Novogrudok District

A district in the Grodno Oblast in western Belarus. The city of Novogrudok is the administrative center of the district (53°35'49"N 25°49'21"E).

Population, district: 49,107, according to the 2009 census (Belarusians, 89.29%; Russians, 4.52%; Poles, 4.22%).

Population, Novogrudok: 29,065 as of Jan. 1, 2013.

Area, district: 1,668.01 sq km (644.02 sq mi).

According to historians, the city was founded in the 10th century.

First record, Novogrudok: 1044.

Signed the Memorandum of Cooperation with the Association of Local Governments "The Gediminids’ Way" on Sept. 13, 2013.

Official site of the Novogrudok District Executive Committee:
http://novogrudok.grodno-region.by

Tourist sites:
http://tourgrodno.by/information/locality/novogrudok.html
http://novtic.ucoz.ru (Novogrudok TIC)
http://mickiewicz-museum.narod.ru (Adam Mickiewicz House Museum)
http://navagrudak.museum.by (Novogrudok Museum of Local Lore and History)

Photo album:
Novogrudok


 

The Novogrudok settlement appeared in the late 10th c. The town and the castle sat on one of the highest places in Belarus – 323 meters (1,060 feet) above sea level. The fortress was on the Castle Hill, and the posad (trade quarters outside the town walls), on other hills.

In the 12th c., Novogrudok was one of the richest towns in Black Rus or the Upper Neman Area.

The Novogrudok Principality existed before the first record of the first Grand Duke of Lithuania, Mindaugas, in 1219. Mindaugas ruled in Novogrudok from the 1240s, gradually subordinating to himself all neighboring principalities.

From 1316–1341, Novogrudok was under the reign of Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas.

In 1341, the Novogrudok Principality came into possession of Gediminas's son Karijotas, and in 1358, the latter's son Fedir. In the late 14th c., Novogrudok belonged to Kaributas, a son of Grand Duke of Lithuania Algirdas.

From 1394, Novogrudok was the center of a GDL domain.

The construction of the stone fortress on the Castle Hill began in the late 14th c. and was complete in the early 16th c. The Novogrudok Castle in the 16th c had seven towers connected by walls and additional fortifications to the north: large earthworks and a moat 30 meters wide and up to four meters deep. The high walls ran along the earthworks. For a long time, the castle was one of the most impregnable fortresses.

In 1317, Novogrudok became the center of the autonomous Novogrudok-Lithuanian Archdiocese, which covered the Orthodox Church of the GDL and Galicia (Halychyna). From 1415, Novogrudok was the residence of GDL metropolitan, and from 1596, Uniate metropolitans of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Three sessions of the GDL Seimas were held in Novogrudok, in 1448, 1508 and 1538. In 1422, King of Poland Jogaila wedded to Sophia of Halshany in the Parochial Church.

In the 16th c., Novogrudok became an important administrative and religious center of the GDL. The Novogrudok Voivodeship was formed in January 1507, with the implementation of a new administrative division in the GDL. From 1581 and until 1775, sittings of the Lithuanian Tribunal – the highest court of appeal in the GDL – were conducted in Novogrudok, and its archives were kept in one of the castle towers.

Monuments from the epoch of the Gediminids and GDL that have survived in Novogrudok:

  • Castle remains (13th–16th c.)
  • Church of St. Boris and St. Gleb (16th–17th c.)
  • Parochial Church (15th–18th c.)
  • Mindaugas Hill (according to legends, Grand Duke of Lithuania Mindaugas was buried there)