BNR-100. Important places in Miensk. 4. First All-Belarusian Congress

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The First All-Belarusian Congress took place in the building of the theater in 1917.

The first All-Belarusian Congress was summoned by Great Belarusian Rada (Council). Representatives of various organizations and bodies formed Rada. The congress began on December 18, 1917. 1872 delegates from all over Belarus attended the Congress. Academician Jaŭchim Karski was elected Honorary Chairman of the Congress. 

There the Rada of Congress was elected. It included 71 representatives from different political parties. At the Congress, the question of Belarusian sovereignty was discussed. Nevertheless, there was no full consent on this question among Congress delegates. The majority spoke of autonomy within democratical Russia. But even such option frightened the Bolsheviks and they broke up the Congress. Part of the delegates was arrested, the others were forced to go underground. Only after the Bolsheviks’ escape from Minsk because of the Germans’ oncoming, the Belarusian Democratic Republic was announced. 

The theater where the Congress took place was built according to the architectural project of Karal Kazlouski and Kanstancin Uviadzenski. The theater was opened in 1890. After the opening, there were several rebuildings and reconstructions. The last reconstruction started in 2010 and after that the Yanka Kupala theater returned to its original appearance.