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(grôd`nô), Belarusian Horodno, city (1990 est. pop. 272,000), capital of Grodno region, NW Belarus, on the Neman River. A river port and an important railway center, it has industries producing fertilizer, synthetic fibers, processed foods, and tobacco. Dating back to the 10th cent., Grodno was the capital of an independent principality until 1398, when it was included in the grand duchy of Lithuania. It became the second capital of Lithuania and passed to Poland after the union of Lithuania with Poland in 1569 (see LublinLublin
, city (1994 est. pop. 352,100), capital of Lubelskie prov., SE Poland. It is a railway junction and industrial center. Manufactures include trucks, agricultural machinery, chemicals, and foodstuffs.
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). In 1673 it became a seat of Polish diets, the last of which (1793) was forced to consent to the second partition of Poland. Grodno passed to Russia in 1795 and was the capital of Grodno province from 1801 to 1914. It was transferred to Poland in 1920 and was incorporated into the Belorussian Republic in 1939. Grodno has many historic buildings of great interest. Ruins of the ducal residence (12th cent.) are the oldest example of secular brick architecture in this part of Europe. Its medieval castle was restored in the 1930s. Other notable buildings include a 12th-century Orthodox Eastern church, the Stephen Báthory palace (16th cent.), and the Bernardine church (16th cent.). Stephen Báthory had his residence in Grodno, where he died in 1586, and Stanislaus IIStanislaus II,
1732–98, last king of Poland (1764–95). He was born Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski. His mother was a member of the powerful Czartoryski family, which furthered Stanislaus's career. He was (1756–58) Polish ambassador to St.
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 abdicated there in 1795.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city and administrative center of Grodno Oblast, Byelorussian SSR. Located on both banks of the Neman River. It is a junction of railroads to Vilnius, Molo-dechno, Baranovichi, and Poland and is also a highway junction. It has a landing on the Neman River. In 1971 the population was 139,000 (49,000 in 1939).

Grodno is first mentioned in a chronicle in 1183. Prince Vitovt captured it in 1376. In 1569 it fell under Polish rule. In 1795 it was reunited with Russia and in 1801 became a provincial city. It was the center of the peasant uprising of 1863 in Byelorussia. Soviet power was established in the city in July 1920. From October 1920 through September 1939 bourgeois Poland ruled it. The fascist German invaders captured the city on June 23, 1941. The Soviet Army liberated it on July 16, 1944.

During the years of Soviet power the city has turned into an important industrial center. Its overall industrial output increased by 11.7 times from 1950 to 1970. The main branches of industry are machine-building and metalworking, chemicals, textiles, leather and footwear, and building materials. Among the largest enterprises are a chemical combine and plants producing spare automobile parts, automobile assemblies, commercial machines, and domestic electric heating appliances. Light industry includes a fine-cloth combine, a leather plant, a cotton spinning factory, two garment factories, and a shoe factory. The city also has furniture and tobacco factories and a house-building combine producing large panels. Since 1963 the city has received natural gas from Dashava, which it uses for fuel and for the production of nitrogen fertilizers.

The ensembles of many baroque monasteries and Polish Roman Catholic churches, such as the Bernardine church and monastery (1595–1618) and the Jesuit Church, shape the architectural facade of old Grodno. The palaces in the center of Grodno—the Stephen Báthory Palace on Zamkovaia Hill (after 1579) and the New Castle (mid-18th century, architect Johann F. Knöbel and others)—have lost their original appearance as a result of frequent reconstructions. The Boris and Gleb Church (12th century) is located in the former suburb of Kolozha. During archaeological excavations in the 1930’s and in 1949 the remains of two brick churches—the so-called Lower Church (first half of the 12th century) and the Upper Church (end of the 14th and beginning of the 15th century)—were discovered and ancient living quarters and the ruins of a brick fortress tower of the 12th century were studied. Numerous glass, ceramic, and other wares found in these excavations testify to the presence of developed trade and handicrafts in ancient Grodno. In 1963 the architects K. I. Basov and Iu. I. Glinka won approval of their plan for the reconstruction and development of Grodno. (I. N. Maz-nichka reviewed and corrected the plan in 1966.) Extensive construction of residential districts and cultural and public utilities buildings is being carried out.

Grodno is an important cultural center. Until the reunification of the western oblasts of Byelorussia with the Byelorussian SSR in 1939 there was not a single higher or secondary specialized educational institution in the city. Grodno now has pedagogical, medical, and agricultural institutes and seven secondary specialized educational institutions, including a polytechnic and a chemical and technological technicum. It also has a historical and archaeological museum and a Russian drama theater.


Kudriashev, V. I. Grodno. Moscow, 1960.
Bogdanovich, A. V., and P. A. Sidorov. Goroda Belorussii. Minsk. 1967.

E. D. KVITNITSKAIA (architecture)

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a city in W Belarus on the Neman River: part of Poland (1921--39); an industrial centre. Pop.: 318 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005