Many probably know about one of the most popular hiking routes in Europe, the so-called Camino de Santiago, or the “Way of St. James”, leading to the Spanish town of Santiago de Compostela. This route starts in different countries, therefore it has a different length (200-800 km). You can find such kind of hiking routes not dependent on the landscape in several countries of the world, for example, the route along the Curonian Spit in Lithuania, the routes in the Tatra Mountains in Poland, along the Lake Balaton in Hungary, hiking routes along the Bavarian Range in Germany, etc.
In Belarus we also have quite a lot of marked cycling and automobile routes passing through various cultural sights. However, in our country there are hardly known marked hiking routes through natural areas where anyone could travel for free and without previous preparation.
That’s why the “Church and Environment” department of the Center for environmental solutions, with the support of the Netherlands Fund for Regional Partnership (MATRA), plans to create a walking route with a length of about 100 km, which will pass through the Volozhin and Minsk districts. Such towns as Zaslavl, Rakov, Ivenets will be the key “points” of the route. These towns are located near Minsk and will serve as the starting or end points of the route. The route is interesting not only for tourists, but also for church communities as can be used for pilgrimages and religious processions.
On the 9th of November the “Church and Environment” team visited the key towns (Rakov, Ivenets) through which «The Way of Silence» walking route will pass. During the visit several meetings were organized, at which a brief presentation of the route was held. The team managed to communicate with the priests of the Orthodox communities of Ivenets and Rakov, with local activists, owners of agricultural estates and discussed the participation of the church and secular community in organizing and supporting the “The Way of Silence”.
In the near future it is planned to go and explore the territory of a part of the route that will go along the direction Ivenets — Rakov.
And here are some photos of places where the route will take place. The photos were taken in October around the village of Provzhaly, Volozhin district.