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Novogrudok, Belarus
Novogrudok, Belarus
Novogrudok, Belarus
Novogrudok, Belarus

The currently used name of the town was formed under the influence of the Polish language in the 16th century. Formerly it was known as Novogorodok, Novgorodok, Novgorod, etc. The first written proof of its existence dates back to 1044 and is connected with the campaign of the Grand Duke of Kiev Yaroslav the Wise "against Lithuania".

The town that occupies the central part of the Novogrudok Hills surrounded by the Nieman River in the north is situated on the Castle Hill. A highly picturesquenview opens up to any traveller approaching the town from any direction.

By the 13th century Novogrudok was one of the most developed towns in the Upper Neman Land, the so-called Black Russia. Extensive trade ties between Novogrudok and the Central European Countries and Scandinavia, the Baltic countries and Byzantium as well as its position at the border of lands inhabited by by the Balts and the Slavs, determined its distinctive future - the town became the capital of the Great Lithuanian Duchy - a new state that had been formed from fragments of the Kiev Empire of "Ryurikivichi".

After the capital was moved to Vilnia (1323), Novogrudok , being the Grand Duke's domain, continued to play the same important role as before in the history of Belarussian and Lithuanian power as a defensive outpost and a spiritual well. There was the cathedral of Lithuanian-Novogrudok Orthodox Church archdiocese. Novogrudok made an important contribution to the development of Reformation ideas in Belarus.

Since 1581 the meetings of the Principal Lithuanian Tribunal were held in Novogrudok and Minsk by turns. Wars in the mid 17th and early 18th centuries wiped out the evidence of the former greatness of Novogrudok as a a tornado, but regardless of all the trials the town still retains memories of past ages.

The ruins of the castle and burial mounds, monuments and architecture and old cementaries, dwelling houses and the plan of the ancient town that has been keeping memories about many outstanding people, reality and legends, lines in the chronicles and traditions cannot but leave a mark in the heart of anyone setting foot on the Novogrudok land.

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