When I look at a large board outside the castle complex of Mir, I see that apart from the famous castle, there are a few more sights in the vicinity of this village. No matter how small it seems, it has an orthodox and a Jewish cemetery, but my attention is drawn to the Tatar cemetery which is indicated outside the village. The weather is perfect: a friendly sun is sending warmth to the earth, and I have some time to kill, so I think this is a perfect opportunity to walk the fields around Mir - not knowing what to expect. The orthodox church and cemetery are easy to spot, and then, I pass the last houses of Mir, and the landscape opens in front of me.
There are cows and a horse grazing near a brook, and a woman lying in the grass, waiting for them to finish. She must have heard me, as she lifts herself from the grassy field where her animals are eating. She looks a little bewildered at seeing a foreigner here. I guess visitors are supposed to stay at the castle. The gently sloping hills around me look very green, apart from the white flowers in them. A little ahead, I see a bundle of trees, a little higher on a low hill - that is where the road seems to be taking me. Well, road: it quickly becomes a dirt track, and I have to walk around pools of water. I somehow imagine that the Tatar cemetery I am looking for, must be very old, and wonder if it is visible at all from the dirt track.
There surely are no more signs here, and I decide that I will walk to the trees, and turn back if I do not find the cemetery before. I have to carefully walk the track, trying not to get stuck into some muddy areas. Then, as I approach the trees, to my surprise, I see a few stones under them. The main track veers away, but there is a path leading up to the woods - and the cemetery turns out to be just below them. It is much bigger than I expected: there are tombstones everywhere. The dates on the stones suggest that this cemetery is still being used, and I wonder where those Tatars now live - in Mir itself? In the surrounding area? I only hear a gentle breeze go through the tops of the trees, but there is no one around to ask.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Tatar cemetery (Belarus). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Tatar cemetery. Read more about this site.