Kreva (Belarusian: Крэва, pronounced [ˈkrɛva]; Lithuanian: Krėva or Krẽvas; Polish: Krewo; Russian: Крéво) is a township in the Smarhon District of Grodno Region, Belarus. The first mention dates to the 13th century. The toponym is derived from the name of the Krivichs tribe.[1]

Coat of Arms of Kreva
Catholic Church of St. Mary


The Kreva Castle, constructed of brick, was built by the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas in ethnically Lithuanian lands.[2] After his death in 1341, Kreva became the patrimony of his son and successor, Algirdas. In 1382, the Grand Duke Kęstutis was imprisoned in Kreva during the Lithuanian Civil War and subsequently murdered on the order by his nephew Jogaila.

The ruins of the castle were severely damaged during World War I, as they were near the front lines. They remain extant to the present day.

In 1385, the Union of Krewo (Act of Kreva) was signed in Kreva.

In 1387, following the Christianization of Lithuania, the Grand Duke Jogaila established the first Catholic parish in the Lithuanian pagan lands and built a church which is now known as the Church of St. Mary.

Before World War II, 500 Jews lived in the village. After the German occupation of the town they are kept imprisoned in a ghetto and used as slave labourers in harsh conditions.[3] They are deported in other ghettos in Vilnius and Ashmyany in 1942.[4]

The ruins of the Kreva Castle

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ Жучкевич В. А. Краткий топонимический словарь Белоруссии. — Мн.: Изд-во БГУ, 1974. С. 182.
  2. ^ "Krevas". Visuotinė lietuvių enciklopedija (in Lithuanian).
  3. ^ "Krewo - Virtual Shtetl". Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  4. ^ "המכון הבין-לאומי לחקר השואה - יד ושם". Retrieved 2017-07-15.

External linksEdit

  •   Media related to Kreva at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 54°19′00″N 26°17′00″E / 54.3166667°N 26.2833333°E / 54.3166667; 26.2833333