Smarhonʹ or Smorgonʹ (Belarusian: Смарго́нь, [smarˈɣonʲ]; Russian: Сморгонь; Lithuanian: Smurgainys; Polish: Smorgonie; Yiddish: סמאָרגאָן‎) is a city in the Grodno Region of Belarus. It was the site of Smarhonʹ air base, now mostly abandoned. Smarhoń is located 107 km from the capital, Minsk.


Смаргонь (in Belarusian)
Church of Saint Michael
Church of Saint Michael
Flag of Smarhoń
Coat of arms of Smarhoń
Coat of arms
Smarhoń is located in Belarus
Coordinates: 54°29′1″N 26°24′0″E / 54.48361°N 26.40000°E / 54.48361; 26.40000
Country Belarus
RegionHrodna Region
FoundedOctober 2, 1503
150 m (490 ft)
 • Total36,283
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
231000, 231041-231045
Area code(s)+375 1592
License plate4
WebsiteOfficial website


Within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Smarhonʹ was part of Vilnius Voivodeship. In 1795, the town was acquired by the Russian Empire in the course of the Third Partition of Poland. Until the mid 19th century, Smarhonʹ was a private property of the Radziwiłł family with most of its population being Jewish.

From 1921 until 1939, Smarhonʹ (Smorgonie) was part of the Second Polish Republic. In September 1939, the town was occupied by the Red Army and, on 14 November 1939, incorporated into the Byelorussian SSR.

From 25 June 1941 until 4 July 1944, Smarhonʹ was occupied by Nazi Germany and administered as a part of the Generalbezirk Litauen of Reichskommissariat Ostland.

Smorgonʹ is known as the place where a school of bear training, the so-called "Bear Academy", was founded.

Smarhonʹ barankiEdit

Up until World War II, Smarhonʹ was widely known for its baranki,[2] traditional Eastern European ring-shaped bread rolls, similar to bagels and bubliki. Russian food historian William Pokhlyobkin considered Smarhonʹ to be the brithplace of baranki.[3] Baranki were supposedly used to feed bears in the Bear Academy. Written accounts of Smarhonʹ baranki appeared in the 19th century. Polish-Lithuanian journalist Adam Kirkor wrote in the encyclopedia Picturesque Russia: "In Smorgonʹ, Oshmyany district, Vilna province, almost all the petty bourgeois population is busy baking small bubliki, or kringles, which are widely known as Smorgonʹ obvaranki. Each traveller would definitely buy several bundles of these bubliki; besides, they are transported to Vilna and other cities."[4] Władysław Syrokomla mentioned Smarhonʹ as "the capital of obwarzanki famous in all Lithuania".[5] Smarhonʹ obwarzanki were a traditional treat at Saint Casimir's Fair in Vilnius.[6][7]

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

Smarhonʹ is twinned with:

Famous natives and citizens of SmarhonʹEdit

References and notesEdit

  1. ^ "World Gazetteer". Archived from the original on 2013-01-11.
  2. ^ Russian: баранки, Belarusian: обваранки, romanizedobvaranki, Polish: obwarzanki
  3. ^ Баранки. In: В. В. Похлёбкин, Кулинарный словарь от А до Я. Москва, Центрполиграф, 2000, ISBN 5-227-00460-9 (William Pokhlyobkin, Culinary Dictionary. Moscow, Centrpoligraf publishing house, 2000; Russian)
  4. ^ Адам Киркор (1881). Живописная Россия. 1. p. 217. (Adam Kirkor (1881). Picturesque Russia (in Russian). 1. p. 217.)
  5. ^ Уладзіслаў Сыракомля (1993). "З дарожнага дзённіка 1856 года". Добрыя весці: паэзія, проза, крытыка (in Belarusian). Маст. літ. pp. 425–433.
  6. ^ Францішак Багушэвіч (1998). "Публіцыстыка, 1885". Творы (PDF). Мінск. (Francišak Bahuševič (1998). "Journal publications, 1885". Writings (in Belarusian). Minsk.)
  7. ^ Alfons Wysocki (1937-02-28). "Na Kaziuku" (PDF). AS, Tygodnik Ilustrowany (in Polish).
  8. ^ Heath, Nick (2006). "Mett, Ida, 1901-1973". Libcom.

External linksEdit