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Blakitnaja Krynica (Blue Well)

Blakitnaja Krynica, Belarus
Blakitnaja Krynica / Хомелка, Flickr, CC BY 3.0

Main characteristics

Coordinates: 53.3794 N 31.0437 E
No:515        (list of all attractions)
Category:Springs, Prehistoric and ancient shrines
Values:Geology
Rank:5
Address:Europe, Belarus, Magileu Region, Slawharad Raion, some 4 km to the south from Slawharad, some 1.5 - 2 km from the left bank of Sozh
Name in Belarussian:Блакітная крыніца
Alternate names:Сіні калодзеж, Синий колодец (in Russian), Golubaya Krynitsa, Blue Krynica
Average discharge:60 l/s
Temperature of water:5° C
Depth:5.5 m

The most powerful spring on East European Plain, most likely, is Blakitnaja Krynica. This Belarussian spring emits some 60 liters of crystal clear water every second and has served as a shrine for more than 1000 years.

Description

Spring is located not too far from Sozh - large tributary of Dnieper. It is located in a small grove of lime and oak trees.

Spring has formed a small pond, some 20 by 15 m large. This pond is filled with emerald-colored water. Spring water rises from the depth of some 150 - 200 m, but the pond is not too deep - up to 2.5 m. In the deepest place is located the mouth of spring. This channel represents a kind of cave which has been measured up to the depth of 3 m, thus bringing the depth of pool to 5.5 m.

Output of the spring is approximately 60 litres per second. While this is not too impressive figure if compared to the mighty springs of Balkans, Caucasus or Florida, this most likely is the most powerful spring in the extensive East European Plain.

Blakitnaja Krynica, Belarus
Emerald water of Blakitnaja Krynica / CastleMound, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

Water leaves the spring as a 3 - 8 m wide stream, which falls in to Golub river and then - in Sozh.

Spring water is very clean, 5° C cold throughout the year, rich with calcium bicarbonate.

Pond is rich with interesting types of vegetation including impressive, purple colored algae formations.

History

Blakitnaja Krynica has been a sacred place since prehistoric times. According to legends it was the most sacred place for the tribe of Radimichs and these people were baptised here more than 1000 years ago. Some tell that back then these springs were a lot more powerful and formed natural fountains.

Some information about the ancient beliefs is provided by a local legend which tells the story of three young people - Catherine, Stepan and Makar. Catherine loved Stepan but Stepan was somewhat weaker than Makar. They competed for Catherine by throwing a large boulder - who will throw it further away, would marry Catherine. Makar won and Catherine, unwilling to live together with a man she did not love, threw herself in the water and disappeared. She was found dead 5 kilometres away, in the Blakitnaja Krynica.

Shrine at Blakitnaja Krynica, Belarus
Shrine at Blakitnaja Krynica / Xomelka, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Although this legend seems to tell the story of local people, it may in reality show the interaction of prehistoric gods, the story behind the Pre-Christian legend of this ancient shrine.

Near the spring was a small village - Kliny, but it was abandoned after the Chernobyl catastroph although the area has not been severely polluted.

Now Blakitnaja Krynica is an important Christian shrine and next to it is located small Orthodox church. Every year in 14th August the spring is visited by thousands of pilgrims. In order to heal themselves many pilgrims drop their clothes and dive in the spring. After the bath they leave old clothes on site.

Since the 1985 Blakitnaja Krynica is protected hydrological monument.

Map

See Blakitnaja Krynica on the map of Belarus!

References

  1. Власов Б.П., Рудаковский И.А., Лихачев А.С. Характеристика родника "Голубая криница". Белорусский государственный университет. Accessed on January 1, 2016.

Landmarks of Belarus

Mir Castle, Belarus
Mir Castle / Alexxx Malev, Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0

Most interesting landmarks in Belarus are:

  • Churches of Kievan Rus' times - some of the architecture jewels from these old times (11th - 12th centuries) have survived up to this day and include Savior Transfiguration Church in Polotsk and Kalozha Church of Saint Boris and Gleb.
  • Baroque churches - together with the neigboring Lithuania Belarus has some of the oldest and impressive Baroque architecture outside Italy. This includes Corpus Christi Church in Nesvizh, Hrodna Cathedral of Saint Francis Xavier and Pinsk Assumption Cathedral.
  • The large castles - visually most impressive historical structures in Belarus. Most impressive ones are Mir castle and Nesvizh Castle.

Springs

Geysir and Strokkur erupting simultaneously, Iceland
Geysir and Strokkur (Iceland) erupting simultaneously, June 1984 / Roger Goodman, Flickr.CC BY-SA 2.0.

This category includes natural sites where water, other liquids and/or gases reach the surface of the Earth, including locations under water.

Powerful natural freshwater springs belong to the most fascinating monuments of nature. Even more exciting is the diversity of unusual springs - mineral springs, hot springs, submarine springs as well as the unusual black smokers. Especially beautiful are such natural rarities as travertine, silica or salt terraces created by warm and hot springs and, especially, geysers.

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