The fire-observation in Mstislavl

Geographical position

Mstislavl is a town in Mogilev region.

Historical background

The town foundation fell on 1135, when Smolensk Prince Rostislav Mstislavovich decided to perpetuate the memory of his father, Mstislav the Great in the name of the town, laid by himself. Initially, Mstislav represented a fortified castle, around which there was a small settlement. The town belonged to the Great Duchy of Lithuania since 1359. Mstisalvl, being a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, was granted the Magdeburg Right and a coat of arms in 1634. After the first partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Mstislavl happened to be on the territory of the Russian Empire, it received a status of a chief town of the uyezd after five years.

Wars didn’t pass the town by. Mstislavl was almost completely ravaged during Napoleon troops advance. However, by the end of the XIX century, a tannery and a brickyard had been opened and successfully functioned due to the efforts and zeal of Mstislavl residents. Brewing was done actively, 3 specialized schools and 3 hospital worked.

Mstislavl became a part of BSSR in 1924. The residents of the town courageously fought against the Nazi army during the Great Patriotic War. There was a great amount of Jews among the killed civilian residents. There is an obelisk in memory of those events in the town.


As of the 1st January 2016, almost ten and a half thousand people live in Mstislavl.


The highest attraction of Mstislavl is a former fire station building. The architecture monument relates to the buildings of the first half of the XX century. Fires were quite common. The largest of them happened in 1863, when the town’s residents were deprived of all trade outlets because of the fire. The problem of the fires became so vexed after 17 years that the need for a voluntary fire brigade arose, the basis for which was the existing fire brigade. Thus, there had been 220 firemen in Mstislavl by the end of the XIX century, whom a twenty-metre fire-observation was erected for in early XX century.

The building of red brick is five-storied and has a simple square layout. There are two windows on each floor of the front facade of the fire station.

The building of the fire-observation had stood empty for a long time, however the museum of fire-fighting was arranged under the architectural monument as a part of Mstislavl preparation for the festival “Dazhynki”. Among the unique exhibits of the fire-observation are as follows: a hand fire pump and a barrel for water on horse traction. Besides, the uniform of the first firemen was renewed and represented. On one of the fifth floors of the museum, you can look at the equipment, which firemen had to work with in the XX century. The visitors of the architecture monument are especially delighted with an observation deck, since you can cover with your own eyes all the ancient part of the town at this height. Moreover, the visitors have an opportunity to strike an ancient fire bell.

A visit to the fire-observation is often included into the excursions through Mstislavl. One of the oldest towns in Belarus is ready not only to reveal the facts from its centuries-old history, but also to tell you about an uneasy craft of those, who guarantee peace and welfare of our homes at the cost of their safety and sometimes their lives.