Interactive Map of Belarusian History

Belarus has always been the geographical center of Europe. The country’s location could not but affected its fate: on one hand, it provided wide external communications with the world, on the other hand, it brought wars and destruction. We have created the map about the formation of modern Belarus in order to remind about the incredible history of our country.

The Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Mindoŭh

1195–1263
  • Creation of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with the capital in Navahrudak
  • The defeat of Tatars near Krutahorje
  • The Coronation of Mindoŭh

    After the moment neighboring lands joined Navahrudak under the rule of Mindoŭh, the new state gradually included other ancient Belarussian principalities. All of them were interested in the establishment of the government, which meant reliable protection from enemies as well as the ability to be engaged in agriculture, trade and crafts.

  • The Mongol and Tatar raid against Grand Duchy of Lithuania
  • The army of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania defeated the Crusaders near the lake Durbe
  • Mindoŭh started the war with the Livonian Order and gained the control over Samogitia

Traniata

Killed in 1264
  • The Murder of Mindoŭh as a result of internecine struggle

Vojšałk

1223–1267
  • The murder of Traniata. Vojšałk, the son of Mindoŭh, came to power

Švarn Daniłavič

1230s–1270

Trajdzień

Died in 1282

Daŭmont

Died in 1285
  • The defeat of Mongol troops by the troops of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania near Mahiłna

Budzikid

1240s–1290

Budzivid

Died in 1295
  • Vicień suppressed the uprising of Samogitian feudal lords, who planned to form an alliance with the Crusaders

Vicień

Died in 1316
  • The Pahonia became the coat of arms of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

    Temporary decline of the principality had been overcome during the reign of Vicień.

  • Vicień repelled the attack of the Crusaders to Samogitia and concluded a peace treaty with Riga
  • The voluntary adherence of the Połack land as an autonomy
  • The victory over the German knights near Navahrudak

Hiedymin

1275–1341
  • During the reign of Hiedymin almost all Belarussian principalities joined the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The first elements of Western culture were borrowed at the same time.

  • The accession of Brest lands
  • The accession of Viciebsk lands after the wedding of Alhierd, the son of Hiedymin. His another son, Narymont-Hleb (probably) became the owner of Pinsk principality
  • The transfer of the capital to Vilna
  • The accession of Minsk principality to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania after the death of Prince Vasil. In addition, the accession of Słuck Principality
  • The victory over the Teutonic Knights on the river Akmene
  • The accession of Turaŭ principality
  • The conquest of the Volodymir-Volynsky principality

Jaŭnut

1308–1366

Alhierd

1295–1377
  • During the reign of Alhierd the total territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was doubled and Belarussian principalities received the central place in the state. The Belarussian language was the official one.

  • The victory over the German knights on the river Strėva
  • The accession of Bryansk and Rzhev Principalities
  • The accession of the Mscislaŭ Principality
  • The defeat of the Tatars in the battle of Blue Waters. The accession of Kyiv, Chernihiv-Severia and Pereiaslav lands. In addition, the connection of the Toropets Principality
  • The joining of Podolia
  • Volhynia belongs to Poland
  • Campaigns to Moscow

Uładzisłaŭ II Jahajła

1362–1434
  • The return of Rzhev Principality to Moscow

    The baptism of Lithuania and the battle of Grunwald (1410), which put an end to the expansion of the Teutonic Knights, are considered to be the main events of Jagiello reign.

Kiejstut

1297–1382

Uładzisłaŭ II Jahajła

1362–1434
  • The murder of Kiejstut
  • The reconciliation between Jahajła and Vitaŭt
  • The Kreva union between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Kingdom of Poland
  • Vitaŭt quarreled with Jahajła again and began the struggle for power in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Vitaŭt Kiejstutavič

About 1350–1430
  • The Ostrów Agreement: Vitaŭt became the Grand Duke of Lithuania accepting the dependence from Jahajła

    During the reign of Vitaŭt the Grand Duchy of Lithuania reached the greatest power and maximum size, from Pskov to the Black Sea and from Oka and Kursk to Galicia. The Duchy became the most powerful state in Central and Eastern Europe.

  • The accession of the Smolensk principality to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
  • The Treaty of Salynas: the Grand Duchy of Lithuania ceded part of the Samogitia to the Teutonic Order
  • The Pact of Vilnius and Radom: Vitaŭt was officially proclaimed to be the lifelong ruler of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
  • The loss of Smolensk land
  • Jahajła returned Podolia to Poland
  • The return of Smolensk land
  • The victory in the Battle of Grunwald
  • The Peace of Thorn: the return of the Samogitia to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In addition, Vitaŭt received Podolia from Jahajła
  • The Union of Horodło
  • The Treaty of Melno: the return of the Samogitia into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
  • Supreme principalities became the vassals of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Śvidryhajła

About 1370–1452
  • The joining of Tula under the terms of the contract with the Ryazan Prince Ivan Fedorovich. The return of Podolia to Poland

Žyhimont Kiejstutavič

About 1365–1440
  • The Civil war between Žyhimont and Śvidryhajła for the authority in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
  • The partition of Podolia and the accession of the eastern part to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
  • The loss of Tula

Kazimir IV Jahiełončyk

1427–1492
  • After the murder of Žyhimont Kiejstutavič in the Trakai castle a 12-year-old Kazimir was elected to be the Grand Duke of Lithuania

    At that time Belarus was called “the Land of castles” by travelers from Western Europe. During the period great castles were built in Navahrudak, Kreva, Lida, Viciebsk, Medininkai, Trakai.

  • Kazimir Jahiełončyk became the king of Poland under the name of Kazimir IV
  • The Privilege of Kazimir: enslavement of the peasants started
  • The Publication of the Kazimir’s Code

    The Grand Duchy of Lithuania became an example of the state where people of different nations and religions happily coexisted. The period of XVI—the beginning of XVII is called “the golden century” in the history of the country.

Alaksandar Jahiełončyk

1427–1492
  • The first war between the Moscow principality and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (until 1494)
  • The Privilege of Aleksandr: the absolute power in the Grand Duke of Lithuania replaced by the estate-representative
  • The war between the Moscow principality and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
  • Moscow-Lithuanian war ended with the Annunciation Treaty

Žyhimont I Stary

1467–1548
  • The Eternal Peace Treaty
  • The victory of Kanstancin Astrožski over muscovites in the Battle of Orša

    The Orša battle became one of the major European battles of XVI century. All captured cities were released. At the same time the secret alliance of Moscovia and European countries, directed against The Grand Duchy of Lithuania, started to fall apart.

  • Skaryna published the first printed book in the Belarusian language in Prague
  • Skaryna founded the typography in Vilnius
  • The publication of Mikołaj Husoŭski poem “The song about the Bison”
  • Joining the Wild Fields to the Ottoman Empire
  • The First Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
  • Another truce with Moscow

Žyhimont II Aŭhust

1520–1572
  • Belarussian cities of that time resembled European cities with their appearance and way of life. The places to the East from Belarus were still ruled with the feudal system and had no idea of the Magdeburg right. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania became the eastern outpost of the Renaissance.

  • The Livonian War (until 1583)
  • The Duchy of Courland and Semigallia came under protectorate of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
  • Symon Budny began to publish books in Niasviž
  • The army of Ivan the Terrible captured Połack
  • The Radziwiłł Bible was printed in Biarescie
  • The defeat of the Moscow troops near the River Ula
  • The Second Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Duchy of Livonia officially became the part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania called Inflanty

The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth

  • The Union of Lublin approved. The act of unification of the two federal states, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Poland, into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Hienrych III Vałua

1551–1589
  • The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth became the confederation of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which didn’t stop the existence of both states.

Stefan Batory

1533–1586
  • Ostroh Academy was established
  • Vilnius University was established
  • The liberation of Połack
  • Vasil Ciapinski published the Gospel in the Belarusian language
  • The Treaty of Yam-Zapolsky between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Muscovite State

Žyhimont III Vaza

1566–1632
  • The Third Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

    The Third Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania became the most advanced and perfect collection of laws in Europe of that time. The document established the idea of religion tolerance and protected the rights of all residents regardless of their religion.

  • The Brest Union of the Orthodox and Catholic churches in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • The war between Sweden and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • The beginning of the intervention of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to Russian state
  • The defeat of the Swedish army near Kircholm
  • Commonwealth troops occupied Moscow
  • The liberation of Moscow from Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Army by the militia led under the direction of Minin and Pozharsky
  • The Truce of Deulino between the Russian government and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • Commonwealth troops defeated the Turkish army under Khotyn
  • The Truce of Altmark as a result of the defeat of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the war with Sweden

Uładzisłaŭ IV Vaza

1595–1648
  • Smolensk war between Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (until 1634)

Jan II Kazimir Vaza

1609–1672
  • Cossack and peasant uprising in Belarus (until 1651)
  • The thirteen years occupation of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by Moscow forces. As a result Belarus lost half of its population

    The war of 1654 received the title of “bloody deluge”. In general, the whole century consisted of continuous wars.

  • The First Northern War between Sweden and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • In accordance with the Treaty of Wehlau and Bromberg, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth refused to own the East Prussia for military support of Brandenburg in case of military threat
  • The Battle of Palonka
  • The Mahilioŭ uprising
  • The Truce of Andrusovo between Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Michał Karybut-Višniaviecki

1640–1673
  • The treaty of Buchach between the Ottoman Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The beginning of the second Polish-Turkish War

Jan III Sabieski

1629–1696
  • The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth experienced the last lift during the reign of Jan Sabieski.

  • The Treaty of Zhuravno between the Ottoman Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • The outbreak of the war against Turkey and the Crimean Khanate. The war ended with the victory of the Commonwealth in 1699

Aŭhust II Mocny

1670–1733
  • Treaty of Karlowitz, under which the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth regained almost all territories, lost after the adoption of the treaty of Buchach
  • The Great Northern War

    The weakened Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth resembled the appurtenant of the Russian Empire. Peter I downsized the army of the state and it shouldn’t exceed 24 thousands. At the same time armies of the nearest neighbors were ten times bigger.

Stanisłaŭ I Laščynski

1677–1766

Aŭhust II Mocny

1670–1733
  • The Battle of Poltava
  • Soldiers of Peter I exploded St. Sophia Cathedral in Połack

Stanisłaŭ I Laščynski

1677–1766

Aŭhust III

1696–1763

Stanisłaŭ II Aŭhust Paniatoŭski

1732–1768
  • Suvorov's victory over the army of the Lithuanian Grand Hetman Ahinski

    Stanisłaŭ II Aŭhust Paniatoŭski, the King of Poland and Grand Duche of Lithuania, renounced the throne in favor of Catherine II in 1795. The federal state of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and both countries in its composition—the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania—disappeared.

  • The First Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • The first European Constitution was adopted by the General Sejm of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • The Second Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • Kościuszko Uprising

Governorates in the Russian Empire

  • The Third Partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. As a results, the territory of modern Belarus finally became the part of the Russian Empire
  • The war of the Russian Empire with Napoleon
  • The creation of the Philomath Society

    Belarus became a cannon fodder and the buffer area for military issues. The war with Napoleon took the life of each fourth inhabitant of the country.

  • The creation of the association “Military comrades”
  • The Gentry uprising
  • The closing of the Vilnius University
  • The shifting of learning to the Russian language. The creation of an illegal “Democratic unity”
  • The cancellation of the Union of Brest
  • The Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was cancelled. The name “Northwest Territory” introduced to the territory which became the part of the Russian Empire

    The Magdeburg right of Belarussian cities was cancelled and former emblems were weeded away.

  • Jan Barščeŭski published the first part of “Nobleman Zawalnia, or Belarus in Fantastic Stories”
  • The ban on the use of Łacinka
  • The emancipation from serfdom
  • The publication of illegal “Mužyckaja Praŭda” (“Peasant’s Truth”) the first newspaper in Belarusian language
  • The January Uprising of Kastuś Kalinoŭski

    The Uprising of 1863 became a rare example in the history of XIX century, when a small group of armed people rebelled against the empire fighting for personal and national dignity.

  • The death penalty of Kastuś Kalinoŭski in Vilnius. The ban on the Belarusian language in schools
  • Vincent Dunin-Marcinkievič published the play “Pinskaja šliachta” (“The Nobility of Pinsk”)
  • The first issues of “Gomon” (“Hubbub”) magazine were published

    Under the conditions of the de facto ban on publishing in Belarussian language until 1905, uncensored publications in other countries took an important place in appearing of new Belarussian literature.

  • “Dudka biełaruskaja” (“Belarusian Fife”) by Francišak Bahuševič was published
  • The creation of the first political party in Belarus, “The Assembly”
  • The Kurlov shooting
  • The first issues of “Naša Dola” (“Our Fate”) and “Naša Niva” (“Our Cornfield”) were published
  • “The Short history of Belarus” was published by Vaclaŭ Lastoŭski
  • The beginning of the First World War
  • The February Revolution: the authority passed to the Provisional Government
  • The October Revolution

    The Bolsheviks’ Government came to power.

  • Minsk Soviet of Workers and Soldiers Deputies took power into their own hands. The creation of RMC of the Western Front

Western
Region

Karl Łander

1883–1937
  • The creation of the Western Region of the RSFSR
  • The Opening of the first All-Belarusian Congress

    The temporary association created in order to centralize the government of local authorities.

  • The Bolsheviks left Minsk

Belarusian People’s Republic

Jan Sierada

1879–1943
  • The First Constituent Charter of the BPR: The Executive Committee of All-Belarusian Congress declared himself to be the authority in Belarus

    BPR didn’t find much support among people. The Republic was established in extremely inappropriate conditions during the occupation regime which was directed against the national aspirations and authorities of the declared states.

  • The Treaty of Brest-Litoŭsk
  • The Second Constituent Charter of the BPR: Belarus declared to be the People’s Republic
  • The publication of “Belarusian School Grammar” by Branisłaŭ Taraškievič
  • The Third Constituent Charter of BPR—the proclamation of Independence

Jazep Losik

1883–1940

Socialist Soviet Republic of Belarus

Ciška Hartny

1887–1937
  • The 6th North-West Conference of the RCP(b) adopted the resolution about the proclamation of an independent Soviet Republic of Belarus

    The rise of the national liberation movement in Belarus, the proclamation of the BPR and the activities of its governing bodies have pushed the Bolsheviks’ government to the formal recognition of the right of the Belarussian people to self-determination and national statehood.

  • The interim government of Belarus published the manifest devoted to the establishment of the SSRB
  • The exclusion of Smolensk, Viciebsk and Mahilioŭ provinces

Alaksandar Miasnikoŭ

1886–1925

Litbel

Vincas Mickiavičus-Kapsukas

1879–1928
  • The Central Committee of RCP(b) decided to create Litbel

    Litbel was created as a buffer state between the Russian Federation and Poland, and existed for several months.

  • Almost three quarters of the territory of Litbel were occupied by Polish troops
  • Litbel was dissolved

Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic

Jafim Hienkin

1896–1938
  • The second establishment of BSSR

    The Soviet regime established in the eastern territory of Belarus in the summer of 1920. On July 31, 1920 the Declaration of Independence of the Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia was announced at the congress of the Communist Party of Lithuania and Belarus, Soviet and Trade union organizations of Minsk and the Minsk province.

  • Creation of Middle Lithuania on the areas of eastern Lithuania and western Belarus with the center in Vilno

Vilhielm Knoryn

1890–1938
  • Słuck uprising—the most prominent armed uprising in the XX century when Belarusians fight for freedom and independence
  • The Peace of Riga
  • The foundation of the Belarusian State University
  • The foundation of the Institute of Belarusian Culture
  • The territory of Middle Lithuania is occupied by the army of general Żeligowski and included to Poland

Vaclaŭ Bahucki

1884–1937
  • The transfer to BSSR 15 counties and individual parishes of Viciebsk, Homiel and Smolensk provinces

Alaksandar Asatkin-Uładzimirski

1885–1937

Alaksandar Krynicki

1894–1937

Vilhielm Knoryn

1890–1938

Jan Hamarnik

1894–1937

Kanstancin Hiej

1896–1939

Mikałaj Hikała

1897–1938

Vasil Šaranhovič

1897–1938
  • At that time the version of that in Belarus there are anti-Soviet underground, National fascist organization headed by the leaders of the republic was set in motion. As a result, 99 of 101 first secretaries of district committees of the Communist Party were repressed.

Jakaŭ Jakaŭleŭ

1896–1938

Alaksiej Vołkaŭ

1890–1942

Pancielajmon Panamarenka

1902–1984
  • The beginning of the Second World War
  • Soviet troops entered Western Belarus and Western Ukraine
  • Vilnius and its province were added to Lithuania
  • The territory of Western Belarus became the part of the BSSR
  • Three districts of Viliejka and Bialystok regions were added to the Lithuanian SSR
  • The Great Patriotic War began

    During the war 209 cities and towns, and 9,200 villages were burnt and destroyed. Every third was killed.

  • The start of the “Bagration” operation
  • The liberation of Minsk
  • Moving the Bialystok and a part of Brest region to Poland
  • The Great Patriotic War came to the end
  • Belarus adopted to the list of founders of the United Nations

Mikałaj Husaraŭ

1905–1985

Mikałaj Patoličaŭ

1908–1989
  • Entry into UNESCO

    Khrushchev thaw. The democratization of public life, many victims of repression were rehabilitated.

Kirył Mazuraŭ

1914–1989

Piotr Mašeraŭ

1918–1980
  • Belarus has achieved the prewar level of population

Cichan Kisialioŭ

1917–1983

Mikałaj Sliunkoŭ

Born 1929
  • Since the mid-1980s the reforming the political system, democratization of society and nation-building started. Multi-party system began its formation.

  • The Chernobyl disaster

Jafrem Sakaloŭ

Born 1926
  • The crackdown of the mass demonstration “Dziady-88” devoted to the memory of Stalinism victims
  • The organizing committee for Belarusian Popular Front opening was created

Anatol Malafiejeŭ

Born 1933

Mikałaj Dziemianciej

Born 1930
  • Belarusian language becomes the only state language of the republic
  • The Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic was passed

The Republic of Belarus

Stanisłaŭ Šuškievič

Born 1934
  • The Pahonia became the state coat of arms, the white-red-white flag became the national flag

    At the end of the XX century Belarus became an independent state. Over the past decades Belarussian people have not only preserved and restored the heritage of ancestors and the history of the country, but also put a lot of effort into its development.

  • The Belaveža Accords devoted to dissolving of the Soviet Union and established the Commonwealth of Independent States were signed
  • Belarusian rubles called “zaichiki” were introduced
  • Kurapaty — the place of mass graves of people shot by the NKVD — added to the list of historical and cultural values

Miečysłaŭ Hryb

Born 1938

Alaksandar Łukašenka

Born 1954
  • The first presidential election took place
  • The referendum on the state symbols, language, integration with the Russian Federation and the right of the president to dissolve the Supreme Council
  • The referendum on amending the Constitution
  • Belarus received the status of a nuclear-free state
  • The treaty devoted to establishing the Union State of Belarus and Russia came into force
  • The referendum devoted to the re-election of the same person for the unlimited number of times
  • The Belarusian writer Sviatlana Aleksijevič was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature

Project Team

Alaksiej
Čarankievič
The idea and design
Jaŭhien
Špileŭski
Front-end
Hanna
Šyrajeva
Texts and translations
Viktar
Jakunin
Management
Pavał
Kiedzič
Important tips
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