Bragin

The urban village of Bragin is one of the oldest settlements in Gomel region, situated on the picturesque banks of the river Braginka. Bragin is a valuable tourist center thanks to its rich history and tourist attractions.

There are several interesting hypotheses concerning the origin of the name "Bragin". One of them is associated with the moorland, where the settlement was located. Once lived in the village two brothers. They, according to the legend, founded Bragin. One day one of them got stuck in the mud, and the other, seeing no way to save his brother, exclaimed in despair: "Brother! Die!" which in Belarusian sounded like “Bra Gin”. There is another version, though. It says that the name of the village comes from the word "Braga"- the product of fermentation used for producing alcohol drinks. This word in ancient times meant not only drinks, but also a nickname.

Historical overview.

Bragin was first mentioned in the Ipatiev chronicle as long as in 1147. However, scientific investigations of the ruins proved that the territory of the village had been inhabited in the XIth century. Bragin was a part of Kiev Principality, which was the reason for frequent attacks by enemies. It was almost completely devastated and ruined by the forces of the northern princes, when they had taken over Bragin. The village also suffered from the forces of the Polovtsians, who had helped Chernigov princes to avenge Kiev rulers this way.

Then, in 1187, Rurik Rostislavich, who ruled the Principality of Kiev, had given Bragin to his wife and his son. In 1241 Bragin was ravaged again, that time by Mongol-Tatar forces. Since 1360 it was the Grand Duchy of Lithuania that had owned the territory of Bragin. In 1511, King Sigismund granted the residents of Bragin certain privileges and benefits.  The village reaches its greatest flourishing during the reign of the famous dynasty of Belarusian magnate Vyshnevetsky, who made the village their residence. They were engaged in strengthening of the settlement and actively contributed to the development of trade there. Unfortunately, now only separate fragments of fortifications have remained. Bragin is also notable for the fact that Prince Adam Vishnevetsky hired the person to serve him, and afterwards he went down into history as false Dmitry I.

The second partition of Poland made Bragin one of the lands of the Russian Empire. Historical Chronicles mark the reduction of the population of the village. In 1917 Soviet Power comes to Bragin. During the Second World War the residents showed heroism peculiar to all Belarusians, having created Bragin Patriotic clandestine movement to fight against the Nazis. Bragin found freedom on 23 November 1943.

After the war, the village regained its strength, but in 1986 it suffered again, this time from the consequences of the accident at Chernobyl nuclear power plant. A significant part of the population had to leave their homes. Now, however, Bragin is developing dynamically, with increasing fertility, and the ancient town is gaining its attractiveness as a tourist pearl of Gomel region.

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