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Vawkavysk coat of arms
Coat of arms

Vawkavysk is located in Belarus
Location of Vawkavysk within Belarus
Coordinates: 53°10′N 24°28′E / 53.167, 24.467
Country Belarus Belarus
Voblast Hrodna Voblast
Raion Vawkavysk
Founded 1005
 • Total 79 km2 (31 sq mi)
Elevation 161 m (528 ft)
Population (2009)[1]
 • Total 44,167
 • Density 560/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Postal code 231900
Area code(s) +375 1512
License plate 4
Website Official website

Vawkavysk (Belarusian: Ваўкавыск) or Volkovysk (Russian: Волковы́ск, Polish: Wołkowysk) is a town in the Hrodna Voblast of Belarus. It is the center of Vawkavysk district and has a population of around 48,000.

The first mention of Volkovysk in the Turov Annals is in 1005. At that time Volkovysk was a city-fortress on the border of the Baltic and the Slavic ethnic groups. Since 12th century, Volkovysk was the center of a small princedom. The Hypatian Chronicle mentions the city in 1252.


The archeological excavations conducted at the site of the ancient city attest that a Slavic settlement had already existed here by the late tenth century. This is based on the dwellings and defensive works which were discovered during the excavation.

During a campaign against the Lithuanian princes in 1277, the army of Rus princes Mstislav Daniilovich, Vladimir Vasilkovich, and Jury Lvovich stopped for a night's lodging at Volkovysk. The last time Volkovysk is mentioned in the annals is in 1289, when Lithuanian prince Budikis and his brother Budividas transferred Volkovysk to prince Mstislav in order to maintain the peace.

In 1410 the city was seized and burnt by the Teutonic knights as part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Horugva of Volkovysk participated in the 1410 Battle of Grunwald. In 1503 the city received Magdeburg rights from Polish king Zygmunt I Stary.

According to the 1897 Russian census, the Jewish population of Volkovysk at the turn of the century was 5,528, over half of the town's population of 10,323.[2] In the period between 1919 and 1939 Wołkowysk belonged to the Second Polish Republic. It was part of the Białystok Voivodeship and the seat of gmina Biskupice.

Sites of interest[]

The Volkovysk archeological complex includes three heights: "the Swedish mountain" (picture), Zamchishche, and Muravelnik. "The Swedish mountain" is located in a southeast suburb of modern Volkovysk. There is a legend that during The Deluge, "the Swedish mountain" was created by Swedish soldiers above the tomb of their commander. It is the highest point among associates Volkovysk of hills a moraine of a ridge.

The height of "the Swedish mountain" from the base to the top of the defensive wall varies from 28 to 32.5 meters. The mountain's base is round with a diameter of about 350 meters. A flat top of "the Swedish mountain" nearly round and is 55 meters wide east to west. The perimeter of the flat top is surrounded by a powerful defensive wall broken in the south by the entrance.

The archeological study of Volkovysk was begun in 1925 by the director of the Grodno Museum of History-Archeology, Jozef Jodkowski, who was author of several books about history of the area, as well as tourist guides of Grodno and vicinity, popular in the Second Polish Republic

Other local sights include the Roman Catholic Church of St. Wenceslas (1846–48, picture) and the Peter Bagration Museum (picture). The more prominent noble families of Vawkavysk included the Gołgowski and the Piotrowicz.


  • Benjamin Blumenfeld (1884-1947), Russian chess master
  • Raphael Lemkin (1900–1959), known for defining the term genocide and drafting the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
  • Eliyahu Golomb (1893–1945), leader of the Jewish defense effort in Mandate Palestine and architect of the Haganah, between 1920 and 1948.
  • Zerach Warhaftig (1906–2002), Israeli lawyer and politician and a signatory of Israel's Declaration of Independence.
  • Aleksandr Dedyushko (1962–2007), Russian television actor, best known for war dramas and the Russian version of "Dancing with the Stars".
  • Yanina Zhejmo (1909–1987), a Soviet actress.
  • Tadeusz Kruczkowski (1961- ), historian, president of Związek Polaków na Białorusi (2000–2005)
  • Teresa Torańska (1944-2013), Polish journalist, writer, historian

Notes and references[]

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Coordinates: 53°10′N 24°28′E / 53.167, 24.467

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Vawkavysk. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.