The official opening of the Center of Mythological Tourism has taken place in Biarezinski Biosphere Reserve today.
The center was created by the NGO “Country Escape” and Biarezinski Reserve within the "Supporting the Transition to a “green” economy in the Republic of Belarus" project, funded by the European Union and implemented by the UNDP in Belarus in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus.
At the heart of the created Center of Mythological Tourism is the unique and rich world of Belarusian mythology that hasn’t been much used in Belarusian tourism programs while has a great potential for the development of ethnographic tourism. The new center includes the “Museum of Mythological Creatures”, a mythological exposition on the open air and the ecological trail “In the Country of Myths”.
The opening of the first Belarusian Center of Mythological Tourism will create the conditions for the development of eco-tourism in Lepel rayon and will attract new visitors to the reserve that is the only biosphere one in the country.
The idea of the unique pilot initiative is to tell about Belarusian nature with the help of national mythological images. According to the local ancestors’ beliefs, each biotope (a forest, a bog, a pond, a field) had its own “guardian” – “Bog Goblin”, “Field Goblin”, “Wood Giant”, etc. – and all the ethical norms of the relationship between people and nature were formed with the participation of these mythological characters. This concept is reflected through all the objects of the created center.
The "Museum of Mythological Creatures" is created with the help of innovative approaches to the Belarusian mythological heritage interpretation. Its creators have studied a great number of research in the field of Belarusian mythology. The concept of the museum is based on the “World Tree” model. Here tourists will enter the mysterious and unusual world of mythological creatures and spirits that is performed by means of sound and light installations created thanks to the modern audio-visual techniques. Moreover, the museum is equipped with a small solar power generating unit that tells about the mystery of the sun in a modern language.
The project "Supporting the Transition to a “green” economy in the Republic of Belarus", within which the Center of Mythological Tourism has been created, aims at supporting the Republic of Belarus in generating “green” economic growth, including environmentally sustainable and economically feasible use of natural resources, promotion of green production and green consumption patterns, green jobs creation, changing target group's behavior towards greater environmental sustainability. The budget of the project – 5 million euro.