Bobruisk is the largest of the district centres of the Republic, the 7th largest, second only to the regional centres and the capital. The population is close to 220 thousand (2016).
The city is a powerful transportation hub: a highway of the European transport corridor and rail lines cross it, there is a river port on the Berezina. It’s the Bobruisk River, which flows into it and gave the city its name. Its location, in the centre of Europe, determined an eventful history.
Some archeological findings allow us to suggest that people lived on these territories in the Stone Age. It is certain that the Bronze Age people have left their traces here; the Slavic tribe Dregovichi had a permanent settlement.
Bobruisk has always been a large population centre with developed commerce, the centre of political and military interests. It is indicated in the early 16th century map of Europe, published in Basel. The names of the owners are Radziwill, Gostautai and Trizna. At different times, the city was a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Russian Empire. After the October Revolution it became a part of the BSSR.
At the beginning of the 19th century the fortress was built in the town, then it was developed, equipped with weapons, besieged by the French in the 1812 war and withstood the siege. Military historians believed that "no Russian fortress was as useful as Bobruisk in 1812".
It is mentioned in the biographies of the great noble families representatives: famous general Bagration, the Decembrists Bestuzhev-Ryumin, Muraviev-Apostol, Norov. Later, because of the distance from the border the fortress lost its fortification value. For some time there were casemates and military depots. Now it is given the status of a historic monument, it is under the state protection.
The Bobruisk coat of arms was granted by Catherine II in 1796 and later returned with some modifications by the legislative act of the Republic of Belarus in 2005.
During the years of the Great Patriotic War Bobruisk was occupied by German troops. The outbreak of war marked by the fact that the Bobruisk area along with the other was in the middle of Smolensk battle, and the liberation occurred as part of "Operation Bagration" – the large-scale offensive operation of the Soviet troops.
Jewish ghetto was organized by the occupation authorities during the war; the Jewish population was subjected to merciless extermination.
Stored memory, embodied in sights
The story continues, new generations of Bobruisk citizens write it, marking milestones in the new history. That’s because the Bobruisk list of attractions is so impressive, the monuments, impressions and associations are so varied. Here are some of them:
Already mentioned Bobruisk fortress
The Temple of Prophet Elijah
6 old townhouses
Several monuments in the memory of Great Patriotic War heroes
Vera Horuzhaya memorial
The Monument of Victory
S. Khalturin memorial
The victims of repressions memorial
The unique atmosphere in the city is created by two sculptures of Beaver – the branded symbols of the city, the sculpture of Shura Balabanov – the odious character of the novel "The Golden Calf" – a cheerful plumber.
The name of the city flashed repeatedly in memoirs, songs, and works of fiction. The city inspired on gentle humor and heroism, irony and sculpture creation. Such a unique city of contrasts.