Braslau Lakes - Paazer'ya
The vicinity of Braslau - small town in the north-eastern Belarus- is called Paazer'ya and is considered one of the most beautiful places of the country. The combination of blue lakes, numerous hills, forests, and fields makes the landscape particularly picturesque. Relatively small territory hosts dozen differing in size and shape lakes. Some of the lakes are interconnected by rivers and streams into system called Braslaus. This group of lakes is the biggest in Belarus and includes 31 lakes whose total surface is 113.2 sq. km. Braslaus lakes system has become a core of the newly established national park Braslau Lakes which began its activities in 1995. Apart from the lakes area, the national park embraces southern part of the Braslau administrative district with considerably marshy and forested areas. Total square of the park is 71.5 thousand hectares.
Landscape near Myadel'
A Braslau landscape, Northern Belarus
The relief of the territory bears the witness of the Ice Age, namely the Valdays Glacier which shaped the landscape 14-18 thousand years ago. The most various relief is in the central and northern parts of the national park where morainic hills are encountered. Classical morainic ridge is located between the lakes Niedrava and Potekh near the village of Slabodka. The ridges hills stretch for 1.5 kilometers. Its height is 30-35 meters, and its slopes steepness is 35-50 degrees. The hills of Braslau uplands are often separated by lakes hollows. The lakes have curved bank line with plethora of bays, gulfs and small peninsulas.
The flora of the national park is represented by more than 800 vegetation species, 20 of which are listed in the Red Book of disappearing and protected species in Belarus. 31 thousands hectares of the park are forested. Diverse and unique fauna is the main wealth of the Braslau Lakes. Only aquatic zoo plankton hosts 100 species. The most precious reservoir with unique aquatic fauna is the Volosa Paudniovaie (Southern). This is the only water reservoir where the full complex of relict crayfish species can be found. 21 fish species inhabit Braslau lakes: eel, bream, pike-perch, carp, etc. On the territory of the national park there have been revealed 45 species of birds that are listed in the Red Book of rare species. Animal world is represented by moth, wild boar, fox, roe deer, marten, mink and others.
On the territory of the national park there are many objects of historical and cultural heritage. Historians have discovered and studied some camp remnants of a neolith man, settlements of the Iron Age and those of the 11th -14th centuries, number of kurgans. Zamkavaja Hara (mountain) in Braslau can be mentioned as an interesting archaeological and historical monument. The study of this object has shown that the city appeared in the 10th century on the common Slavonic and Latgal (ancestors of todays Latvians) settlement. One can find many other historical and architectural monuments in Braslau and the villages of the region.
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