Mogilev, Regional Centre
Mogilev-on-Dnieper, that was the name of this city earlier. Nowadays, it is the third city in Belarus in its size and population. It gives way only to Minsk and Gomel. Almost 380 thousand people live there (as of 2016).
It is a big industrial centre (metallurgy, mechanical engineering, chemical industry). It’s a major transport hub (there is a centre of regional autoroads here, a railway junction, the Dnieper River in Mogilev is navigable 100-200 days per year). It is the centre of culture, education and sport. It is impossible to find the field of a human life where Mogilev couldn’t be recalled to the highest degree.
But besides all of the jewels of the present, the city has a long glorious, dramatic history, rich in events and characters.
The history of Mogilev
The first mention of Mogilev in chronicle is evidence that a lock tab took place there in 1267. Since then its walls withstood the onslaught of enemies more than once, were destroyed and rebuilt.
There is no official version of the origin of the name and the stories associate the word "Mogilev" with the personal name Mogila and with the names of historical persons, such as Lev Danilovich Mogiya (Mighty Lion), the one who built the original castle.
Then, so that to make a clear view of the rich history of the city let’s represent its enlarged chronology, just the facts:
- As a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, then as a part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, life seethed. Mogilev was repeatedly captured by Russians, Polish and Cossacks. The citizens rebelled against the instilling of foreign religion, while opened the gates for Russians despite their rulers, yet destroyed the Russian garrisons during rebellions.
The town was burned almost entirely in the fires of Great Northern War.
Mogilev belonged to the Russian Empire after the partition of Poland. Catherine the II was there: she held a diplomatic meeting with Iosif, the Austrian Emperor. The reigning person together ascended to Mogilev Town Hall, observing the surroundings.
The battle between the Russian army in the War of 1812 (commander – General N. N. Raevsky) and French (commander – Marshal Davoust) took place near Mogilev.
During World War I, there was the General Headquarters in Mogilev in 1915, where the Emperor Nicholas II and all the prominent military of that time: Alekseev, Brusilov, Kornilov were presented.
Years of The Great Patriotic War are marked with black mournful milestones: Mogilev was abandoned by the Soviet army as a result of bloody battles (event intensity is perpetuated in the verse by K. Simonov, a direct participant in the battles); the Nazis established a bloody occupation regime, committed arbitrariness and excesses. Several death camps were established. During the years of occupation, about 70 thousand people were killed; many Mogilev citizens were deported to work in Germany. Mogilev Jewish population suffered from genocide: about 12 thousand of approximately 19 thousand Jews of the city were deported to the ghetto and shot at the beginning of the war.
The heroic underground and partisan movement deployed in the war on the territory of Mogilev region deserves a special mention. Their active, sacrificial activity weakened the enemy, helped the civilian population to survive and brought the victory closer.
Almost all of the listed pages of the past and the present mentioned milestones are reflected in the real monuments of antiquity and modern times, in the image of a modern city.