|o Total||14,300 people|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (FET)|
|Area code(s)||+375 1770|
Nesvizh, Niasvi? (Belarusian: ? [n?a's?v?i?]; Lithuanian: Nesvy?ius; Polish: Nie?wie?; Russian: ?; Yiddish: ; Latin: Nesvisium) is a city in Belarus. It is the administrative centre of the Nyasvizh District (rajon) of Minsk Region and site of Niasvi? Castle, a World Heritage Site. Its 2009 population is 14,300.
Nesvizh was first documented in 1223, becoming after the Union of Krewo (1385) part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and in 1569 part of the Republic of the Two Nations. In the 15th century, while still a minor town, it belonged to the Kiszka family and later to the Radziwi family, and remained the family's seat until 1813.
In 1561 or 1562 Maciej Kaw?czy?ski founded the print works of the Polish Brethren. The first Belarusian language book printed in Latin script, a catechism by Symon Budny, was published in Nesvizh in 1562. The Nie?wie? Bible (Biblia nie?wieska), one of the oldest Polish translations of the Bible, also by Budny, was completed there in 1571 and published in 1572.
Nesvizh Castle was erected in 1583, and between 1584 and 1598 the Benedictines and Jesuit religious orders founded monasteries and a college. At the request of Miko?aj "the Orphan" Radziwi Nie?wie? was granted Magdeburg town rights by King Stephen Báthory in 1586. Two epidemics affected the city early in the 17th century which led to the establishment of a pharmacy in 1627.
During the Great Northern War of 1700-21, the city was significantly damaged by Swedish troops. It was rebuilt in the 1720s by Micha? "Rybe?ko" Radziwi. In the aftermath of the war, in 1740s and 1750s he founded a Pas slucki factory which was later moved to Sluck. He introduced a military school, several textile factories and restored the Corpus Christi Church and opened a print works. Micha?'s wife, Franciszka Urszula Radziwiowa, founded the Nie?wie? Radziwi Theatre, including a choir and a ballet school.
Between 1764 and 1768 the city was occupied by Russian troops, and in 1772, at the First Partition of Lithuania-Poland, the library, which comprised circa 10,000 volumes, along with paintings and other art objects, was seized and transferred to St. Petersburg. Some books from the library were passed to the Russian Academy of Sciences.
After the Second partition of Lithuania-Poland in 1793, Nie?wie? was annexed by Russia, and renamed Nesvizh. In 1906, the Polish Society "O?wiata" ("Education") in Nesvizh was established, but its activities were hampered by the Russian administration, before banning it at the start of 1910. In 1912 the Russian authorities also liquidated the Roman Catholic Charity Society in Nesvizh.
After the fall of tsarist Russia, fighting broke out for control over the city and surrounding region. During the Soviet occupation (Polish-Soviet War), the unsuccessful Nie?wie? uprising by Polish residents took place during March 14-19, 1919. However, Nie?wie? was recaptured by Poles on April 19, 1919 and re-integrated with the reestablished Polish state. It was became a powiat in the Nowogródek Voivodeship until the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939. During World War II, from 1939 to 1941 it was under Soviet occupation, from 1941 to 1944 under German occupation, and from 1944 to 1945 under Soviet occupation again, before it was once more taken from the territory of Poland and annexed by the Soviet Union, in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement.
Nesvizh was part of:
The Jewish population in 1900 stood at 4,687,and approx. 4,500 on the eve of the German invasion, Operation Barbarossa. With the occupation from June 27, 1941, a Judenrat was established. On October 30, 4,000 of the town's Jews were murdered and the rest confined to a ghetto. On July 20, 1942, the ghetto was surrounded by Belorussian police and the German commander announced that the ghetto's population would be liquidated with the exception of 30 essential skilled workers. The ghetto's underground organization, based on a Soviet-era Zionist group, called an uprising armed only with one machine gun, small arms but mostly knives. Most of the Jews were killed. A few escaped to nearby forests and joined partisan units, such as the Zhukov Jewish partisan unit.
Nesvizh Castle courtyard
Nyasvizh is twinned with: