Belarus: Muravanka Fortified Church

This was a total wow-factor find – a stunning early 16th century fortified church in the middle of nowhere in a tiny village in west-central Belarus – Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Muravanka. The church was built in 1523 and is like a mini castle – four symmetrical cylindrical towers surround the actual church in the middle, all welded together by medieval masons. It’s absolutely stunning and is currently patiently waiting on the UNESCO wait list possibly to become the next site in Belarus. Surprisingly, the tiny church survived all wars and was mostly used as a warehouse by both Nazi and Communists. Today, it’s lost in a tiny village with just a couple houses along a single street, but it’s truly a cultural gem.