The first written information about Zelva refers to the year 1470, when Mikhail Nochovich laid the foundation of a Roman-Catholic Church in a village Bol'shaya Zel'va. In the first part of the XVII century, the Sapegi family became the owners of Zelva. In the year 1616 the small town consisted of a market and of 3 streets. In the year 1643 Kazimir Sapega received Vladislav IV, the king of Rech Pospolitaya, in Zelva, as a guest. In the year 1720 it obtained the right on commerce and trade fairs. Starting from the second part of the XVIII century, the Zel'va trade fair became one of the most important ones in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, where mainly horses were in trade. Starting from the year 1795 it had made part of the Russian Empire. From the year 1921 it passed to Poland, from the year 1939 it made part of the BSSR. Since the 15th of January 1990 it is a town village, a regional center.
Nowadays Zelva is a town village with the population of more than 9 thousand people. Here such important enterprises operate as a building-assembling enterprise "Zelvoenergostroy", a creamery factory, a repairing-building enterprise. In the Region there are the following points of interest: the Country Estate House (the end of the XIX century, village Aleksandrovschina), the Yan Church (a second part of the XIX century, village Vostrovo), the Exaltation of the Cross Roman Catholic Church (the beginning of the XX century, village Derechin).
Guide to towns and district centers of Republic of Belarus. A.V. Varivonchik [etc.]