The ancient Belarusian city Volkovysk: population and history


The ancient small town was a member of three states, until the fourth one became Belarusian. For more than a thousand-year history, Volkovysk more than once was captured and destroyed by foreign troops. Currently, it is a green and cozy provincial town.

general information

The city of regional subordination is located on the banks of the Ross River, in the south-east of the Grodno region. Volkovysk (in Byelorussia- Vacakysk) is the center of the district of the same name. The area of ​​the territory is 23 square meters. km The population density of Volkovysk is 1916.5 people / sq. km


The first written mention dates back to the year 1005 and is found in the manuscript book of the “Turovskaya Bishop of Blessed Vladimir, ” which is now accepted as the date of the founding of the city. For a long time, a record of 1252 in the Ipatiev Chronicle was considered a documented mention, of a military campaign of the Galician-Volynsk princes, brothers Daniel and Vasilka Romanovich to the lands of the Lithuanian king Mindovg

origin of name


There are many urban legends about the origin of the name. According to one of the most famous - that was the name of the famous leaders of two predatory gangs of Voloka and Visek, operating in this area in the ancient eighth century. In 738, no one Vatislav Zaveiko managed to kill the robbers, by whose names they gave the name to the city. Not far from the place of their burial, a settlement was built of 10 houses, which later became Volkovysk.

According to another version, the name of the city comes from the hydronym Volkovyya. The river with this name flows through the territory of the city and flows into Ross, the left tributary of the Neman. The river was named the same, due to the fact that at that time it flowed through impenetrable forest thickets, in which many wolves were hiding. The population of Volkovysk knows many other stories related to the name of the city.



In the Middle Ages, tribes of the Balts and Slavs lived in the region. The townspeople were engaged in the usual for those times crafts - forging and pottery, they worked on the fur, weaved the cloth.

From the 12th to the 15th century, the city was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, in 1410 it was attacked and burned by the knights of the Teutonic Order. From the 16th century to the first half of the 18th century, belonged to the Commonwealth. During this time, Russian troops twice stormed and destroyed the city. Until the end of the 18th century, Volkovysk was finally captured, and it was incorporated into the Russian Empire. In 1885, a railway came to the city, which stimulated the development of industry, 10 factories and plants were built.

From 1919 to 1939 It was part of Poland, several industrial facilities were built, including two brick, cement and foundry plants, two sawmills. Since 1939 as part of the Byelorussian SSR. During the war years, it was under German rule, which built a concentration camp and a Jewish ghetto here. In subsequent years, the city successfully developed first in the Soviet Union, then in independent Belarus.


It is not reliably known how many people in Volkovysk lived in the first few hundred years. In 1860, the city counted 492 dwelling houses and 2 schools, a Catholic church, an Orthodox church, a synagogue, and prayer houses worked. The city had a hospital, 58 shops, 2 mills, a brick factory. The population of Volkovysk was 3472 inhabitants.


The first official data in Russian sources refer to 1860, when the census was conducted in the Russian Empire. Then the population of Volkovysk was 10, 323 people, of which 5, 528 Jews, 2, 716 Orthodox and 1, 943 Catholics.

During the war years in the occupied city, the Germans organized a ghetto in which about 10, 000 Jews were killed by the Nazis. At the front, 1101 wolfmen were killed. According to the first post-war census of 1959, 18, 280 people lived in the city. From 1959 to 1979 average annual population growth was about 2.22%. In 1970, the population reached 23, 270 people. Population growth occurred for natural reasons. In subsequent years, the city improved its infrastructure, built new residential buildings.

The growth rate of citizens in the 80-90s increased to 3.34% per year. According to the latest post-Soviet data of 1989, the population of Volkovysk was 40, 370 people. In the post-Soviet years, the number of inhabitants continued to grow, although the growth rates decreased. The maximum population of 46, 600 inhabitants was reached in 1999. In the future, the population decreased slightly, mainly due to the excess of mortality over the birth rate. In 2017, there were a little over 44, 000 residents in the city.

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