| BelarusHrodna Voblast|
Andrei P. Hudyk
Lida (Belarusian: ; Russian: ; Polish: ; Yiddish: ) is a city in western Belarus in Hrodna Voblast, situated 160 kilometres (99 miles) west of Minsk. It is the fourteenth largest city in Belarus.
Lida Castle was built by the order of The Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas for protection against the Teutonic Knights assaults. The stone foundations of the castle were laid in 1323. Parts of the trapezium-shaped fortress were added on up through the 15th century. In the mid-17th century, an army of 30,000 sent by Prince Nikita Khovansky of Moscow to destroy it, and in the Great Northern War (1700–1721), Swedes came and blew up the castles towers, therefore permanently diminishing its military purpose. It has since been restored and tourists come to view its crimson walls.
The Roman Catholic Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, a fine example of local late Baroque architecture.
The Church of St. Joseph in Lida was built in 1794-1825. Built in the Late Classicism Style, the round stone church has an attractive dome and front. In 1842 it was burnt down due to a fire, but was soon rebuilt. Currently it is an Orthodox Church.
The Catholic Church in Lida was given a new sanctuary in April 2007. The refreshingly white interior complements the tan exterior.
Starting from the Spring of 2001, the Jewish Community of Belarus worked closely with the residents of Lida to erect a memorial commemorating the thousands of Lida Jews that perished in the Holocaust. In Autumn of 2003, an unveiling ceremony which involved 400 occurred. Now, visitors and residents alike can take a visit to this memorial, which properly honors all of those innocent victims of World War II.
There are passing mentions of Lida in chronicles from 1180. Until the early 14th century the settlement at Lida was a wooden fortress in the Lithuania proper. In 1323, the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas built a brick fortress there. 1380 is generally considered the founding year of the city of Lida. The fortress withstood Crusader attacks from Prussia in 1392 and 1394 but it was burned to the ground in 1710. Following the death of Gediminas, when Lithuania was divided into principalities, Lida became the capital of one of them, the seat of Algirdas.