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(rô`slävəl, rəslä`vəl), city (1989 pop. 60,500), W central European Russia, on the Oster River. It is a road and rail junction and a market town. Known from the 12th cent., Roslavl was chartered under Lithuanian rule in 1408 and ceded to Russia in 1667.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city under oblast jurisdiction, administrative center of Roslavl’ Raion, Smolensk Oblast, RSFSR. Situated on the left bank of the Oster River (Dnieper River basin) Roslavl’ is 107 km southeast of Smolensk. It is the junction of railroad lines to Smolensk, Sukhinichi, Briansk, and Mogilev and of the Moscow-Brest and Smolensk-Briansk highways. Population, 54,000 (1974).

Roslavl’ was founded in the first half of the 12th century in the southern part of the Smolensk Principality under the name “Rostislavl’.” From 1358 it was first part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and then of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The city finally became part of the Russian state in 1654. From 1708, Roslavl’ was the district capital of the governmental province of Smolensk. Soviet power was established in the city in October 1917. Occupied by fascist German troops from Aug. 2, 1941, to Sept. 25, 1943, the city was destroyed; after its liberation, it was rebuilt.

Roslavl’ has the Avtozapchast’ plant, which produces automobile parts. There are also plants for the production of diamond-cutting instruments and the repair of railroad cars and a brickyard, glassworks, and oil mill. There are also factories producing twine and knitted goods and a combine for processing and drying vegetables. The city’s educational institutions include a railroad-transport technicum, a sovkhoz technicum, and a medical school.

The remains of a fortified settlement dating to the early Middle Ages have been preserved in Roslavl’ (Burtseva Hill). Excavations in 1969–70 uncovered remains of a settlement that had been destroyed by fire in the 12th century. Higher levels contain the remains of wooden dwellings and outbuildings from the 13th–14th centuries. Many objects have been found that illustrate the development of commerce and craftsmanship in Roslavl’.


“Roslavl’.” [Smolensk] 1952. (Goroda Smolenshchiny.)
Alekseev, L. V. “Drevnii Rostislavl’.” In the collection Kratkie soobsh-cheniia o dokladakh i polevykh issledovaniiakh Instituta arkheologii AN SSSR, fasc. 139. Moscow, 1974.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
After his father's death in 1912 from typhus and his mothers death four years later, the then five-year-old Zhiganov and his two older siblings went to live at orphanages, first in Ural'sk and later, during the famine years of the early 1920s, in Roslavl' near Smolensk.
To the socialists' horror, a mob of railroad workers and soldiers in the provincial town of Roslavl' looted and burned Jewish-owned stores on 2 October.
On 22 September 1942, he noted in his diary the partisans' destruction of one of the Ukrainian police groups that had killed "many party and soviet functionaries, Jews, and simply peaceful civilians." (68) Andrei Platonov mentions the graves of the murdered Jews of Roslavl', which were located separately from the graves of POWs from the Roslavl' camp.