holds one of the most loved icons of the Virgin Mary called the "Icon of Zhirovitsy’s God's Mother". Yavlenskaya Church (1672) and Cross-Erecting Church (1768) play an important role in the architectural composition of the monastery.
Not far from Zhirovichi's monastery, a few kilometres on a small secondary road lined with pretty wooden houses, there's a holy water well, much revered by orthodox believers.
The trip to Zhirovichi is REALLY suggested. We were also lucky to find a monk who took us around like a very good tourist guide, speaking Russian and also some very basic Enlish (but I was with Belarusian friends fortunately). To reach this town go to Slonim and take the main road heading south (E85).
Synkavichy Fortified Church
If you have a car, not so far away from Mir (but not so close either) you can find the fortified church of Synkavichy, a fine example of 15/16th century gothic fortified church. It really looks more like a castle rather than a church, with four towers and arrow loops. The defensive walls are also very thick and the small windows are very high on the walls. Inside it looks like a hall in a cross shape.
It's still working as an orthodox church and the priest there is very nice, but of course he speaks only Russian. It's possible to climb up one of the four towers and have a view of the zone there around.
In order to get to the church you have to go to Slonim (Слонiм) and from there follow the signs for Vaŭkavysk (Ваўкавыск). After few kilometres follow the sign for Synkavichy, which is a small street on the right. You should already see the church from the main road.