(Redirected from Nowogrudok)

Novogrudok (Belarusian: Навагрудак, Navahrudak; Lithuanian: Naugardukas; Polish: Nowogródek; Russian: Новогрудок, Novogrudok; Yiddish: נאַוואַראַדאָק, Novhardok, Navaradok) is a town in the Grodno Region, Belarus.

Навагрудак, Новогрудок
Belarus Navahrudak IMG 1730 2175.jpg
Navahrudak 14 (22525907156).jpg
Г. Наваградак - Міхайлаўскі касьцёл DSC07907.JPG
Church of Saints Boris an Gleb in Navahrudak.jpg
Наваградак. Дом-музей Адама Міцкевіча.jpg
Navahradak - Ruiny zamka - Panarama.jpg
Flag of Novogrudok
Coat of arms of Novogrudok
Novogrudok is located in Belarus
Navahrudak within the Grodno Region
Coordinates: 53°35′N 25°49′E / 53.583°N 25.817°E / 53.583; 25.817
Country Belarus
District (Rayon)Novogrudok
Founded970 — 990
First mention1044
Town rights1444
 • Chairman of the district Executive CommitteeFedchenko Sergey[1]
 • Total13.17 km2 (5.08 sq mi)
292 m (958 ft)
 • Total29,441
 • Density2,200/km2 (5,800/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
231241, 231243, 231244, 231246, 231400
Area code+375 1597
License plate4
WebsiteOfficial website

In the Middle Ages, the city was ruled by King Mindaugas' son Vaišvilkas.[3]

The only mention of a possible Lithuanian early capital of Mindaugas in the contemporaneous sources is Voruta, whose most likely location has been identified as the Šeimyniškėliai mound or hillfort.[4][5]

According to the Lithuanian historian Artūras Dubonis, the claim that Mindaugas' capital was in Novogrudok is false, as they began with the unreliable[6] 16th-century Bychowiec Chronicle, whose claims were repeated a century later by Maciej Stryjkowski.[7] During and after Mindaugas' rule, Novogrudok was part of the Kingdom of Lithuania, and later the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which was later part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In the 14th century, it was an episcopal see of the Metropolitanate of Lithuania.

From 1795 to 1915, the Russian Empire ruled over the lands, with brief periods of intercession, e.g. Napoleon's Grande Armée in 1812 and the Uprisings of 1831 and 1863. After 1915, Novogrudok was occupied by the Imperial German Army for three years in World War I, by the Second Polish Republic until the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939. Thereafter, the Soviet Union annexed the area to the Byelorussian SSR. From 1941 to 1944, Novogrudok was occupied by the German Army, thereafter returning to the Soviet Union until 1991.


The name comes from the Old East Slavic words "New town". It was a large settlement in the remote Western lands of the Krivichs, which came under the control of the Ancient Rus' state at the end of the 10th century. The ancient name of Novgorodok (Nov'gorodok,[8] Nov'gorodok',[9] though leaning both parts: to Novagorodka, in Novegorodtsy, "between Novym'gorodkom'", from "Novagorodka" in "Novegorodche"). In some sources, it is called Maly Novgorod.[10]

Archaeological excavations made by Gurevich F. D. in different places of the city, gave a huge number of interesting finds (Byzantine glass, jewellery, and even the ruins of a house with painted walls from the inside, which had suspended lanterns in which oil was lit) this, as well as the conclusion of the archaeologist that the city appeared on this site no later than the 9th century, allows Novogrudok to claim the role of historical chronicle Novgorod.[citation needed] In favour of this version of localization is the fact that in the earliest annals of Novgorod called "Novgorodou", and [ou] in the end later added the letter "k" turned [ouk], so the chronicle "Novgorodou" transformed into "Novgorodouk" and was later simplified to "Novogrudok".

Locals use the older name "Navаgradak",[11][12][13][14] especially the older people. The place of stress is recorded in the publication of the "Tribunal for the inhabitants of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania'" (Vilna, 1586), where it is marked in print "in Novа́gorodku".[11]

At the time of entry into the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the traditional belarusian pronunciation Navа́gradak, transformed into the modern name Novogrudok, from Polish Nowogródek.

Some historians believe that the chronicle versions of the name of the city — Novogorod, Novgorodok, Novy Gorodok, Novogorodok-Litovsky, etc. indicate that, perhaps, there was an old city center of the district — Radogoshcha.[15]


Early historyEdit

Novogrudok was established in Baltic Yotvingian lands.[16][17] According to archaeological research conducted in Novogrudok in the 1960s, the settlements arose on modern Novogrudok's territory at the end of the 10th century, and the fortifications by the mid-11th century.[18] Research also suggests that a city already existed on-site in the 9th—10th centuries, which had trade links with Byzantium, the Near East, Western Europe and Scandinavia. These trade links were related to Amber Road. Archaeologically Novogrudok was studied in the years 1957-1977. In the first half of the 11th century, the city consisted of two undefended settlements located on the Small castle and Castle hill. In the second half of the 11th century, fortifications were built around the settlement on the Castle hill, thus forming the Novogrudok detinets. On the Small Castle to the West of Detinets formed a settlement, which in the 12th century was also fortified and turned into a roundabout city.

On the territory of detinets, wooden ground buildings with Adobe stoves and plank floors were studied. The most important activities of the city's population were crafts and trade. Often, there is evidence of local jewelry craft — there were foundries and jewelry workshops that formed a whole block on the small castle.[19] Bone-cutting, wood and stone processing were also common. Graffiti with old Russian letters was found on fragments of frescoed plaster from building No.12 ("house of the boyar" or "powalush") of the 12th century on the Small Castle (an ancient roundabout city).[20][21] Trade relations in the 12th—13th centuries were far-reaching, as evidenced by many imports: from Kyiv came glass bracelets, non-ferrous metal jewellery, engolpions, icons, spindle whorls, faience vessels from Iran, glassware from Byzantium and Syria, from the Baltic — amber.[22]

Novogrudok was first mentioned in the Sofia First Chronicle and Novgorod Fourth Chronicle in 1044 in reference to a war between Yaroslav I and Lithuanian tribes.[23] It was also mentioned in the Hypatian Codex in 1252 as Novogorodok, meaning "new little town". Novogrudok was a major settlement in the remote western lands of the Krivichs that came under Kievan Rus' control at the end of the 10th century. However, this hypothesis has been disputed as the earliest archaeological findings date from the 11th century.[24]

Church of Boris and Gleb drawing by Napoleon Orda.

Grand Duchy of LithuaniaEdit

13th centuryEdit

In the 13th century, the Kievan Rus disintegrated due to Asian nomadic incursions, which climaxed with the Mongol horde's Siege of Kiev (1240), resulting in the sack of Kiev and leaving a regional geopolitical vacuum in which the East Slavs splintered along pre-existing tribal lines and formed several independent, competing principalities. It is known that even prior to Mindaugas' arrival, there was a Catholic church in Novogrudok.[16]

Ruins of the Novogrudok Castle, destroyed in the 18th century, drawing by Napoleon Orda.

Mindaugas son Vaišvilkas ruled Novogrudok.[17] Novogrudok was one of Mindaugas' residences.[25] Some identify Novogrudok as Lithuania's first capital,[26][27][better source needed][dubious ] later the Grand Duchy of Lithuania,[27][28][29][30] however, this is refuted by the fact that Voruta is the only contemporary mention of a possible early Lithuanian capital ruled by Mindaugas.[7][5] Voruta's most likely location has been identified as Šeimyniškėliai mound.[4][5] The Great Russian Encyclopedia states that Mindaugas' state had no permanent capitals, but his early residence was Black Rus', whose center was Novogrudok.[31] Encyclopædia Britannica mentions only the following Lithuanian capitals: Kernavė, Trakai and Vilnius, excluding Novogrudok from the list.[32]

During the 16th century, three centuries after the events, Maciej Stryjkowski was the first, in his chronicle,[33] to propose the theory that Novogrudok was the capital of the 13th-century state. Vaišvilkas, the son and successor of Mindaugas, took monastic vows in Lavrashev Monastery[34] near Novgorodok and founded an Orthodox convent there.[35] The enmity between Mindaugas and his relatives, who were refuged in Volhynia, led to a great war with the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, which made several major campaigns against the city. These campaigns forced Mindaugas to ally with the Livonian Order. In 1253, Mindaugas was crowned king of Lithuania on behalf of the Pope. Vaišvilkas made peace on behalf of his father with the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia and handed over Novogrudok and all Lithuanian cities to Roman Danylovich.[36][better source needed][dubious ] After breaking the peace in 1258, Vaišvilkas again became a duke in Novogrudok, and then passed it along with the entire country to Shvarn. The Golden Horde Tatars repeatedly attacked Novogrudok in 1255, 1274, and finally in 1279.[37]

City's landscapes in 19th century.

14th centuryEdit

In 1314, the castle was besieged by the Teutonic Order.[38] It was again attacked by the Teutons in 1321, 1341, 1390 and finally in 1394.

As the centre of the appanage Principality, Novogrudok was owned from 1329 by Prince Karijotas, and then by his son Fyodor from 1358, and from 1386 by Kaributas.[39] At that time, Novogrudok was part of the Trakai Voivodeship, whose population was entirely ethnically Lithuanian, hence Novogrudok was part of Lithuania Proper.[17] It is undeniable that Novogrudok was ethnically Lithuanian as Lithuanian islands in Novogrudok's area survived into the 20th century.[17]

Since 1392, Novogrudok was one of the centres of the Grand Ducal demesne of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, where the stone Novogrudok Castle was built. The Novogrudok Castle's firmness allowed the existence of a Castellan and a Koniuszy.[40]

15th centuryEdit

At the end of the 14th and start of the 15th century, Vytautas settled the Lipka Tatars in Novogrudok and its surroundings. In 1428, he recorded the city along with the surrounding villages in the lifetime possession of his wife Uliana. In 1415, at the Council of Orthodox bishops in Novogrudok, Gregory Tsamblak was elected Metropolitan of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Synod de facto declared autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and also reformed internal administration in the Church.[41] In 1422, Vytautas the Great founded the Roman Catholic Transfiguration Church in Novogrudok, in which the wedding of the king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Jogaila with Sophia of Halshany took place.[42][43][44] This marriage gave rise to the Jagiellonian dynasty. Their son Casimir IV Jagiellon granted town rights in 1444.[45] After the Union of Krewo (1385), it was part of the Polish–Lithuanian Union, which became the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth after the Union of Lublin in 1569.

Novogrudok's coat of arms in the 16th century

16th centuryEdit

In 1505, the Tatars tried to capture the city, but failed. Novogrudok was designated as the capital of the Nowogródek Voivodeship from 1507 until the Third Partition of Poland in 1795.[45] On July 26, 1511, the town was granted Magdeburg rights by King Sigismund I the Old, which were reconfirmed in 1562, 1595 and 1776.[43][46] It was a royal city.[43][47] In 1568, there were 10 churches in the city.[48] From 1581 to 1775, the city hosted some of the Lithuanian Tribunal's sessions. On March 18, 1595, King Sigismund III Vasa granted the city a coat of arms depicting Saint Michael the Archangel.[44] After the Union of Brest of 1595-1596, the Department of the Orthodox Metropolitanate became a Uniate one. In 1597, Sigismund III Vasa gave the townspeople of Novogrudok the privilege of 2 fairs a year for 2 weeks on the Catholic holidays Epiphany and Pentecost. In the 16th century, Novogrudok was also one of the Reformation's centers.

17th centuryEdit

In September 1655, it was captured by Prince A. Trubetskoy's soldiers in the war between the Tsardom of Russia and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1661, the city was recaptured by the Polish-Lithuanian army, and was exempt from paying taxes for a period of 4 years.

In the 16th–18th centuries, Novogrudok suffered numerous fires (1578, 1599, 1613, 1652, the most severe — in 1751, when 167 houses, 4 churches, the town hall and the Governor's office burned down) and epidemics (1590, 1592, 1603, 1708). In addition, military events and cataclysms of the 17th–18th centuries caused the city's decline.

18th centuryEdit

During the Great Northern War in 1706, the city was occupied by Swedish Army, and later by Muscovite troops, who burned the city and blew up the castle. On 1 May 1751, there was great destruction due to a fire. On September 23, 1784, the king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Stanisław August Poniatowski arrived in the city. On his way back from Nyasvizh, he visited the city, the Novogrudok Castle's ruins, the tribunal and the city archive. During the War in Defense of the Constitution, in early June 1792, Novogrudok was attacked by the 33,000-strong Tsarist army led by Mikhail Krechetnikov. In mid-June 1792, after the defeat in the battle of Mir, Lithuanian troops under Duke Louis of Württemberg's command retreated through Novogrudok to Grodno. Tatars from General Józef Bielak's Corps were among the last to leave the city. Earlier, they heroically defended the crossing of the Neman river against the Russian soldiers in the Battle of Stolbtsy. At the 18th century's end, there were 6 monasteries, 5 Catholic churches, 3 Orthodox churches, a synagogue, and a Tatar mosque in Novogrudok.

In the 19th centuryEdit

19th century view of Adam Mickiewicz's house

In 1795, as a result of the third Partition of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, it was annexed by Imperial Russia.[42] Administratively, it was part of the Slonim Governorate since 1796, and the Lithuania Governorate since 1801. It was transferred to the Minsk Governorate in 1843. The city is one of two possible birthplaces of the world-renowned poet Adam Mickiewicz. Mickiewicz was baptized in the local Transfiguration Church and spent his childhood in the city.[42]

Castle hill by Kanuty Rusiecki, 1846

During the Napoleonic Wars, the 19th Lithuanian Uhlan regiment was formed from local residents after Novogrudok's occupation by Napoleon's Grande Armée in 1812. In 1817, the city had 428 wooden and 9 stone houses.[42] At that time, mainly Jews, Belarusians, Poles, Lipka Tatars and Russians lived in the city.[42]

November Uprising of 1831Edit

During the November Uprising, on July 22, 1831, Novogrudok was occupied for some time by the detachments of Y. Kashits and M. Mezheyevsky.

After the liquidation of the Dominican school in 1834, the tsarist authorities opened a five-class school, which turned into the Novogrudok gymnasium in 1858. In 1837, Novogrudok had 4 unpaved and 9 paved streets and alleys.

January Uprising of 1863 and subsequent repressionsEdit

During the January Uprising, an insurgent organization led by V. Borzobogaty was formed in the city. In 1863, priest Felician Lashkevich from Novogrudok partook in this uprising. As part of anti-Catholic repression following the January Uprising, the tsarist administration closed down the gymnasium as well as Catholic churches, which were transformed into Orthodox churches.[42]

In 1896, Rabbi Yosef Yozel Horwitz founded one of the most famous Jewish higher educational religious institutions in Novogrudok, the Novardok Yeshiva, which was one of the largest and most important yeshivas in pre-war Europe and a powerful force in the Musar movement.

In the 20th centuryEdit

In 1905, the first gas street lamps appeared in Novogrudok. In 1910, there were 76 stone and 1074 wooden buildings in the city, and in 1914 there were 6 educational institutions in the city. In 1907-1909, a provincial branch of the Polish society "Enlightenment" worked in the city, which supported Polish education.[49] It had a thriving Jewish community. In 1900, its population was 5,015.[clarification needed][50]

World War I and Polish–Soviet WarEdit

During the First World War, the city was under German occupation from 22 September 1915 to 27 December 1918.[26] On September 22, 1915, Novogrudok was occupied by the German 10th Army. The Russian-German front was now only 20 km East of the city, along the Servechi river. The Germans built a power plant, a network of narrow-gauge railways, and telephone lines. The creation of polish and belarusian schools was also allowed in the city.

Mickiewicz's house was occupied by General of Infantry Reinhard von Scheffer-Boyadel, the XVII Reserve Corps' commander. Due to the front's proximity, Marshal Paul von Hindenburg came to Novogrudok. During German rule, on March 25, 1918, Novogrudok was declared part of the Belarusian People's Republic. On December 27, 1918, the German army's cavalry left Novogrudok. In the evening, the Bolsheviks entered the city, greeted with an ovation by the Jewish and Russian population. Soon, some Polish activists were arrested, and in March 1919, the Bolsheviks executed some of them in the castle ruins.

On January 1, 1919, following the resolution and Congress of the CP(b) of Belarus, it became a part of the Belarusian SSR.[52] On May 25, 1919, the Novogrudok Belarusian gymnasium was opened here.

Cavalry squadron of the 10th Lithuanian Uhlan regiment in Novogrudok 1919.

During the Polish–Soviet War, Novogrudok changed hands several times. From mid-March 1919, Polish Army detachments began to appear in Novogrudok's vicinity. On April 18, 1919, at dawn, after several hours of fighting, soldiers of the 2nd Kaunas Rifle Regiment [pl] of Major Leon Zawistowski [pl] and two squadrons of the 10th Lithuanian Uhlan Regiment captured the city. Many Communist Poles from the Western Rifle Division fought in the battles on the Red Army's side. With the city's capture, the Polish Army received large warehouses of military weaponry and ammunition, while also capturing about 300 prisoners of war.[53] The Polish-Bolshevik front stopped for several months along the line of former German trenches on the rivers Servech and Uschi.

On the morning of July 19, 1920, the Red Army again occupied Novogrudok. After crushing defeats in the Battle of Warsaw and later of the Niemen River, on October 1, 1920, Polish troops again occupied the city. These were detachments of the 1st and 5th Legions' Infantry Regiments, the 16th Infantry Regiment, and 3 batteries of the 1st Legionary Artillery Regiment. Most of them belonged to the 1st Legions Infantry Division.

In Second Polish RepublicEdit

Ultimately captured by the Poles in October 1920, it was confirmed as part of the Second Polish Republic by the Peace of Riga. The civil authorities, headed by the headman Joseph Yellin, began to act on November 3. The traditions of the Lithuanian Tribunal were partially revived by the Novogrudok Voivodeship court, which opened on January 11, 1921, in the building of the former Russian County school.

Novogrudok in interwar Poland

During the interwar period, Novogrudok served as the seat of the Novogrudok Voivodeship until the 1939 invasion of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union. Many new buildings were built, including the voivodeship office, district court, tax office, theatre, power plant, city bath and a narrow-gauge railway station.[54] In 1938, a museum was created in the former home of Adam Mickiewicz.[42] The first voivode of Novogrudok (1921-1924) was Władysław Raczkiewicz, later (1939-1947) President of Poland in exile. On May 13, 1922, Adam Mickiewicz's eldest son, Wladyslaw, came to Novogrudok to stay, and on October 30, 1922, the chief of state, Marshal Józef Piłsudski, came here. In the following years, the former power station was converted into a city theatre. Several other Polish presidents visited the city: Stanisław Wojciechowski (May 25-27, 1924) and Ignacy Mościcki (September 1929 and the end of June 1931). In the 1920s and 1930s, more than 10 titles of periodicals were published in the city. In October 1922, the first Belarusian-language newspaper "Nasha Batskayshchyna" was published in Novogrudok. In 1924-1931, a mound was built on the small castle in honour of Adam Mickiewicz, and a Museum was opened in his honour on September 11, 1938. As of 1931, there were 1055 residential buildings in the city, 2 catholic churches, 2 orthodox churches, 3 synagogues, and a mosque; in addition to the Belarusian one, there was a polish gymnasium. In addition, there were 2 hospitals, 7 hotels, and 2 printing houses.

World War IIEdit

Soviet occupationEdit

At the beginning of World War II, after September 17, 1939, Soviet Air Forces' bombers began dropping leaflets written in broken Polish over the city, announcing the imminent liberation "from the yoke of the lords" and other oppressors. On 18 September 1939 Novogrudok was occupied by the Red Army and, on 14 November 1939, incorporated into the Byelorussian SSR. Many residents of the city and region were repressed and exiled to other regions of the USSR, and the region was subjected to severe Sovietization.[55][56][57] In the administrative division of the new territories, the city was briefly the centre of Navahrudak Voblast until it moved to Baranavichy, and the name of voblast was renamed to Baranavichy Voblast[clarification needed] and to the Novogrudok Raion (15 January 1940).

German occupationEdit

On 22 June 1941, the city was subjected to German bombing, the former Starostvo, formerly the Radziwill Palace, and shopping malls were destroyed as Germany invaded the Soviet Union. On 4 July, Novogrudok was occupied by the Wehrmacht. Then, the Red Army was surrounded in the Novogrudok Cauldron. Nevertheless, during the German occupation, there was active resistance to the Nazis.

In mid-December 1943, the Polish resistance separated the Novogrudok district of the Home Army from the Bialystok district. The headquarters of the Home Army's district was in Lida. The Nazis killed more than 10,000 Jews in the Novogrudok Ghetto, Novogrudok and nearby villages during the Holocaust.[58] However, in mid-may 1943, the last remaining ghetto prisoners began to dig a 250-metre (820 ft) underground passage outside the ghetto, and five months later, on September 26, 1943, an escape was made through it.[59][60][61] A total of 232 people escaped through the tunnel.[62] Some of the fleeing Jews joined the Bielski partisans, which actively fought against the Nazis in the region.[63]

Memorial stone to the Martyrs of Nowogródek

During the German occupation, the city served as the administrative centre of Kreisgebiet Nowogrodek within the Generalbezirk Weißruthenien of Reichskommissariat Ostland. The local population was subjected to deportations for forced labour to Germany and executions.[42] In February–March 1944, by order of the Gebietskommissar (Area Commissioner) of the Novogrudok district, SS-Obersturmbannführer Wilhelm Traub, former Lieutenant of the Polish army Barys Rahula formed the Belarusian Novogrudok mounted squadron to fight the partisans. In February 1944, the 65th Belarusian Schutzmannschaft Battalion was formed in Novogrudok. However, in early July 1944, Barys Rahula curtailed the activities of the squadron.

During the German occupation in Novogrudok, the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth organized, at the request of the parents of Polish children, underground teaching in the Polish language and history. On 1 August 1943, the underground school ceased to exist after 11 nuns, the Martyrs of Nowogródek, including the main organizer of the school, were shot by the German occupiers on August 1, 1943.[64]

Commander of the Novogrudok partisan district of Home Army, Lieutenant Colonel Maciej Kalenkiewicz
Soviet reoccupationEdit

In the summer of 1944, units of the Home Army's Novogrudok partisan district partook in Operation Ostra Brama, fighting alongside the Red Army to occupy Vilnius. On 8 July 1944, the Red Army reoccupied Novogrudok after almost three years of German occupation. However, after retaking Western Belorussia from the Germans, the recent allies became enemies. Thus, on August 21, 1944, in the village of Surkontakh, the commander of the Home Army's Novogrudok partisan district, Lieutenant Colonel Maciej Kalenkiewicz, nicknamed "Kotvich" (1906-1944) from the Khubala detachment, was killed in a battle with tenfold superior units of the NKVD.[65] During the war, more than 45,000 people were killed in the city and the surrounding area, and over 60% of housing was destroyed.

After the war, on this region did the organization "the black cat", which was aimed at the struggle against the Soviet regime, so in March 1948, the United group of troops of the organization "the black cat" with several units "bulbivtsiv" (total 200 men) attacked the Novogrudok to release the arrested members of his organization. The city was the base of the MGB's Special Department, which fought against anti-Soviet partisans.[66] The anti-Soviet partisan movement continued until the early 1960s until it completely ceased to exist.[67][68][69]

After the war, the area remained part of the Byelorussian SSR, and most of the destroyed infrastructure was rapidly rebuilt. On 8 July 1954, following the disestablishment of the Baranavichy Voblast, the raion, along with Novogrudok, became part of the Hrodna Voblast, where it still is, now in Belarus.

Cup of St. JadwigaEdit

During the archaeological excavations at the Small Castle in Novogrudok in the period from 1955 to 1962, conducted by the Leningrad Department of the Institute of Archaeology of the USSR Academy of Sciences, an artefact was found, called "glass carved glass", belonging to a group of glass carved glasses, known in medieval studies under the General name "Hedwig glass".[70] The "Cup of Saint Jadwiga" found in Novogrudok (under this name the vessel is listed in the collection of the Hermitage Museum, this Cup was not returned to Belarus, despite requests from the Belarusian side), carved images of a lion, a Griffin and a stylized tree of life in the form of two snakes entwining the Cup of life.[71] According to the British Museum, the vessels of this group are among the first hundred outstanding works of the material culture of universal civilization. All currently known cups of the "Hedwig glass" series, both preserved intact and individual fragments of these cups, were stored for many centuries exclusively in the capital cities of States that were either part of the medieval state of the Holy Roman Empire, or in the capitals of dynasties that had a kinship with the dynasties that ruled these States.[72]

Recent historyEdit

House of Adam Mickiewicz in Novogrudok

In 1997, Novogrudok and Novogrudoky district were merged into a single administrative unit. The city has links with the twin cities of Elbląg, Krynica Morska and Leymen.[73]

September 10, 2011, in honour of the 500th anniversary of the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Magdeburg law (freed from feudal duties, the power of voivodes, gave the right to create a magistrate-a self-government body, its seal and coat of arms — the image of the Archangel Michael) in the centre of the city as a memory of the history and former greatness of the ancient city, a memorial sign was installed.[74]

According to the state program "Castles of Belarus", in 2012-15, it was planned to preserve the ruins of the Novogrudok castle with the restoration of its compositional structure and historical development, adaptation to modern social and cultural needs.[75]

It was concluded that it is impractical to restore buildings that store artefacts from the 13th to 16th centuries. The concept of "solid ruins" was approved, developed and reviewed at the Republican scientific and methodological meeting, the purpose of which was to reveal all seven towers of the Navahrudak castle, as well as the spinning walls. Thus the castle will be designated in the size of the 16th century.[75]

The metal structure and the brick prigruz will preserve the ruins of the Kostelnaya tower, stabilize it and complete the object's conservation. Eventually, when scientists are convinced that the stabilization was successful, the prigruz will be removed.[75]

It will also partially restored the losses incurred by tower Shitovka. The tower will be covered with a roof, but will remain incomplete. It is planned to open a Museum, the Foundation of which will consist of exhibits that are now stored in the Novogrudok Museum of local history.[75]

The Church of the 13th century, the remains of which are now underground, will be shown with an application. At the level of about 50 centimetres, the masonry of the Palace will be opened. It is not planned to lower the entire porch. The ramparts that were around the perimeter will also be partially open. No buildings will be built on the porch itself.[75]

It is also planned to make a horizontal drainage to organize water drainage and stop the erosion of the soil of the southern slope.[75]

According to the resolution of the Council of Ministers of June 3, 2016 No. 437, Novogrudok castle was included in the list of 27 objects whose conservation costs (in terms of capital expenditures) can be financed from the national budget.[76]

Jewish historyEdit

Novogrudok had been an important Jewish centre. It was home to the Novardok yeshiva, founded by Rabbi Yosef Yozel Horwitz in 1896. It was the hometown of Rabbi Yechiel Michel Epstein and the Harkavy Jewish family, including Yiddish lexicographer Alexander Harkavy. Before the war, the population was 20,000, approximately half Jewish and half Gentile. Meyer Meyerovitz and Meyer Abovitz were then the rabbis there. During a series of "actions" in 1941, the Germans killed all but 550 of the approximately 10,000 Jews. (The first mass murder of Novogrudok's Jews occurred in December 1941.) Those not killed were sent into slave labour.[26]

Notable peopleEdit


  • Novogrudok Castle, sometimes anachronistically called Mindaugas' Castle, was built in the 14th century, was burnt down by the Swedes in 1706, and remains in ruins.
  • Construction of the Orthodox SS. Boris and Gleb Church, in Belarusian Gothic style, started in 1519, but was not completed until the 1630s; it was extensively repaired in the 19th century.
  • The Roman Catholic Transfiguration Church (1712–23, includes surviving chapels of an older gothic building), where Adam Mickiewicz was baptised.
  • Museum of Adam Mickiewicz at the poet's former home; there are also his statue and the "Mound of Immortality", created in his honour by the Polish administration in 1924–1931.
  • Museum of Jewish Resistance. Also, a red pebble path along the escape route during the heroic escape of ghetto inmates.
  • Kastus Kachan Art Gallery
  • Church of St. Michael, renovated in 1751 and 1831
  • Trade rows at the central square
  • Pre-war administration buildings, including the Nowogródek Voivodeship Office and the Voivode's House

Some members of the Harkavy family are buried at the old Jewish cemetery of Novogrudok.

Panoramic view of Novogrudok, 2018


The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Dfb" (Warm Summer Continental Climate).[77]

Twin towns - sister citiesEdit

Novogrudok is twinned with:[78]

Former twin townsEdit

On 28 February 2022, the Polish city of Elbląg ended its partnership with Navahradak as a response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and its active support by the Republic of Belarus.[79]


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Belarusian encyclopediasEdit

  • Gritskevich, A. (2007). "Гісторыя" [History] (PDF). In Pashkov, G. P. (ed.). Вялікае княства Літоўскае: Энцыклапедыя (in Belarusian). Vol. 1 (А – К). Minsk: BelEn. pp. 7–33. ISBN 978-985-11-0393-1.
  • Gaiba, M. (2007). "Новагародак" [Novagarodak] (PDF). In Pashkov, G. P. (ed.). Вялікае княства Літоўскае: Энцыклапедыя (in Belarusian). Vol. 2 (К – Я). Minsk: BelEn. pp. З57–359. ISBN 978-985-11-0394-8.
  • Энцыклапедыя гісторыі Беларусі. У 6 т. Т. 5: М — Пуд / Беларус. Энцыкл.; Рэдкал.: Г. П. Пашкоў (галоўны рэд.) і інш.; Маст. Э. Э. Жакевіч. — Менск: БелЭн, 1999. — 592 с.: іл. ISBN 985-11-0141-9.
  • Беларуская энцыклапедыя: У 18 т. Т. 11: Мугір — Паліклініка / Рэдкал.: Г.П. Пашкоў і інш. — Мн.: БелЭн, 2000. — 560 с.: іл. ISBN 985-11-0188-5


  • Піваварчык, С. А. (2003). "Гарадзішча Радагошча — магчымы папярэднік Наваградка". Белорусский сборник. Saint Petersburg. 2.
  • Малевская, М. В. (1962). "Амфора с надписью из Новогрудка". Soviet Archaeology (in Russian). 4.
  • Соловьев, А. В. (1947). "Великая, Малая и Белая Русь" [Great, Small and White Russia]. Вопросы истории. 7.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 53°35′N 25°49′E / 53.583°N 25.817°E / 53.583; 25.817