For a contemporary person the thoughts about the ancient times are filled with special touching romanticism. At first primitive people learned to hunt, get fire; in Mesolithic era there appeared a bow and arrows, wild dog has been domesticated and became a faithful friend and helper.
It is unbelievable that in those far away times on the territory of our state first inhabitants appeared. The archeologist found the places of settlements of the primitive people. One of them situated in the eastern suburb of Mogilev (late Mesolithic, 6-5 century b.c.). And the place, where now Gorky Park is situated, was occupied by the site of ancient settlement Mogila (5th century b.c.).
In the 10th century the territory of the contemporary Mogilev joined Kiev Rus. But the city of Mogilev, that will be discussed further, was founded much later.
Many legends about the foundation of Mogilev exist and have been transferred from one generation to another.
One of the legends is connected with the name of the Gallic Duke Lev Danilovich Mogiy (mighty lion). In 1267 as the Duke's will on the river Dnepr where the river Dubrovenka flows into it a castle had been built. Later fishermen, artificers, tradesmen began to settle nearby. A lot has changed since then, no castle any more. It was burned the last time in 1595 by polish pans. Archeologists didn't manage to find the traces of that castle.
Some researchers consider that the title Mogilev goes back to the name of the polish duke Lev Vladimirovich (Lev Moguchiy).
But there is one more legend — the most famous one. It touched Belorussian national poet Yanka Kupala so much, that he wrote a poem “Lion's Grave”. The legend says that on the place of the contemporary Mogilev once there were deep woods, where in those far away times athlete Masheka found a shelter, and later the self-willed duke bereaved his fiancee. Masheka revolted, and started his revenge for his own grieve, and the tears of all the oppressed people. The mighty athlete died from the hand of his beloved, who became the duke's wife. Peasants buried Masheka on the shore of the Dnepr and made a burial mound.
And that high grave,
Starting from the 14th century Mogilev was a part of the Great Duchy of Lithuania (GDL). At the end of the century the city was turned to the property of the polish Queen Yadviga — GDL duke Yagailo's wife. There are many legends among people about that woman. One of them says:
To avoid external danger GDL had a need to approach to Poland. One of the conditions of the union was the marriage of the 36 years old duke Yagailo with 13 years old Yadviga. But the girl had been engaged with the Austrian duke Wilhelm since 4 years old. She was in love with him, and should had become his wife at the age of 12. The marriage was about to be concluded when the polish feudals rushed into the Krakov Castle. They managed to persuade Yadviga that her sacrifice was necessary for Poland's wealth.
In 1386 the marriage between Yadviga and Yagailo had been concluded. Yadviga gave the positive answer on the one condition. A historic anecdote tells about it.
The thing is that just before the wedding wicked people rumored to Yadviga, that Yagailo's body was so perverted during the fights that he would doubly manage be a father. Yadviga then sent her secret ambassador to check the things out. But soon the wise Yagailo guessed about the expectancies of the fiancee and took the ambassador to the bath-house, where he could make sure that Yagailo had a healthy body.
Yadviga didn't gave children to Yagailo, though they had lived together for 13 years. After that Yagailo married for 3 times more, and only the last wife — Sofia Olshanskaya bore the sons to him, one of them was the future Great Duke of Lithuania and Poland - Kazimir.
In 1503 Mogilev was granted to Elena Ioanovna (the Duke of GDL Alexander's wife)as a life-being property.
In 1514 the city was granted to the property of U. Zenovich.
In the middle of the 17th century there were numerous trade shops that belonged to the commodity producers. The merchants were involved in the trade of the city. And in their circle there was formed a ruling top. It was also called Merchants Brotherhood. This union tried to achieve monopoly on the city market.
Mogilev has always had a favorable geographic position. Here the Dnepr drew noisily its waters far away, and here there was the main crossroads of trade. And, doubtlessly, the traders, making profit of this, aimed to settle connections with other towns and cities. In the nearest cities and towns the merchants were exempted from the taxes. As far as the total amount of the cities with which trade connections were kept, there were about 60 of them.
The population of Mogilev was not homogeneous in social position and property. The most solvent representatives were gentry and clergy, and also castle administration.
Gentry had a monopoly on land property, and were freed from the majority of taxes. During Kazimir's reign it got in addition the right to make jurisdiction over the subjects in their domains.
Clergy was busy with the organization of the religious arrangements. It had the majority of the gentry's privileges. But still the position for the representatives of that class was quite unstable. It depended on the major religion. Till the end of the 14th century orthodox religion was the main one, after that it yielded to Catholicism up to the 18th century. It is not even worth mentioning, that priests and psalm-readers didn't obtain the privileges of the clergy of the higher ranges (bishops, metropolitans, archimandrites).
The main layer of the populations were petty and the citizens. Those were merchants, tradesmen, homeowners, workshop and other kind of craftsmen, middle merchants. Here the poor of the city (apprentices and small tradesmen, servants, time-workers, mercenaries) can be included. For along time they had the same duties as peasants. The things changed only in the 16th century with the introduction of the independent from the volost city administration.
In 1569 according to the Lublin Union between the GDL and Poland Mogilev became the part of the new formed state - The Great Duchy Of Poland and Lithuania.
In 1592 Mogilev was granted the small Magdeburg Privilege. The city hall was built on the square as a symbol of self-government and free trading. In 1606 the rebels under the leadership of Stahar Mitkovich opened the doors of the city hall threw down the gentry rule, and took the power. Only in 4 years the gentry managed to subdue the rebel. The cruelly punished those who rebelled with the arms against the oppression and violence.
The year 1596 can be considered a year of the reform in the church. On the territory of the Great Duchy of Poland and Lithuania there was formed the union of the catholic and orthodox churches.
In that time the clergy struggle sharpened. The peculiar form of the religious-political fight were orthodox brotherhoods, the members of which were basically tradesmen, merchants, also clergy and gentry. Fur-dressers brotherhood founded in Mogilev in 1589 was one of the first in Belarus. There are also known brotherhoods by Spas, Preobrazhen, and other churches.
The brotherhoods had a great role in the development of the enlightenment, they opened schools, from 1616 till 1773 (with some breaks) there existed Mogilev brotherhood printing-house.
Among the townspeople existed simultaneously proMoscow party and a party, Devoted to the authorities of Rech Pospolitaya. In the beginning the townspeople used cunning, played for time, waited for the help. Moscow military leader Voejkov in one of the first reports informed Alexey Mihajlovich that the Mogilev petty bourgeoises «protect the city, and expect on itself your people, and on people looking wish to stand and fight». Therefore imperial military leader asked about dispatch of additional military contingents under Mogilev. Except for this active propaganda with the purpose of bloodless delivery of the city has been developed. Voejkov secretly sent to the city Vasily Yakimov and a bow shooter Тishka. They should make Mogilev peolple to deliver. For this purpose they have transferred the propaganda reference with the appeal about delivery to the Moscow armies to supporters of delivery of the city from the environment of the Mogilev petty bourgeoises. However attempt of promulgation of this document and propaganda for transition to the party of Russia has terminated very sadly for representatives of the proMoscow party.
On August, 14th representatives of the city council had been sent deputation on negotiations. Petty bourgeois promised to hand over the city, but only in three days. The matter is that the townspeople have been informed that under the order reigning to the aid Voejkov people from under Dubrovno should come soldiers from Moscow Orsha and Gory.
However on August, 25th, 1654 the city gate have opened before the enemy. It has been connected with comprehension of a hopelessness of the situation, and active propaganda from hegumen Kuteinskij of orthodox monastery Iol Trutsevich and Konstantin Poklonskшо. Except this tsar solemnly promised to keep the Magdebourg right for voluntary delivery of the city. By the way, it has really been kept, and the townspeople have acquired the right to elect the head of the local self-management.
In the beginning of February, 1655 under the walls of Mogilev approached armies of hetman The Great Principality of Lithuania Yanush Radzivil. In spite of the fact that during one of the storms of Mogilev on his side passed the group of 400 person K. Poklonsky who has let in armies The Great Principality of Lithuania in the Circular shaft, to the territory of New city, Mogilev storm so to take and it was not possible. Really, defense of the city has not been supported by all townspeople. Already during these events was felt the deep discontent of a part of the Mogilev townspeople with new authority . At once after an entrance of armies of Padzivil in New city to his armies adjoined the significant part of the townspeople lived there. The townspeople have preliminary developed the plan on destruction of the Moscow garrison. Owners at whom enemy soldiers lived , hetmen to Lithuania and Poland «. The truth the most part of the townspeople at this time all the same has remained is true to the Moscow tsar and participated in protection of the city from Radzivil.
Indoubtedly, it is impossible to speak and that only» the top«of the townspeople participated in the revolt. «Top» by the definition the minority, and the minority to destroy well prepared and armed Russian garrison during revolt on February, 1st, 1661 would be not in the condition.
However there is one more rather valuable certificate of the contemporary of those events, the historian, the poet and public figure Ieronim Vespasian Kahovskшо who has kept more realistic event of events at that time in Mogilev of events. According to this author, people of Mogilev seeing adverse development for the Moscow state of the military company have counted for the best will return back, to structure of Rech Pospolitaya. In definite time a part of the townspeople with the city herd has left for the city strengthenings. They have started to call to the aid to shout that they were attacked by «Poles» and «Lithuania» that many among them are killed, and the part is taken in captivity. To the aid of the townspeople the Moscow soldiers and bow shooters have rushed. After that conspirators have closed the city gate and have started to shoot methodically «Moscow» from the city walls. Revolt and in the Mogilev where there was a part of garrison has simultaneously begun. It had been destroyed by a part, and 986 soldier and bow shooters has been taken in captivity.
For many centuries Radzivils owned the Nesvizh Castle. They had vast areas of land, gained millions of profit, influenced the fates of thousands people.
But where the kin of Radzivils has its start? This is the legend that they tell in Nesvizh. Trying to glorify their clan Radzivils connected their kin to the ancient Rome aristocracy.
As they put it, the ancestor Dorsprung reaches Lithuania by sea and founded there the settlement Ramnova (new Rome). Among the inheritors of this clan especially famous is Supreme Pagan Krivo-Kriveyshe. He deeply fell in love with the Lithuanian beauty. They had a son, whom the father being the pagan couldn't bring up himself. A young mother died during the childbirth. Whom should he give the boy for up-bringing? Krivo-Kriveyshe invented a crafty plan. Different Dukes visited him often. One of them, Narimunt, didn't have a son-heir. So he pleaded the pagan to ask the god Pergunas the heir for him. The pagan used this fact. When Narimunt visited him next time, who was keen on hunting, Krivo-Kriveyshe ordered to put a small son into the cradle, decorate it with flowers and hang it on the high tree. During the hunting the dogs lead the duke and his suite to the mysterious tree, with no game nearby. The hunters looked upwards and noticed something among the leaves. The basket had been taken down. There was a great “miracle” in it — a healthy and beautiful boy. Krivo-Kriveyshe said to Narimant: “This is God Perkunas sent the son to you. Bring this child up as if he was your own. And listen to all he says, as in each his word there will be the voice of God”.
The boy was named Lidzeyk, that means in Lithuanian “found in the nest”.
The boy, who grew up quickly, was treated with respect, and his advice had always been followed. Once the Great Duke Gedemin asked for Lidzeyka's help. It was necessary to explain the unusual duke's dream, when he stayed for a night in the valley of the saint horn: mighty iron wolf howled to all the directions of the world. Lidzeyka explained the dream in the following way: on the place where the duke stayed it is necessary to build a city so that the whole world knew of its glory. So the city of Vilno was founded says the legend. Just after that to Lidzeyka's name they began to add Radzivil — from Belorussian “radzits” (advise).
Several generations then used it as a nickname, and later it became their surname. The kin of the clan from Nesvizh branch was Yan Radzivil with the nickname The Bearded.
The hot breath of the war between Russia and Sweden reached the lands of Mogilev. This war got the title The North War and it lasted for more than 2 decades. The eastern lands of Belarus became the main arena of the military actions. Russian and Sweden armies went through Mogilev. At this time Peter I visited (Russian emperor) the city. Russian regiments stayed in Mogilev and its suburbs the whole spring and the beginning of the summer. The citizens had to provide them with provision, arms, take part in the construction of the bridges across the Dnepr.
In July of the same years Mogilev was occupied by the Sweden regiments. The Swiss robbed the churches and monasteries, took silver away. The Swiss regiments had stayed in the city for just 6 weeks — not so long. But for that term they managed to deprive the citizens from their provision, destroyed more than 1700 houses.
The turning point of the war became after the cruel fight near the village Lesnaya. But let's give the word to one of the participants of the fight — Duke Galitsin. He remembered:
“We have been under the fire of the enemy for the whole day then, but the least disorder didn't take place in our army, and we didn't yield an inch of land to the occupants. Four times our arms became so heated, that it was hardly possible to hold them in hands. Four times we filled our empty bags and pockets with cartridges”.
The defeat in that fight was unbearable break-down for the Swiss. But for Peter I this victory became one of the most glorious during the North war, “the mother of Platava's fight” that occurred less that in a year.
From generation to generation goes the legend about the glory, courage and valour of the Russian soldiers of those days.
To honour the 200 years' anniversary since the victory of the Russian army in the fight with the Swiss near the village Lesnaya there have been built and solemnly opened the memorial complex .
In Mogilev as well as all around Belarus Catholicism and Union was deliberately imposed. Catholic orders strengthened their positions in all the cities. Orthodox churches have been violently withdrawn and given to the Union.
In 1642 the emperor of the Great Duchy of Poland and Lithuania stated the wish. It sounded like this:
“It is necessary that the citizens of Mogilev should be uniat, and be them on their own will, and if they don't follow it, they'll become uniats deliberately”.
The ruling circles of the state tried to reach their aim in all possible ways. For this purpose they magnified the struggle against the orthodox brotherhoods. And the citizens of Mogilev continued their struggle against all the forms of feudal oppression.
In June 1812 the napoleon regiments crossed the border of the Russian Empire. Military affairs started on the territory of Belarus, which was a part of the Russian empire at that moment after the division of the Great Duchy of Poland and Lithuania.
Id the legend is true, then such an event took place near the Neman: Napoleon's horse took Napoleon away while going through the river. This sign appeared a bad one for many people, but not for Napoleon, who didn't believe in those things.
Napoleon planned to defeat the Russian army during the fights at the border. But the drawing away regiments gathered together near Smolensk. It was impossible to defeat them on the belorussian territory. Here in summer 1812 there were cruel battles, where our city took part also.
In the village Saltanovka Mogilev region the regiments under the leadership of the general Raevskiy kept resistance to the French army. The action of the general became a vivid example for all the soldiers, who together with his 2 minor sons drew the attack against the occupants.
— Children, come up to me! — he said.
But still in spite of the all efforts Mogilev had been occupied by French troops. The city was liberated only in November by the Russian army under the command of Ozharovskiy.
In January 1826 in Mogilev the Decembrists (members of the “South unity”) ,have been interrogated by a special investigation commission.
The national liberating revolt in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus had its effect on Mogilev also. At that time the 3rd artillery brigade had its place in the city, and in its rows they formed military - liberating organization.
After the abolishment of serfdom in 1861, the capitalistic development of Mogilev began to take its speed, industry and trade quickened.
In 1885 there were 124 enterprises in the city. Not so much time had passed, and the year 1900 started. For this term the amount of the enterprises almost doubled, their amount was 220.
The events of the “Bloody Sunday” shocked the citizens. On a cold January day many people's lies ended tragically. In St. Petersburg a peace demonstration of the workers to the Winter Palace had been shot. After this the faith of people into the kind emperor had been finally destroyed. A wave of strikes and meetings went through the country.
Mogilev was not left behind. The city was filled with demonstrations and strikes. The workers together with the politically arrested people revolted. The workers from Mogilev acted in cooperation with the workers from Odessa, Ivanovo-Voznesensk, The Caucasus (the demonstrations of solidarity). Antigovernment demonstration took place. Several thousand people participated in it.
The First World War, where 38 countries of the world had been involved, became the turning point not only in the European history. It left its trace on the lives of many generations, and rewrote the history of the world in its own way.
From the very beginning of the war military status had been declared in Belarus. Impossibly hard were the conditions of living for people. The majority of men had been called to the war, so, especially in the village there was an urgent shortage of the men force. The most necessary things for living had been constantly taken away for army. The way of refugees entered Belarus. They have been used as a cheep labour force.
The Supreme General base was at that moment in Mogilev. In spite of the difficult situation during the military regime, Bolsheviks managed to organize the strikes of the workers of textile and tobacco plants.
After the February revolution the Council of labour and peasant deputies started its work. After that RSDRP was founded. In spring the wave of strikes shook the city.
A month has passed after the revolt in Petrograd. During that period Mogilev was in the hands of anti-Soviet forces. And now the Soviets had the power. Soon they established control under the Mogilev base. In November the base was taken by the revolutionary regiments and it had been reorganized.
Each person connects the notion of morning with the birth of a new day. The nature wakes up, the sun rises, and you want to believe that the new day will bring only positive events, and present colourful impressions.
But the morning of 1941 was painted in absolutely different tones. The first shootings were made near the western borders of country on that ill-starred morning. Bombs and garnets exploded, cities and villages were set on fire, leaving dark lifeless ruins behind. That morning became the last for many people's lives.
German regiments that had invaded our country expected an easy victory, had a plan of “lightning war”. But the occupants faced resistance. It should be said that the special parts of the Read Army prepared for the offensive actions, they considered that the war would be quick, fast-going and on another territory. But the armies even hadn't been rearmed, new techniques hadn't been learned. Mass repressions deprived the army from experiences warriors and generals.
And still the resistance had been shown. The soldiers of the Brest Fortress had been fighting till the last socket. They had been keeping resistance for a month, though according to the fascists plans the occupation of the fortress should had been done within several hours.
In the very first hours the air fights began in Belarus. It was that time when belorussian pilot Gastello and the members of his team became heroes. With the permission of his team the captain directed his burning airplane to the tanks.
During the defense of Gomel pilot Kovzan did his first feat. He is the only pilot in the world who made 4 air rams and stayed alive.
And still, in spite of the reinforced resistance of the Red Army, the fascists moved quickly to the inside of Belarus, Minsk was captured during the 7th day.
Buinichy field can be called a sacred place not only for those who live in Mogilev. It can be compared with Kulikov or Borodino field.
Very often you can see veterans on the green grass of the field, hardly restraining their tears. In silence stand men and women, girls and fellows, and, probably, for many this silent place doesn't bear any threat, but there are people, for whom like many years ago, the grenades explode.
The fight in Mogilev had really been tense. The defense of the city had lasted for 23 days. Among the brave warriors against the fascist it is worthy to mention the regiment under Kutepov command. Only for one day they destroyed 39 fascist tanks. These fights have been described in the novel by Simonov “The Alive and The Dead”. Colonel Kutepov became the prototype of the hero from the novel by Serligin. The writer remembered Mogilev as well as Moscow.
The defense of Mogilev ended tragically, but all the refugees were not in vain. This struggle played a very important role in the further development of the events. Here the approach of the “Centre” army to the main Moscow direction had been held. During 23 days the soldiers had been fighting with the enemy, giving by this the opportunity to gain some time to the army to build up new strategies for defense.
Now in the 6th km of the highway Mogilev-Bobruisk , where Buinichy Field is situated, there is a big stone, on which there stands a marble table with the inscription :“The whole life he has remembered the field of fighting in 1941 and then he bequeathed to blow away his ashes”. These are the words about the writer Simonov. He didn't want to part with the memorial places. And now the fate of the writer is connected with Buinichy Field forever...
The struggle against the occupants began in the difficult conditions. Underground organizations and guerrilla movement had been created in the conditions of the occupation. And still the population of Belarus struggled with the occupants, putting the own lives on the altar of victory. In the underground struggle Mogilev took direct part.
And even now people remember the feat of the doctors from 172 division. They stayed in Mogilev so that to save the lives of the injured soldiers. And they did all their best so that the cured soldiers and generals appear not in the militarian camp, but in the guerrilla detachments.
A real feat made the well-known doctor Kuvshinov. Durinf the occupation he didn't ant to be evacuated, that caused surprise for many people. And the answer was simple - the doctor couldn't leave the patients who needed him. Kuvshinin organized underground organization of the doctors in Mogilev region hospital. But due to the betrayal they have been executed.
Fierce struggle had been organized by the workers of the Mogilev railway. Several patriotic groups acted there during the occupation independently. The events, that happened at the railway every day drove the fascists crazy. The trains came out of the path, the compartments had been put on fire. Right at the station the crash of the enemy echelon occurred, somebody unbolted the rails.
The operation “Bagration” began unexpectedly for the enemy in June 1944. The German command suspected that the bow of the soviet army will happen in the Ukraine. This was their fatal miscalculation. The operation began in Belarus through the impassable swamps and woods, from where the fascists didn't expect the blow. On the 3rd day they liberated Vitebsk and then Orsha.
The composite part of the liberation was Mogilev operation. The fascists turned Mogilev into the fortress, mined the bridges across the Dnepr. But they didn't expect the resistance. On the 26th of June the army under the command of Grishin and Boldin took the regiments of the enemy into circle. The air army of Vershinin was of great help during that operation. The occupants have been routed. On the 28th of June Mogilev was liberated.
On the 25th of April for courage and resistance, shown by the people during the World War, and for the success in the industrial construction, Mogilev has been awarded with the Great Patriotic War Order.
Time goes according to its own rules. Sooner or later it frees some space in our memories, erasing the less important events and giving it for some more important. But there are events, that time is powerless. They belong to the history as well as to nowadays. And we shouldn't forget, but remember the glorious pages from the history of the native city. Generation after generation the citizens of the city should look through the pages of history. Only this will teach us understand and treasure the old values, and thus this book is destined for the life eternal.
There were less than 10 thousand people in Mogilyov after its clearing. From 6653 buildings escaped 3220. The enterprises were completely destroyed . Invaders took out the equipment of teachers college, regional museum of local lore to Germany, burnt regional and city libraries, funds of Central historical archive of BSSR. The material damage put by invaders to Mogilyov, made 488 million rbl. (in the prices of 1941).
After city clearing began revival of its economy. For short time was restored the power station, the waterpipe, the water drain. Was opened schools, medical institutions, shops. Was adjusted the work of municipal transportation and travelling railway economy. Ware renewed the activity theatre, cinemas, the House of national creativity, museum of local lore, a number of libraries. In 1946 was opened the first bus route, first post-war production of a distance artel «Victory», factory «Strommashina», metalcutting combine. For a five-years period the volume of an industrial output of the city increased more than in 10 times. The pre-war level of production was blocked. Power supply of the regional centre also was above pre-war. In the city was constructed 120 thousand sq. m. of habitation. In 1950th years in Mogilyov was developed the large capital construction, the operating enterprises were equipped with new technics, their capacities increased. Mogilyov became the city of mechanical engineering, metallurgy, chemistry. were established the regular bus flights from Mogilyov to Minsk and the regional centres of the area. In 1959 begun the city gasification. The network of average and higher educational institutions was restored and developed. Was extended the network of hospitals, ambulance stations, treatment-and-prophylactic establishments. Was mastered the manufacture of new machines and the equipment on metallurgical, automobile and other factories. Wide scope was received by housing construction. In 1960th was begun the building of new microdistricts. In the city were 130 libraries with book fund more than 2,5 million. The regional library of V.I.Lenin received a new premise. Was opened the large-format cinema «Kastrychnik». In 1967 the telerepeater has become operational. In 1970 in the city started the trolley-bus.
In 1970-1980th years was made new steps to social and economic development of the city. Has reached a designed capacity combine of synthetic fibre. Were installed new capacities at the factory «Electric motor», manufactures, association «Man-made fiber», combine of silk fabrics (about 1980 production association), automobile and liftbuilding factories, the factory of devices for preparation of the primary information. In 1980 enterprises of the city let out production on 1,6 billion rbl. Was changed the industrial production structure. In the early eighties, having outstripped mechanical engineering, on the first place left chemical and petrochemical (over 40 % of output) and easy (over 20 %) the industry. The share mashino — and instrument making made 15 %.On the economic potential Mogilyov left on the third place in the republic. Thanks to the help of Academy of sciences of BSSR and other centres of science of the country in Mogilyov there was the network of research establishments and the organisations, was developed wide fundamental works in many directions. The science became one of the largest spheres of national economy of the city.
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