A new touristic cultural object was built in Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park in 2003. It was Grandfather Frost's residence, home of the Belarussian Santa Clause, intended as a new tradition for children and adults to celebrate New Year. Besides existing services - comfortable hotels and guest houses, the Belarusian cuisine, ecological trails and a wide range of entertainment facilities - visitors of the National Park can now enjoy the fairy-tale world of Grandfather Frost in real life.
Grandfather Frost's residence is located in the heart of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. He lives in the middle of the reserved wood, where a European bison nursery was situated in the past and where the European bison used feed himself during winter. The residence covers a total surface of about 15 hectares.
Grandfather Frost's estate is located on the residence. The throne-room and the work-room are on the ground floor and the bedroom and balcony are on the first floor. Grandfather Frost and his Granddaughter Snegurochka (Snow Maiden) meet visitors at the porch of the house.
Snegurochka's house is nearby. With a single storey it looks more modest. Further more there is a Skarbnitsa - storehouse or Santa's grotto - for the gifts, letters, drawings, photos and handicrafts which were sent to Grandfather Frost by children from Belarus. And finally Grandfathers Frost's Museum holds interesting antiquities.
|Snegurochka's house and Skarbnitsa|
|Inside of the Skarbnitsa|
According to employees of the National Park the highest Spruce in Europe is growing in the residence. It reaches a height of forty meters and it is aged 120 years. It is the main attraction of the residence at the time of New Year celebration.
At the entrance gate to the residence two wooden knights meet the visitors. These are Dub-Dubovich, the Oak-knight, and Vyaz-Vyazovich, the Elm-knight. Near the Spruce tree wooden sculptures based on fairy tales like "Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs" and "Twelve months" can be found in the immediate vicinity of the Spruce tree. One of the sculptures, corresponding the signs of Zodiac, is changed every month. A legend tells that if someone touches the sculpture which represents the Month of his or her birth while making a wish, the wish will be fulfilled.
|Entrance to the Grandfather Frost's Residance
and "Snow-White and Seven Dwarfs"
|Some of Twelve Months: 1 - February; 2 - April; 3 - August; 4 - October|
On the residential place there is a windmill, a magic well and a range of other attractions which are based on fairy-tales. There is a pond where Princess Frog lives and there are numerous sculptures of heroes from all kinds of fairy-tales. Among them Pinocchio from Italy and Pike, Goat, Hare and Bear from Belarus and Russia.
|The wind mill and the magic well|
|The elk's relay and the Princess Frog|
|The fairy-tale heroes: the Capercailzie, the Goat, the Cock and the Horse|
What is more, there are shops where visitors may buy souvenirs, which will remind them later of their visit to the residence of Grandfather Frost.
The Belarusian Grandfather Frost's residence is open every day and all year round. The opening hours are from 9 am to 6 pm, just like the Nature Museum of the National Park. The current entrance fare is 6.500 Belarusian roubles for children and 15.000 Belarusian roubles for adults (approximately 3 and 7 US dollars respectively). The residence is situated over 10 kilometers from the village of Kamenyuki the main tourist center of Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park. The residence can be reached by transport arranged by the National Park. The trip can be combined with an excursion to the National Park itself. Transport is possible for groups of at least 10 people.
Those who visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha independently have the opportunity to stay at hotels. One night in a double room will cost 50.000 Belarusian roubles (22 USD). A campsite is at hand at an overnight price of 6.000 to 7.000 Belarusian roubles (3 USD).
Grandfather Frost - known worldwide as Santa Clause - replies all messages sent to his address. But of course, the sender should include his or her address. This is the correct mail address of Grandfather Frost: The Grandfather Frost's Residence, Grandfather Frost (or Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Grandfather Frost), Kamenyuki village, Kamenetz district, Brest region, Belarus 225063.
Letters and drawings to Grandfather Frost can also be mailed to his PO-box in the Maksim Gorky Central Children's Park in Minsk. The secretary of Grandfather Frost and Snegurochka will forward them to Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
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