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Country  Belarus
Population  146,745 (2010)
Area  45.97 km2
Founded  1102

Barysaw (officially transliterated as Barysau, Belarusian: Russian: Polish: population 180,100 as of 2013) is a city in Belarus situated near the Berezina River in the Minsk Voblast.


Map of Barysaw


Barysaw in the past, History of Barysaw

Barysaw is first mentioned in the Laurentian Codex as being founded (as Borisov) in 1102 by the Polotsk prince Boris Vseslavovich. During the next couple of centuries it was burned and then rebuilt slightly south of its original location.

Barysaw in the past, History of Barysaw

At the end of the 13th century it became a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1569 (after the Union of Lublin) it became part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and then became part of the Russian Empire in 1793 as a result of the Second Partition of Poland.

On 22 January 1796 the towns coat of arms was established (decree #17435) by Stanislaw August, the top half containing the coat of arms of Minsk, while the lower half had two stylized towers on a silver background with a passage between them and Saint Peter above the towers holding a key in his hand. At that time, Barysaw was an uyezd town.

In 1812, Barysaw became a crucial location when Napoleons troops crossed the Berezina river. The French feinted a crossing at the town itself, but successfully escaped the pursuing armies by building two wooden bridges north of the city, at Studianka. This event is reenacted by military locals during town festivals. A cannon from the Napoleonic era is kept by the towns museum.

In 1871, the railway between Brest and Moscow passed near Barysaw, and a station was built there. In 1900 the area around the station was annexed the town. In November 1917 the area became a part of the Soviet Union but was occupied by Germany and then Poland from 1918 until 1920 after which the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic was established.

During World War II, Barysaw was occupied by Nazi Germany from July 2, 1941, to July 1, 1944, and most of the city was destroyed. More than 33,000 people were killed in six death camps which were constructed around the town.

Since May 1948 the city has been home to the headquarters of the 7th Tank Army, which became the 65th Army Corps and then the North Western Operational Command of the Armed Forces of Belarus in 2001.


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