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History

HISTORICAL REFERENCE

Pruzany region is one of the most magnificent corners of Belarus situated in the noth- western part of Brest region on the border with the Republic of Poland and in its territory is included a great part of Belovezskaya Puscha.

As state scientists –archeologists the territory of present day Pruzany region were inhabited about 8–9 thousand years ago. The first settlements that were founded along the Yaselda, Muhavec and Left Lesnaya rivers gave beginning to villages Noski,Horeva, Truhonovichi, Smolyanica, Rudniki, Chahec, Shereshevo, Brody… Situated across 3-5 kilometers they seemed to mark the most ancient and the shortest way from Varyags to Greeks connecting Baltik and Black sea through Narev and Yaselda rivers.

The uniqueness of the region is in its placement on the watershed of the rivers flowing into the Baltic and the Black seas. This factor influenced the spiritual and material culture of Pruzany region.

In the Middle ages the territory of Pruzany was situated on the crossing of the most important trade and military-transport routes connecting Western Europe with Muskovy (later – Russia), Baltic with the Ukraine that undoubtedly gave many benefits to the citizens as well as various misfortunes.

The first historical evidence of «volost Prushanskaya » belongs to 1433. There exist several legends connected with the origin of this title. One of the legends states that the name Pruzany originates from word “ millet” that was the basic agriculture crop many years ago in this region. In correspondence with other sources the settlements on the territory of present Pruzany in the end of 13 th beginning 14 th occupied Baltic tribes of Prussians who managed to escape from crusaders. And from here comes the name Prussians, Prussans, Pruzany.

In 1589 to the place of Pruzany were presented Magdebursk privileges together with the status of the city, a seal and a coat of arms. Remarkable is the fact that the presented coat of arms in it`s content is similar to the coat of arms of Milan. On its silver field is drawn a grass snake out from the mouth of which is depicted half of a body of a newborn baby. By this similarity Pruzany should be grateful to Anna Yagelonka who had donated the coat of arms in memory of her mother Bona, the Queen of Rech Pospolita and the daughter of duke from Milan Giano Galeaco Sforc.

The Charter of king Zigimund III is the only document that explains the true sense of depicted figures on the coat of arms. From the mouth of the snake appears a child that symbolizes the young strength reviving again in connection with wisdom and the ability of the world to renovation and auto purification. All the other sources state that the grass snake swallows the baby.

For its long history the city had several coat of arms that were changing as the rule with a new ruler. But in 1998 with the efforts of local powers the ancient coat of arms was recreated and today serves as the symbol of the city.

Among the earlier settlements on the territory of Pruzany became known municipal settlements of Shereshevo and Ruzany that also had Magderburg right.

Shereshevo is situated on the surroundings of Belovezskaya Puscha in 20 km from Pruzany known from 1380 as a village in Kamenec district. Situated on the most important transport route connecting two capitals Vilno and Krakov Shereshev played important role in securing safety of royal tract and its citizens maintained trade ties with many European towns. In the time of march of Stefan Batorij on Moscow in 1578 it became the place of gathering of Polish and Lithuanian troops.

In the settlement have been preserved unique architectural monuments among which there is a wooden belfry made in 1799 without a nail. Shereshevo origin has Gospel which is a Belarusian monument of writing of 16 th century and iconostasis created in the school of iconostasis in a local church. These two values are kept in State art museum of Belarus.

Ruzany situated in 45 kilometers from Pruzany in surrounding of picturesque hills have been known since 1552. The glory and flourishing of the ancient settlement is connected with famous clan of the Sapeg in Great Dutch of Lithuania who bought Ruzany in the very end of the 16 th century. One of the representatives of this clan Lev Sapeg (1557 - 1633), creator of «Status of Great Dutch of Lithuania» which is the collection of laws without analogues in Europe. In 1606 with new owners Ruzany were named a settlement situated on the «big road leading from Slonim to Berestje and to Podlyasje to which were used great ambassadors and commercials ». In 1617 with the money of the Sapeg was built Troickij castle of Dominicans that along with Petropavlovskaya church and the building of former monastery of Basilians serves the main sightseeing of the settlement.

But the main pearl of Ruzany undoubtedly is the palace complex of the Sapeg. It`s construction began in the 16 th century and had been constantly reconstructed. Twice these palaces visited kings, there were received ambassadors and even were educated prot?g?s for Moscow throne. In enormous cellars was kept the treasury and arms of Great Duchy of Lithuania. In 1665 Vilnya chapter escaping from Russian tsar Aleksej Mihajlovich brought to Ruzany castle the relics of Saint Kazimir who was heavenly patron of Great Duchy of Lithuania.

Ruzany palace complex that was famous for it`s uncalculated richness had a big library and a pictorial gallery, a theatre and a manege was gradually declining: for the participation of the Sapeg in the rebellion 1830-1831 Ruzany possessions were confiscated and transformed into a cloth factory and the first world war together with the second totally destroyed the palace. At present times the government undertakes attempts to preserve the rest of the palace and its restoration.

In the region have been preserved numerous historical documents, burial mounds, memorials, famous and unknown burials that testify to the bravery and firmness of our people.

«Chronicles of Byhovec »is one of the first Belarusian annals of the 16 th century found in the ancestral estate in village Mogilevcy.

Russian-Polish (1654-1667) and Nothern (1700-1721) wars, Napoleon attack of 1812, the first and the second world wars swept over Pruzany leaving blood.

About the battle between the Russian army headed by general A.P. Tormasov and Napoleon troops during Patriotic war of 1812 reminds renovated chapel near village Poddubno.

The events of Polish rebellion 1830-1831 did not miss Pruzany. The rebellion detachment was formed in the ancestral estate of head Titus Puslov- Plyanta that was situated in Pruzany region.

National liberation movement of 1863-1864 under the leadership of KKalinovskij against tsarism found wide approval among a great number of nobility, inhabitants of cities and towns, peasants -farmers, catholic clergy of Pruzany. The rebels captured Pruzany city on the night of February 12 th -13 th 1863, attack with the purpose of punishing the traitors and snitchers in Shereshevo in August 1863, battles near villages Mihalin, Gut, Lososin and other. The renovated monument to 40 dead situated on the surroundings of Ruzany puscha reminds about these events.

Revolutionary events of 1905 found their trace in Pruzany. In Ruzany operated revolutionary underground organization. There were on strike the workers –painters and weavers in Ruzany, the workers of macaroni factory in Pruzany. In November 1905 begun the rising of agricultural movement that enveloped the whole Pruzany district.

The First World War begun on August 1914. Pruzany got in front-line. In spring 1915 the territory was occupied by the army of Germany. The soldiers were transporting to Germany everything that represented any value to them.

In the middle of 1919 our territory was freed from the occupants by the troops of Red Army. But already had begun the Soviet-Polish war and Western Belarus was occupied by Polish occupants. In July 1920 Pruzany was liberated from belpolyaks. On September 19 th Pruzany region was seized by Polish army and according to Rizskij treaty was included in the territory of bourgeois Poland.

After about 20 years long occupation Pruzany uezd was included into the BSSR. On January 15 th 1940 by the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council in western regions instead of uezds were formed districts.The regional centres became not only Pruzany, but Ruzany as well that were consistent part of Kossovo uezd.. After reorganization of administrative –territorial division Shereshevo(in 1956) and Ruzany ( in 1962) were included in the content of modern borders in Pruzany region.

The territory of Pruzany since the first hours of Great World War got onto the fire and places of severe fighting. The pilot of the 33 rd fighters guard that was situated near Pruzany was the first to face the attack. It was at that time that lieutenant S.M. Gudinov performed one of the first rams in the history of the Great World War II.

The fight with the occupants organized created at the end of 1941 underground antifascists committees that were led by M.E. Krishtafovich (Pruzany), I.P. Urbanovich (Ruzany) and I. Yu. Labuda (Shereshevo) and from 1943 underground parties and comsomol. From various partisan groups in January 1942 was created the first guard named after Stalin in Guto- Mihalin forests under the leadership of A.A. Zurby. To the moment of liberation of the region from German occupants on the territory of the region were operating two partisan groups from several guards. Great role in the activization of fight against the enemy played underground typing house that was operating without breaks from 1942 changing its place several times.

The enemy dealt cruelly not only with those who was resisting but with peaceful population as well. Massive shootings of prisoners of war, soviet activists and civilians of Jewish nationality were held in Slobudka near Pruzany. For the three yeas according to the data there were killed 10 thousand people. The occupants organized ghetto that occupied several central districts of Pruzany. To the ghetto were brought Jewes from Ruzany, Shereshevo, Belostok. During the occupation in the region were destroyed 58 villages, 7 haven not been renovated, 19 457 citizens died.

Pruzany was liberated by guards of the 28 th army of the 1 st Belarusian front on July 17 th 1944.The victory was won with a high price : at different fronts fought more than 8 thousand citizens of Pruzany 3 thousand died or were missing. Two people of the region were awarded the orders of Heroes of Soviet Union: general- lieutenant S.A. Bobruk ( born in village Shubichi) and colonel M.V. Hotimskij (born in Shereshevo). Citizen of Pruzany R.T. Krotov became the whole cavalier of Glory Order. To the participant of liberation of Pruzany S.P. Kosterinu was awarded the order of Hero of Soviet Union posthumously for the battle near village Vilianovo.

The rout of afterwar economic and cultural development was uneasy. The war brought huge loses and destructions, there was required lots of efforts to rebuilt everything and move on. In the villages were rebuilt kolhozes created before the war and were founded new ones. Gradually they became stronger and in 36 farms of the region there were 380 tractors more than 160 lorries, 105 combine harvesters. Great changes were felt in the industry of the region: after 10 after war years the gross output grew by more than 9 times. In 1957 Pruzany sovhoz from technical college graduated 95 diploma specialists.

In 1965 begun a new stage in the development of agricultural production. There grew also prices for the kolhoz and sovhoz goods, was introduced guaranteed wages for the workers and begun amelioration of lands. It was at these times that on the territory of Pruzany appeared Heroes of socialistic labour– milkers M.G. Makarchuk and E.A. Melisevich, pig tender A.I. Pritulchik, a bit later the chairperson of kolhoz «Rassvet» (now JSC «Agro- Kolyadichi ») E.I. Kudinov, the technic of excavator V.P. Shapoval.

The rime is merciless. It carries into the eternity the images and events of the past epochs. Only the living eyewitnesses of the past years seem to be independent from the influence of time they are the archeological monuments, historical monuments, old parks in the farmsteads in Pruzany, Kashtanovka, Staryj Kuplin …

Great creations of architects and folk architects connect by unseen fibers the past with the present who erected a palace complex of Sapeg in Ruzany (16-18 centuries) Trinity Dominican chapel (17-19 centuries), Petro-Pavlov church Basilian monastery (the second half of the 17-18centuries), Jewish synagogue (19 century), Catholic church and missionary monastery in villager Lyskovo (1763-1785).

It is impossible to go past ancient palace in Lyskovo (15-16 century), that belonged to Polish queen Bona Sforca the ruins of which remind of old glory and tragedy of its owners and defenders.

Wooden Shereshevo chapel emits architectural perfection and completeness that was cut in 1799 according to local canons.

All they are the eyewitnesses of the past of Pruzany its diligence and nobility of its people.

 
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Pruzhany district
executive committee
225133, Pruzhany, Shirma str., 17,
e-mail: pruzhany-uprav@brest.by
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Pruzhany district
executive committee
225133, Pruzhany, Shirma str., 17,
e-mail: pruzhany-uprav@brest.by
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