Belgorod Oblast preserves the memory of the largest tank battle of the Second World War, which took place near the village of Prokhorovka. Prokhorovka Field Museum-Reserve and the Battle of Kursk. Belgorod Museum-Diorama are the most visited museums in Belgorod. You can see a unique working underground monastery in the village of Kholki and oak trees that are more than 300 years old in the Belogorye Nature Reserve. It is extraordinary that the largest part of the inexhaustible ore reserves of the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly is in Belgorod Oblast.
The name Belgorod (White City) comes from the color of the local chalk deposits.
Belgorod Oblast has given the world many famous people: the great actor Mikhail Shchepkin, the Russian Orthodox saint Joasaph of Belgorod, the brilliant inventor and engineer Vladimir Shukhov and the Second World War military commander Nikolai Vatutin.
Belgorod Oblast is home to thousands of state preserved sites of cultural heritage.
The Prokhorovka Field State Military-Historical Museum-Reserve is dedicated to the largest tank battle of the Second World War. About one and a half thousand tanks and self-propelled guns took part in the battle near Prokhorovka on July 12, 1943. A 59-meter high bell tower with a 3.5 tonne bell was erected on Russia's Third Battlefield on the 50th anniversary of the Great Victory of the Second World War. Nearby is a large exhibition of military equipment from the war.
The Battle of Kursk. Belgorod Museum-Diorama contains the largest diorama in Russia (more than 1,000 square meters) which displays the critical moment in the battle of the Belgorod-Kharkov Offensive on the Kursk salient—the tank battle near the village of Prokhorovka on July 12, 1943. Artists recreated the events as observed from the perspective of 252.2 meters high. Viewers can see the 5th Guards Tank Army from the position of the 10th Tank Corps.
The underground Kholki Holy Trinity Monastery, located in caves in the chalk hills near the village of Kholki, Chernyansky district, was probably founded in the 14th century by monks from the Kiev-Pecherskaya Lavra. The caves cover 255 square meters with corridors 125.8 meters long. Prayer services and even religious processions are held underground. Kholki is associated with one of ancient Russia's heroic events—the Polovtsy Campaign—which is the basis for the chronicle the Lay of Igor's Campaign.
Belgorye Nature Reserve was founded in 1999. The nature reserve is a unique 250 to 300-year-old oak forest with trees reaching up to 35 meters. It contains an arboretum covering 5.5 hectares.
There are also tens of village homesteads that are open to visitors. One of the main tourism sites in Belgorod Oblast is the Regional Park Klyuchi which contains an ethnographic village consisting of seven farmsteads from the 19th century. Visitors to the village can immerse themselves in original Slav culture, in an atmosphere of hospitality and kindliness.
One of the most interesting architectural monuments in Belgorod was probably built at the beginning of the 19th century in the village of Golovchino in Grayvoronsky district in the form of a cylinder inside a cylinder. The relation between the internal and external diameter of the cylinders is close to the value of pi. The almost two-meter thick walls are made from high-quality white lime brick. Some researchers believe that it is a defensive or observation facility. Somebody found signs of a private theater inside the building. It has been suggested that it was a stable, or even that it was built as a secret Masonic Lodge.
Canoeing along the Oskol River will be an unforgettable adventure for beginners and for family holidays; you can also go swimming, fishing, and take a trip to the Barkov's Mill—a unique 19th-century building made from logs with six floors and three similar barns.