In 2002 the city of
Slonim celebrated its 750 year anniversary. About eight hundred
years ago, the city of Slonim was founded in a picturesque corner of
what would later become the Republic of Belarus. The city is located
on the Shchara River where the Issa River joins the Shchara River,
near the upper reaches of the Neman River. It is one of the most
ancient and beautiful cities of Belarus, with a rich and glorious
history. According to archeological data, a fortified settlement on
the territory of the modern day city may have been founded in 1036.
In the pages of a historical source the Ipatiev Chronicle, Slonim is
mentioned in 1252 as Uslonim and Vaslonim, which comes from an east
Slavic word “uslona” meaning shield or outpost.
At the end of 8th century Slonim
joined the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
In 1531 the city obtained the right of
July 15, 1410 Slonim’s regiment took part in
the Grunvald Battle to crush the invading Crusaders.
In 1413 Slonim became the center of Uezd (an
administrative division of territory such as a county).
In 1586, the Great Lithuanian Chancellor Lev
Sapega became the ruler of the city. Rulers following him were the
Lithuanian Sub chancellor Kazimir Lev Sapega and Magnates Oginskys.
-In 1591, the city’s coat of arms was
established, which consists of the gold lion with a double silver
cross and an arrow on a blue background.
18th century Slonim prospered due
to the actions of Great Lithuanian Getman Michail Kazimir Oginski
Around 1770, a royal theater is founded in
In 1795, Slonim together with an Eastern part
of Rzeczpospolita (consisting of Poland and Lithuania) was assigned
September 1915-January 1919. Slonim is under
March 18, 1921 Slonim is assigned back to
Poland in accordance with the Riga’s Peace Agreement.
September 18, 1939 Eastern Poland including
Slonim is taken over by Soviet Red Army.
-June 1941 – July 10, 1944. Slonim is occupied
by German Army. The Germans carried out many executions near the
city. On Petralevichi Mountain, approximately 1 km from the city
more than 10,000 people were executed. At Chepelyovo Field 30,000
people died and in the natural boundary of Morgi – 2,000 more.
In 1944, the Soviet Army frees Slonim from
German occupation. Slonim and Belarus become part of the Soviet
In year 1991, following the collapse of the
USSR, Republic of Belarus was announced as a sovereign country.
Modern day Slonim is
one of the most industrially developed city in the Grodno’s region.
There are 92 companies consisting of many different areas of
industry such as: light, wood, metal, building materials, meat, and
The biggest companies
are joint stock companies such as: Kamvolno-Spinning Factory,
Albertin Cardboard and Paper Factory, Textilshchik Textile Factory,
a couple of furniture factories, and an auto repair company.
Belarus exports many
things that are made in Slonim: half-wool yarn, cardboard, paper,
terry toweling articles, half-wool blankets, furniture and other
Slonim has many
interesting sites to see. In 1965, the tallest TV transmitter in
Europe, 350 meters high, was built. In 1992 a new neighborhood named
“Friendship” was built by “Enka” a Turkish Company. Located 7 km
from Slonim is a famous village Zhirovitsy. The only seminary in
Belarus, the Minsk Priesthood Seminary, is operating there. The
Zhirovichi Convent and Monastery (circa 1613-1650) is a set of
buildings with architectural and historical importance. This convent
and monastery holds one of the most revered icons of Maria called
the “Icon of Zhirovitsy’s God’s Mother”. Yavlenskaya Church (circa
1672) and Cross-Erecting Church (circa 1768) play an important role
in the architectural composition of the monastery.
Many famous people
were born and raised in Slonim, such as: Olympic Champion Silver
Medal winner for canoe rowing Vladimir Romanovsky, Olympic Game
athletes, European Champion athletes and Soviet Union Champion
athletes: Mikhail Zhelobovsky, Nicolay Dudkin, Anatoliy Gonchar,
Sergey Bochkarev, and Valeriy Yagovdik were all born and raised in
In Slonim, there are
10 high schools and 20 preschool organizations, a
diagnostic-rehabilitation center, various organizations and clubs, a
youth’s creative work center, a youth naturalist's center, a youth
hiker's center, and 2 sport schools.
There are 2 local
newspapers published in the city: “Newspaper-Slonimskaya” and
“Slonim Herald”. Slonim has 2 “sister cities,” Torzhok and
Czechowice-Dziedzice, located in neighboring countries.