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For the first time Grodno (the annalistic Gorodna, Gorodnya, Goroden) was mentioned in the Ipatiev, Lavrentiev and Radzivill Chronicles in the year 1127. An advantageous geographical location had contributed to the city's economical growth, rendering it into a handicraft, commercial and cultural center. Starting from the end of the years 1240, Grodno made part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. From the year 1376 it had been prince Vitovt's ownership and during his rule Grodno became a second capital of the Great Principality of Lithuania and obtained the Magdeburg right. In the years 15761586 Stefan Batoria's residence, the king of Rech Pospolitaya, was located in Grodno. In the years 16781679 a Seym of Rech Pospolitaya took place in Grodno, where an alliance with Russia against Turkey was concluded.

In the years 17751781 a medical academy existed in Grodno, which gave a start to the medical education development in Belarus. The Academy was headed by Z. E. Zhimber, a french botanist and a medical man. The academy had its hospital, a botanical garden, where 2 thousand plants could be found the first one in Rech Pospolitaya and the most prominent in Europe. In the year 1793 an extraordinary, the so called "Dumb Seym" was carried out, which ratified a second division of Rech Pospolitaya. In the years 17931795 it was a center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania province. Starting from the year 1795 it made part of the Russian Empire. Theatre played an important role in the city cultural life. In the years 18021809 and 18391861 it existed on a permanent basis. In the year 1861 K. Ka-linovsky, together with Vrublevsky created a revolutionary democratic organization with a center in Grodno, the members of which participated actively in the rebellion of the years 18631864.

Nowadays Grodno represents one of the most prominent administrative, industrial and cultural centers of the Republic. The following branches occupy the leading positions in the city economy: a chemical one (54,5%), a food one (17,9%), a machines construction and metal working one (12,4%), a light one (9,2%).

The historical center of Grodno (XIIXX centuries) includes more than 400 objects. For the purpose of its preservation, it was included in a state list of the historical cultural values.

Among the architectural monuments, preserved until nowadays, one can found: the Grodno Parafial Roman Catholic Church (XVI century), the Grodno Jesuit Roman Catholic Church (XVII century), the Grodno king palace. A pearl of the Pre Dnieper Area is the Boris and Gleb (Ko-lozhskaya) Church of the XII century the only one preserved from that remote period until nowadays, represents the main value. It should, undoubtedly, be included in the "UNESCO" World Heritage list under the category 0.

Guide to towns and district centers of Republic of Belarus. A.V. Varivonchik [etc.]


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