Minsk is the capital and largest city in Belarus, situated on the Svislach and Niamiha rivers. Minsk is also a headquarters of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). As the national capital, Minsk has a special administrative status in Belarus and is also the administrative centre of Minsk Region (voblast) and Minsk raion (district). It has a population of 1,837,000 inhabitants (2009). The earliest references to Minsk date to the 11th century (1067), when it was a provincial city within the principality of Polotsk. In 1242, Minsk became a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and it received its town privileges in 1499. From 1569, it was a capital of the Minsk Voivodship in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was annexed by Russia in 1793, as a consequence of the Second Partition of Poland. From 1919–1991, Minsk was the capital of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1499 Minsk received the so called Magdebourg right - the right of an independent city, the inhabitants of which were released from feudal duties, from the court and the authority of voivodes and other state persons.
The picture is of the very impressive Independence Square in Minsk. There is a monument of Lenin there. As a matter of fact the previous name of this square was in fact Lenin Square. The red building to the right of the picture is the Catholic Church of St. Simon & Helen. The locals also call it the Red Catholic Church. My friend Nastya sent this card to me.