Loyev: The Ancient Settlement of Dregovichi

The ancient settlement of the Gomel region is located eighty kilometers from the regional center and it is not far from the Ukrainian border. Loyev is famous for its military history. The rich history is caused by the geographical location: Loyev is located on the bank of the Dnieper river and in that place the Sozh river flows into the Dnieper. The origin of the settlement name is linked with the word "loy" - grease that was used for lubricating logs in order to move boats from one water body to another (this procedure simplified the process).

From Ancient Times to Present Days

Loyev has a long history. The Dregovichi settlement was located on its lands, one of the ancient Slavic tribes settled in Belarus. Due to its location, the settlement was a place for serving the river fleet in times of Prophetic Oleg. Initially, the settlement of Milograd culture was situated on the territory of modern Loyev, then - the settlement belonged to the tribe of Dregovichi. In the XIV century, Loyev was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Archaeological excavations allow to suggest that even at that time a castle was built in the center of Loyev. Unfortunately, even ruins of an ancient building were not preserved.

According to written sources, the first mention of Loyev dates back to 1505. It was mentioned as Loyev Gora. At that time it was utterly destroyed by the Crimean Tatars. It was not the last visit of the Tatars. The Tatar raids continued in 1506, 1536 and 1538. Loyev became the center of the same name “starostvo”, which in 1646 became part of Starodub povet of the Vilna “voevodstvo”.

The battle of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Ukrainian Cossacks under the command of Bohdan Khmelnytsky on July 31, 1649, became the most important historical event that took place on lands of Loyev. The long lasting Russo-Polish war between the Rzeczpospolita and the Russian Empire ravaged the settlement, but it remained part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1676 the Yuditsky family became the owner of Loyev. This family owned these lands until the middle of the 19thcentury.

 After the division of the Rzeczpospolita in 1793, Loyev became part of the Russian Empire.

In 1918, the First World War came to Loyev. The settlement was occupied by the German troops, two years later by the Polish.

In December, the settlement was part of the BSSR, in 1938 Loyev was granted the status of an urban-type settlement. The Great Patriotic war did not go unnoticed for Loyev. The settlement was occupied by the Germans. During the occupation, the underground organizations were functioning. In 1943, the Red Army crossed the Dnieper river. This historic event gave an impetus to the opening of the Battle For the Dnieper Museum in 1985. You can visit the exposition of World War II weapons, see personal belongings of some commanders, and pictures of ordinary soldiers.

You can visit one of the oldest buildings of Loyev – a house of merchant Naum, which was built in 1847. Its restoration was lasting for seven years. Nowadays there are two libraries and the district department of culture.

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