Now it is a small town in the suburbs of Minsk, but earlier Rakov was a large and wealthy city. After the peace treaty of 1921 and the division of Belarus, the city was one and a half kilometers from the border with the USSR. Urban infrastructure has contributed to the fact that between 1921 and 1939 this place became a smuggling center. Almost everyone who lived at that time in Rakov was somehow connected with smuggling and made money with it. Everywhere reigned an atmosphere of big easy money, the spirit of adventure and romance of the big road, in a word – it was an atmospheric place!
Sergey Pesetskiy’s autobiographical novel “Ursa Major’s Lover” was written specifically about Rakov and about events of those times. It was written about the history of Belarus. The book has received worldwide recognition and has been published in 11 languages of the world. At the entrance to Rakov, a memorial complex in honor of the novel is installed.
There is also something interesting nearby: a holy spring. The spring is a place of pilgrimage for many tourists, so the area around is ennobled. Now a new chapel is being built on the site of the old one. The spring seems to flow by itself; it does not flow into either the river or the lake. There are many legends associated with this place. The place is considered healing. And it seems magical to us already the fact that stopping by the road you can drink the cleanest cool water and enjoy the forest around.
We drive into Rakov himself. The first thing that catches your eye is the Spaso-Preobrazhenskaya church, huge in comparison with the one-story Rakov. Its foundation was laid already in 1735.
But that’s not all! In Rakov there is a neo-Gothic church of Our Lady of the Ruzhentsova. All this magnificence once again makes us recall that Rakov is not just a small town, but a place with a long history. On Sovetskaya street is the ethnographic museum of Felix Yanushkevich.