Minsk (in chronicles Mansk, Menesk) is first mentioned in the chronicle "Povest vremennyh let" in 1067 in connection with events that had taken place on the territory of Kievan Rus'. In the 2nd half of XI century Minsk was under Polotsk rule. The town had its council and irregulars. At the end of XI — beginning of XII century Minsk became a center of Minsk appanage Principality.
Political and geographical position contributed to economical progress of Minsk, which in the 2nd half of XI—XII century became a trade and market town. Starting from the 2nd half of XV century the town was ruled by a Grand Duke representative, besides, it became a seat of Minsk uyezd (district).
Royal charter of 1444 ranks Minsk among 15 the most developed town of Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Grand Duke's charter of the 14th of March, 1499, granted Minsk the right for self-government according to Magdeburg rights. An administrative reform of Grand Duchy of Lithuania (1565—1566) resulted in appearance the largest on its territory Minsk province, which included 60 boroughs and towns. On the 12th of January, 1591, Minsk achieved its emblem: a woman figure between two angels and cherubs against blue background. Bourgeois reforms of 1860—1870s had significant influence on the all aspects of city's life. The construction of Moscow—Brest and Libavo— Romenskaya railroads gave an impulse to the development of Minsk. These railroads intersected in Minsk and connected it with Russia, Poland, Baltic region and the Ukraine. At that time in the city's architecture predominated stylization trends, imitated old fashion styles. In 1898 the 1st congress of Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) was held in Minsk. After BSSR was founded (the 1st of January, 1919), Minsk became its capital.
During the Great Patriotic War Nazi established rigorous occupation regime, killed more than 400 thousand people in Minsk and its neighborhood, 70 thousand of them were the Minskers. In fact, Fascists ruined Minsk. In the middle 1950s consequences of war had been almost overpassed. In January 1972 Minsk became the È* city in the USSR with population exceeding 1 million. On the 26th of June, 1974, according to decree issued by Supreme Soviet Presidium, Minsk was awarded the tide of Hero City.
Nowadays Minsk is the largest industrial and cultural center of Belarus. There are 290 industrial enterprises of engineering and metal processing in Minsk (Minsk Tractor Plant, Minsk Automobile Plant, Motorcycle and bicycle plant, electrotechnical plant, Minsk clock factory, technological hardware plant, instrument-making plant, automated lines production, spring plant, "Udarnik", bearing plant, S. M. Kirov machine-tool plant, Minsk industrial union "Gorizont", industrial union "Atlant", "Integral" and others). There are three historical-architecture zones in the city: the zone of old or upper town, where partially city planning and building of XVII — the beginning of XIX century have survived; the zone of Troitsky and Rakovsky suburb. The site of the old Minsk castle is an archeological preserve. Those who have visited Minsk for the first time, are impressed by the thought-out system of planting of greenery. The shank of this system is the Svisloch River and its green banks. The most well-known recreation areas are artificial lake, called Minsk sea, Lake Vyacha and artificial lake Ptich.
Guide to towns and district centers of Republic of Belarus. A.V. Varivonchik [etc.]