Dzyarzhynskaya Hara

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
Belarus, Europe
Activities:
Hiking
Season:
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Elevation:
1130 ft / 344 m
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Dzyarzhynskaya Hara
Created On: Mar 8, 2018
Last Edited On: Mar 11, 2018

Overview

Dzyarzhynskaya Hara (Дзяржынская гара in Belarusian, also known as Gora Dzyarzhynskaya, or simply Dzyarzhynskaya) is the highest point in the country of Belarus, located near the center of the country. It is a broad, flat-topped hill located amidst mixed farm and forested landscape. This is a classic highpointer's paradise, an obscure random spot nobody in particular usually visits; I don't think the average Belorussian knows of the hill's existence. Despite its obscurity, the site is adorned with a humble stone monument that sits atop a short mound of grass. 

What sets this highpoint apart from some other low elevation, non mountainous highpoints is that it is centrally located within the country, as opposed to located in close proximity with a border, where one might easily see higher land a close distance away, as is the case with many other of the lower European highpoints, and even many of the higher ones. The nearest highest land is over 280 miles (450 km) away in Poland. This gives one a true sense of being the highest in the country, for it is easy to imagine all land falling away from this one central apex point. Indeed, as you stand atop Dzyarzhynskaya Hara, one can clearly make out all the land gently sloping away to reveal surprisingly good views to the south and to the east. What the hill lacks in loftiness, it makes up for in sheer novelty and scenic wonder. The forests and farmland around are very picturesque, and coming here gives highpointers a nice glimpse into this rarely visited corner of Europe. 

The hill was named after Felix Dzerzhinsky, a founding member of the KGB. The highpoint area is surrounded on two sides by dense forest, and it is rumored that a spot in said forest might even be a meter or so higher than where the monument sits. Have fun exploring!

Highpoint Monument
Highpoint Monument

Getting There

Dzyarzhynsaya is located relatively close to Minsk, and can be accessed within an hour's drive from the city center via good quality paved roads. 

From the Minsk ring road, hop on M6 highway heading west, towards Vilnius. In approximately 12 kilometers you will come upon an interchange with P65 highway. Take this road going south/southwest for approximately 14 kilometers to a turnoff on the right, signed Скірмантава (Skirmantava). Travel 4 km on this road to an obvious sign on the right labeling the hill. Turn right into the parking lot and walk the very short distance to the stone monument. 

I have heard of folks using a plethora of means to get to the hill. Possibilities include hiring a driver in Minsk (private hire, regular taxi, or even Uber could work), renting a car for yourself (be sure you have got reliable GPS/ability to read Russian if you go this route), or even public transportation (certainly the most adventurous method). 

Roadside sign
Roadside sign

Red Tape

None to speak of.

When to Climb

Seeing as this a roadside point of interest, weather conditions shouldn't pose any problem aside from affecting driving conditions.

External Links

Peakbagger.org entry with many trip reports. 

Though a bit outdated, I must recommend the book "Europe's Highpoints" by Carl McKeating and Rachel Krolla. Link