Oshmiany

GENERAL INFORMATION

Ashmyany is a city in the west of Belarus which is an administrative center with population of 16 thousand  of people. The city is situated on the river Ashmyanka (formerly it was called Ashmyana), given its name to the locality. Ashmyany is situated a little more than 130 kilometers fr om Minsk. To get to Grodno regional center one should go for about 200 kilometers. Though the distance to get to Vilnius goes beyond 50 kilometers.

THE HISTORY OF ASHMYANY CITY

For the first time Ashmyany was mentioned in 1341, when it was passed to the Grand Duke of Lithuania Jaunutis. Later, Teutonic Knights attempted to seize the city for several times. In 1413 Ashmyany turned to a large trading center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. One more prominent event for the city was the obtaining of Magdeburg Rights in 1566. Moreover, in the 16th century Ashmyany turned to the large center of Calvinism, as a result of collegium establishment and a church building.

After the third partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Ashmyamy became a part of the Russian Empire. The dwellers of Ashmyany took an active part in rebellion of 1830-1831. In 1920-30s of the 20th century Ashmyany was a part of Poland. Later, the city entered into the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic and since 1991 it is the district center of Grodno region of the Republic of Belarus.

THE EMBLEM OF THE CITY

The first emblem of Ashmyany dates back to 1792. Three images were depicted on it: an arm with scales, a shield and a red calf, which was a family crest of Poniatowski. In 1845 the city received another emblem. There was a rider with a sword depicted on the upper part of it and a bear on the lower one. In 2006 a new heraldic sign was created for the city on the basis of the emblem of 1792.

THE PLACES OF INTEREST

A considerable part of Asmyany’s monuments are religious objects. There is Voskresenskaya Church of 1875 among them, which is an architectural monument of Retrospective-Russian style.

In the second half of 1980, the church was restored. Two Roman – Catholic Churches also remained in the city. The first of them, Saint Michael’s Church was erected in the beginning of the 20th century in baroque style. In the middle of the century, there was a factory in the church building, and in 1990 it worked as initially intended to.

The second one is Franciscans Church. Indeed, it is situated twenty kilometers to the south of the city-Halshany agro-town. The temple was built in 1618, later on it has been restored for several times. The building of former cloister, situated beside the church, is still well-preserved. One more religious unit that has survived to the present day is a city synagogue (currently it is used as warehouse).

Synagogue was built in 1912 and it still preserved its lush paintings, applied on vaulting and walls, as well as some single elements of inner architecture.

Civilian buildings were preserved in the city as well. One of them is a water mill, built in 1927. The stone-made mill was erected on the place wh ere earlier the wooden construction of the 19th century was situated. One more noteworthy civilian construction is the building of former drugstore, built in the second half of the 19th century.

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