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Гроднa / Hrodna
Гроднo / Grodno

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Гроднa / Hrodna is located in Belarus
Гроднa / Hrodna
Location of Hrodna
Coordinates: 53°40′N 23°50′E / 53.667°N 23.833°E / 53.667; 23.833
Country
Subdivision
 Belarus
Hrodna Voblast
Founded 1128 (1127)
Government
 - Mayor Barys Kaziałkoŭ
Population (2008)
 - Total 349,700
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Area code(s) +375-15
License plate 4
Website www.region.grodno.by
Antoni Tyzenhaus Square view

Hrodna or Grodno (Belarusian: Гро́дна, IPA: [ˈɣrodna]; Russian: Гродно, IPA: [ˈɡrodnə]; Lithuanian: Gardinas; Polish: Grodno, German: Garten, Latin: Grodna, Grodnae), is a city in Belarus. It is located on the Neman River (Нёман), close to the borders of Poland and Lithuania (about 20 km and 30 km away respectively). It has 325,164 inhabitants (2008 estimate). It is the capital of Hrodna voblast (province) and Hrodna raion (district).

Contents

Geography

There following rivers flow through the city: the Neman River, the Łasasianka River and the Haradničanka River with its branch the Jurysdyka river.

History

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Medieval origin

Orthodox church of Sts. Boris and Gleb (12th century)

The modern city of Grodno originated as a small fortress and a fortified trading outpost maintained by the Rurikid princes on the border with the lands of the Baltic tribal union Yotvingians. Its name derives from the Old East Slavic verb gorodit', i.e., to enclose, to fence (see "grad" for details).

Mentioned in the Primary Chronicle under 1127 as Goroden' and located at a crossing of numerous trading routes, this Slavic settlement, possibly originating as far as the late 10th century, became the capital of a poorly attested but separate principality, ruled by Yaroslav the Wise's grandson and his descendants.

Along with Navahrudak, Hrodna was regarded as the main city on the far west of so-called Black Ruthenia, a border region that was neighbouring the original Duchy of Lithuania. It was often attacked by various invaders, especially the Teutonic Knights. In the 1240-1250s the Grodno area, as well as the most of the Black Ruthenia, was controlled by princes of the Lithuanian origin (Mindaugas and others), who then formed the Baltic-Slavic state - Grand Duchy of Lithuania on these territories. After Prussian uprisings large population of Old Prussians moved to the city. The famous Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas was the prince of Grodno from 1376 to 1392, and he stayed there during his preparations for the Battle of Grunwald (1410). Since 1413, Grodno had been the administrative center of a powiat in Trakai Voivodeship.

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

A 16th-century view of Grodno.
The New Castle in Grodno used to be a summer residence of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth monarchs.

To aid the reconstruction of trade and commerce, the grand dukes allowed the creation of a Jewish commune in 1389. It was one of the first Jewish communities in the grand duchy. In 1441 the city received its charter, based on the Magdeburg Law. After the First Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Grodno became the capital of the short-lived Grodno Voivodeship in 1793.

An important centre of trade, commerce, and culture, Grodno remained one of the places where the Sejms were held. Also, the Old and New Castles were often visited by the Commonwealth monarchs including famous Stephen Báthory of Poland who made a royal residence here. In 1793 the last Sejm in the history of the Commonwealth occurred at Grodno. Two years afterwards, in 1795, Russia obtained the city in the Third Partition of Poland. It was in the New Castle on November 25 of that year that the last Polish king and Lithuanian grand duke Stanisław August Poniatowski abdicated. In the Russian Empire, the city continued to serve its role as a seat of Grodno Governorate since 1801. The industrial activities, started in the late 18th century by Antoni Tyzenhaus, continued to develop.

Up to the Second World War and the Holocaust, like many other cities in Europe, Hrodna had a significant Jewish population: according to Russian census of 1897, out of the total population of 46,900, Jews constituted 22,700 (so around 48% percent).[1]

World War I

After the outbreak of World War I, Grodno was occupied by Germany (1915) and ceded by Bolshevist Russia under the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918. After the war the German government permitted a short-lived state to be set up there, the first one with a Belarusian name - the Belarusian National Republic. This declared its independence from Russia in March 1918 in Minsk (known at that time as Mensk), but then the BNR's Rada (Council) had to leave Minsk and fled to Grodno. All this time the military authority in the city remained in German hands.

After the outbreak of the Polish-Bolshevik War, the German commanders of the Ober Ost feared that the city might fall to Soviet Russia, so on April 27, 1919 they passed authority to Poland. The city was taken over by the Polish Army the following day and Polish administration was established in the city. The city was lost to the Red Army on July 19, 1920 because of the Kiev Offensive. The city was also claimed by Lithuanian government, after it was agreed by the Soviet-Lithuanian Treaty of 1920 signed on July 12, 1920 in Moscow that the city would be transferred to Lithuania. However, Soviet defeat in the Battle of Warsaw made these plans obsolete, and Lithuanian authority was never established in the city. Instead, the Red Army organised its last stand in the city and the Battle of Neman took place there. On September 23 the Polish Army recaptured the city. After the Peace Treaty of Riga, Grodno remained in Poland.

In the city centre.

Initially, prosperity was reduced due to the fact that the city remained only the capital of a powiat, while the capital of the voivodship was moved to Białystok. However, in the late 1920s the city became one of the biggest Polish Army garrisons. This brought the local economy back on track. Also, the city was a notable centre of Jewish culture, with roughly 37% of the city's population being Jewish.

World War II

During the Polish Defensive War of 1939 the garrison of Hrodna was mostly used for the creation of numerous military units fighting against the invading Wehrmacht. In the course of the Soviet invasion of Poland initiated on September 17, there was heavy fighting in the city between Soviet and improvised Polish forces, composed mostly of march battalions and volunteers[2]. In the course of the Battle of Grodno (September 20–September 22), the Red Army lost some hundred men (by the Polish sources; by the Soviet sources - 57 killed and 159 wounded) and also 19 tanks and 4 APCs destroyed or damaged. The Polish side suffered at least 100 killed in action, military and civil, but losses still remain uncertain in detail (Soviet sources claim 644 killed and 1543 captives with many guns and machine guns etc. captured). Many more were shot in mass executions after being imprisoned. After the engaged Polish units were surrounded, the remaining units withdrew to Lithuania.

Theatre and World War II monument

In accordance with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact the city was transferred to the Belarusian SSR of the Soviet Union, and several thousand of the city's Polish inhabitants were deported to remote areas of the Soviet Union. On June 23, 1941 the city came under German occupation lasted until July 1944. In the course of the World War II, the majority of Hrodna's remaining Jews were exterminated in German concentration camps. City was renamed by Germans to Garten (meaning "garden") in 1942.

Since 1945 the city has been a centre of one of provinces of the Belarusian SSR, now of the independent Republic of Belarus.

Modern city

Fountain in Central Park (http://www.anfepic.co.nr/)

The city has one of the largest concentrations of Roman Catholics in Belarus. It is also a center of Polish culture, with the considerable number of Poles living in Belarus, residing in the city and its surroundings. All the while, the Eastern Orthodox population is also widely present here.

This city is known for its very important Medical University, where many students from different parts of Belarus acquire an academic degree, as do a good number of foreign students as well. Other higher educational establishments are Yanka Kupala State University (the largest education center in Hrodna province) and Agricultural university.

Architecture

The town was scored to be dominated by the Old Grodno Castle, first built in stone by Grand Duke Vytautas and thoroughly rebuilt in the Renaissance style by Scotto from Parma at the behest of Stefan Batory, who made the castle his principal residence. Batory died at this palace seven years later (December, 1586) and originally was interred in Hrodna. (His autopsy there was the first to take place in Eastern Europe.) After his death, the castle was altered on numerous occasions, although a 17th-century stone arch bridge linking it with the city still survives. The Saxon monarchs of Poland were dissatisfied with the old residence and commissioned Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann to design the New Grodno Castle, whose once sumptuous Baroque interiors were destroyed during the World War II.

The Jesuit Cathedral of Hrodna (1678-1705)

Medieval

The oldest extant structure in Hrodna is the Kolozha church of Sts. Boris and Gleb (Belarusian: Kalozhskaya). It is the only surviving monument of ancient Black Ruthenian architecture, distinguished from other Orthodox churches by prolific use of polychrome faceted stones of blue, green or red tint which could be arranged to form crosses or other figures on the wall. The church is a cross-domed building supported by six circular pillars. The outside is articulated with projecting pilasters, which have rounded corners, as does the building itself. The ante-nave contains the choir loft, accessed by a narrow gradatory in the western wall. Two other stairs were discovered in the walls of the side apses; their purpose is not clear. The floor is lined with ceramic tiles forming decorative patterns. The interior was lined with innumerable built-in jugs, which usually serve in Eastern Orthodox churches as resonators but in this case were scored to produce decorative effects. For this reason, the central nave has never been painted.

The church was built before 1183 and survived intact until 1853, when the south wall collapsed, due to its perilous location on the high bank of the Neman. During restoration works, some fragments of 12th-century frescoes were discovered in the apses. Remains of four other churches in the same style, decorated with pitchers and coloured stones instead of frescoes, were discovered in Hrodna and Vaŭkavysk. They all date back to the turn of the 13th century, as do remains of the first stone palace in the Old Castle.

Baroque

The Bridgettine convent (1642)

Probably the most spectacular landmark of Hrodna is the Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier, the former (until 1773) Jesuit church on Batory Square (now: Soviet Square). This confident specimen of high Baroque architecture, exceeding 50 metres in height, was started in 1678. Due to wars that rocked Poland-Lithuania at that time, the cathedral was consecrated only 27 years later, in the presence of Peter the Great and Augustus the Strong. Its late Baroque frescoes were executed in 1752.

The extensive grounds of the Bernardine monastery (1602–18), renovated in 1680 and 1738, display all the styles flourishing in the 17th century, from Gothic to Baroque. The interior is considered a masterpiece of so-called Vilnius Baroque. Other monastic establishments include the old Franciscan cloister (1635), Basilian convent (1720–51, by Giuseppe Fontana III), the church of the Bridgettine cloister (1642, one of the earliest Baroque buildings in the region) with the wooden two-storey dormitory (1630s) still standing on the grounds, and the 18th-century buildings of the Dominican monastery (its cathedral was demolished in 1874).

Among other sights in Hrodna and its environs, we should mention the Orthodox cathedral, a polychrome Russian Revival extravaganza from 1904; the botanical garden, the first in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, founded in 1774; a curiously curved building on the central square (1780s); a 254-metre-high TV tower (1984); and Stanisławów, a summer residence of the last Polish king.

Famous people from Hrodna

  • Moisey Ostrogorsky or Moisei Ostrogorski, political scientist, historian, jurist and sociologist, he is considered one of the founders of political sociology, especially in the field of theories about Party Systems and Political Parties (alongside with Max Weber and his disciple Robert Michels).
  • Olga Korbut who won gold medals in gymnastics at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics.
  • Valery Levaneuski entrepreneur, politician, former political prisoner
  • Eitan Livni, Israeli politician, Irgun activist and father of Tzipi Livni.
  • Meyer Lansky, central figure in the Jewish Mafia and highly influential figure in the Italian Mafia.
  • Solomon Perel, a German Jew who survived World War II by masquerading as an ethnic German. He spent two years at a Komsomol-run orphanage in Hrodna, prior to Operation Barbarossa.
  • Yehuda Rabin, world renowned Domra player and founder of Diecraft Australia
  • Alaksandar Milinkievič, politician, candidate in the 2006 presidential elections

See also

References

  1. ^ Joshua D. Zimmerman, Poles, Jews, and the politics of nationality, Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2004, ISBN 0299194647, Google Print, p.16
  2. ^ The Fate of Poles in the USSR 1939~1989" by Tomasz Piesakowski ISBN 0 901342 24 6 Page 36

External links

Coordinates: 53°40′N 23°50′E / 53.667°N 23.833°E / 53.667; 23.833


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Hrodna article)

From Wikitravel

Europe : Belarus : Hrodna
Contents

Border town in north-west Belarus, near Kuźnica-Białostocka in Poland.

Get in

By train

The train station at Hrodna where the change of car trucks (wheels and axles) takes place to accommodate different track guages on east and west routes is a place of almost terrifying size, disorder and noise. One's car is uncoupled from the others and, in turn, is lifted about ten feet as the trucks are changed. This is done without notice and while the operation takes place one has a good view of the acres of rusted, obsolete and unused equipment that must date back to the early 1900s.

There are some trains to Kuznica, in Poland, where it is possible to get an onward connection to Bialystok. These cost about 5000 roubles. Note that pretty much everyone on the train will be smuggling cigarettes with a varying degree of seriousness. Trains leave a few times a day, including a 9:50AM departure which links to a 2:40PM departure from Kuznica to Bialystok allowing passengers to arrive into Warsaw the evening of their departure from Hrodna.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Grodno discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Wikipedia

Contents

English

Alternative spellings

Proper noun

Singular
Grodno

Plural
-

Grodno

  1. A city in Belarus.

Translations

Anagrams


Simple English

Grodno or Hrodna is a city (regional center) in the west of Belarus, Europe. It's began in nearly 1127. It is the only town you can see the oldest church of the East Europe (Kalogha). There are the healthiest forests around the Grodno.


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