Mstislavl was mentioned for the first time in the collection of the Kiev Michailov Monastery where it was indicated: "In the year 6642 (1135 A.D.) Rostislav Mstislavovich built a great city of Smolensk and the church of the Sviatoy Spas Verhu Smyadyni and he built the Mstislavl' City on Verh' as well."
The Smolensk prince Rostislav Mstislavovich appears to be a founder of Mstislavl'. Starting from the year 1180 it was a centre of the Mstislavl princely domain. In the XIII century — the first part of the XIV century, Mstislavl became the part of the Smolensk Principality. The Mstislavl regiment participated and distinguished itself during the Grunwald battle in the year 1410. In the XIV—XV cc Mstislavl was a commercial and craftsman center. In the XVI—XVII cc it was an important city which traded with the cities of the Russia and of the Western Europe countries, Here one of the first Russian and Belarusian printers, the engraver of the XVI century, Petr Mstislavovich was born. In the year 1634 the city obtained the Magdeburg right and its own coat of arms, Starting from the 17 of July Mstislavl became a district center of the Mogilev province. Nowadays more than 11 thousand people reside in the city. It has its own industry, infrastructure. The Mstislavl monumental architectural monuments are represented by a former Jesuits Monastery (the year 1614), the Carmelite Roman Catholic Church and Alexander Nevsky Church. The Carmelite Roman Catholic Church appears to be the most important architectural monument of Mstislavl. It was built in 1637 and reconstructed in the 1746—1750 by I. Glaubitz. The particular attention should be paid to the church interior, decorated with modeling and frescos of the second part of the XVII century with the Biblical plots. The Alexander Nevskiy Cathedral Church was built in 1870 on the basis of the Bernardines Roman Catholic Church and it towers over all the city buildings.
Guide to towns and district centers of Republic of Belarus. A.V. Varivonchik [etc.]