Can anyone recommend a good village outside of Minsk to visit to see what real Belarussian life is like. A village with a local pub would help.
Local pubs don't exist as such. Authentic villages with traditional way of life are dying out. Depending on the date you have in mind, you may research Stolbtsy area, on the way to the castles.
Rubezhevichi, in the Stolbtsy area recommended by Felix300, is only about a 45 minute drive from Minsk. It traces its history to the 13th century when it was a fortress town. Presently there are many 19th century buildings and the scale of the town is much as it was over a hundred years ago. There is a restored Jewish cemetery by the river and recently a Museum of Rural Jewish Life has opened which recreates the interior of a typical dwelling. You can see pictures of the museum here, http://eejhp.org/museum_of_rural_jewish_life. There is also an impressive Roman Catholic Church and an early post office which still operates. No pub though but you can find plenty to drink in the local shop along with plenty of drinkers sluggishly navigating their way along the roads.
Well, out of all 19th century buildings there I can only recall that wooden post office)
As a matter of fact there is a bar there with Yeti tracks leading to the door, a lot of fun of a place.
I have a high regard for Mr Burdenkov (Felix300) scholarship and experience and so, being an aficionado of accuracy and following his reply to my post, checked with the local historian in Rubezhevichi as to the vintage of many of the local buildings. She reports that most of the houses along Pervomayskaya Street, including her own, for example, date to the 19th century. I will own to the fact, though, that some of them have been clad in brick over the original wood. I do recall, however, one or two structures made of logs. There is also, near the old Jewish cemetery a former, now abandoned, kosher abattoir.
Now that it is mentioned, I remember the Yeti tracks leading to the door of a local estaminet. I've never been in but hope that, unlike the intimation to be drawn from the footprints , it is not abominable.
Thank you. Out of professional curiosity I very much wonder what's the historian's source - are there any online links? 1890s wooden buildings are a museum-class asset, besides they had a different architecture from the recent ones. If Rubezhevichy had had any of those (on top of the post office), it would have become a pilgrimage place for tourists.
I believe most Belarusians live in flats/apartments. Perhaps by "real" you mean traditional?
WW2/Great Patriotic War was a disaster for Belarus and its people.
Many buildings were burned. Finding an original wood building while not impossible will prove more difficult then in other countries IMHO.
I just checked www.eejhp.org/museum_of_rural_jewish_life and it works. I note there is a full stop [.] at the end of the address used so maybe that is the problem. You can also go to eejhp.org and follow the link from 'Heritage Conservation' on the main menu