Bykhov, the Mogilev Region
About 17 thousand inhabitants live in this town. Bykhov is located on the Dnieper lands. Once ancient road «From the Vikings to the Greeks» lied through these lands.
History of the Town – Fortress, Gunsmiths and Warriors
The town was founded in 1370 but it was first mentioned in written sources in 1430. There was one of the best foundries of medieval Europe with a well-known at that time armory school throughout Europe. Cannon barrels are depicted on the emblem of Bykhov, granted by Catherine II (1781).
Svidrigaylo, Gashtold, Hodkevich, Lev Sapieha owned Bykhov in different periods of time. The town became a defensive line, a fortress. Even religious establishment - a synagogue - had a 2 meter thick wall and windows - loopholes. The town itself was built as a fortified area.
The battles in these lands were large-scale and literally they took place one after another: there were 4 major sieges of the town. During the Northern War, the fortress was besieged twice. The description of battles, strategy and tactics of military leaders, the participation of gunsmiths, description of treachery, heroism during the war, especially the specifications of fortification in Bykhov, reminds an adventure novel today.
In 1917, participants of the Kornilov affair with L.G. Kornilov were in custody there.
During World War II, the town was occupied by the Nazi aggressors.
There was a Jewish ghetto. For several months in 1941, more than 4 thousand Jews were killed, the Nazis persecuted Jews during the whole period of occupation.
The life is peaceful in modern Bykhov. Its inhabitants realize their potential in manufacturing, agriculture, art, culture. Residents cherish preserved attractions and are always glad to tell about the history.
Here is a list of preserved historical monuments:
- Synagogue, an ancient monument of the Baroque style (according to some sources - Renaissance) the beginning of the XVII century;
- Bykhov Castle, was built in 1610-1619 by the Lithuanian Hetman Hodkevich to defend lands and train troops;
- Holy Trinity Church stands aside from the battle centers. It is a wooden building of the XIX century;
- Memorial of military glory – constructed at the place of severe fights during the Great Patriotic War in the village Ludchitsy.
These monuments relate to the town. But the Bykhov district has many interesting places linked with the past events.