Mozhaisk(məzhīsk`), city, W central European Russia, on the Moskva River. First mentioned in 1231, Mozhaisk was joined with Moscow principality in 1303 and became an important fortress and commercial center. The city was taken by the Germans on Oct. 15, 1941, in what marked their furthest advance directly W of Moscow. It was recaptured during the Soviet winter offensive of 1941–42.
a city under oblast jurisdiction, the center of Mozhaisk Raion, Moscow Oblast, RSFSR. Located on the Moskva River and the site of a railroad station 110 km west of Moscow. The Mozhaisk reservoir on the Moskva River is 4 km from the city. Population, 20,300 (1970).
Mozhaisk is mentioned for the first time in the Chronicle of Nikon for the year 1231; an appanage first of Chernigov and then of Smolensk, it was made part of the principality of Muscovy in 1303 and became a fortified town on Moscow’s western approaches. With the abolition of the Mozhaisk appanage in 1493, Mozhaisk became a district city and in 1708 became part of Moscow Province. The city was a center for handicrafts and commerce during the 14th through 16th centuries. During the 1620’s, the voevoda (military governor) D. M. Pozharskii built a stone kremlin there. The battle of Borodino was fought 12 km from Mozhaisk in 1812.
In the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, Mozhaisk was captured by fascist German troops after bitter fighting on Oct. 19, 1941, and was destroyed. Liberated on Jan. 20, 1942, it was rebuilt after the war. The city’s food-processing industry includes a meat-packing combine and a dairy; clothing is also manufactured, and a printing combine is under construction. A plant producing medical instruments is located near Mozhaisk.
The earthen defensive walls of the kremlin have been preserved. The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul (Staronikol’skii), with a single tower and made of brick with white stone ornamentation, was constructed in 1849 on the plans of a cathedral first built during the late 14th and early 15th centuries. The St. Nicholas Cathedral, built in 1802–14 and attributed to the architect A. N. Bakarev, is pseudo-Gothic in style, with four small tower-pavilions at the corners and a facade elaborately decorated with white stone. The church of St. Joachim and St. Anne, originally built in the early 15th century, was rebuilt in the 16th and 18th centuries. The Luzhetskii monastery, with buildings dating from the 16th through the 19th centuries, is located on the outskirts of Mozhaisk.
REFERENCESVlas’ev, N. I. “Mozhaisk v ego proshlom.” In Mozhaiskii uezd Moskovskoi gubernii. Mozhaisk, 1925.
Kostochkin, V. V. Starym smolenskim traktom. Moscow, 1972. Pages 24–57.