222310, Molodechno, Vilenskaya str., 6
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History

The history of Molodechno is an essential part of the Belarusian history. It is proud of the well-known people who contributed to the national and world history and culture.

Molodechno was first mentioned in a document on obedience to Grand Duke of Lithuania Yagailo that was signed by Duke of Novgorod-Seversk Dmitry Olgerdovich in the Molodechno castle on December 16, 1388. Although the settlements of string ceramics are known to inhabit Molodechno during the Bronze Age.

The name of the town originates from a small river Molodochanka. A castle in which the aforesaid document was signed was built at the place where the river flew into the then deep river Usha.

In the early 17th century Molodechno belonged by Lev Sapega (1557-1633), chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. He headed a commission working on the 1588 Status of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. He edited the text and financed its publication in the Vilnya typography.

In 1740, Polish king Sigismund III August granted Molodechno a privilege to hold a market twice a week (on Friday and Sunday) and a fair twice a year (in spring and autumn). The abovementioned measures boosted trade and economic activity of the place.

In the 18th century, Molodechno was ruled by the Oginskiyes. A palace that included a rich library and a collection of paintings was built on the territory of the castle. In 1811, an uyezd college was moved from Bobruisk to Molodechno.

In the early 19th century, Mikhal Kleofas Oginsky (1765-1833), a prominent statesman of the Rzecz Pospolita and Russia, bearer of the Order of St. Vladimir and the Order of Alexander Nevsky, literary critic and composer, author of waltzes, mazurkas, minuets, romances and globally renowned polonaise ‘Farewell to the Motherland’, frequently visited his uncle in Molodechno. His music was often heard in the Molodechno palace.

In spring 1814, after the death of his uncle, Mikhal Kleofas Oginsky inherited the Molodechno castle. In 2001, a monument to Mikhal Kleofas Oginsky was erected in the town.

In 1812, a war broke out between Russia and France. The Napoleon troops crossed the place twice: in June 1812 while heading to Moscow and in November 1812 while retreating. The French Emperor stopped in the Molodechno castle to dictate his last 29th bulletin. The same night he left his army and headed to Vilno.

The Molodechno battle was the final one in the winter campaign of 1812. In 1977, a monument was unveiled in the town suburbs in honour of the victory.
The 1812 war left great losses: the castle was severely destroyed; the place was burnt to ashes, the population halved.

In the early 1870s, the construction of the Libava-Romenskaya railway that linked Belarusian provinces with the ports of the Baltic sea and Ukraine stirred up the economic life of the place. The first train left the Molodechno wooden station on January 14, 1873.

In the early 20th century, the construction of another railway took place in Molodechno – from St. Petersburg to Warsaw linking the most important regions of the Russian province. Molodechno became a railway junction.

In the 19th century, the opening of a teachers’ training seminary became a remarkable event in Molodechno cultural life. Founded in 1864, the seminary was one of the first institutions of this kind in Belarus and Russia.

During World War I Molodechno was a front-line town. In 1915, the seminary was moved to Smolensk. During more than 50 years of its existence the seminary trained over 2,000 people, among who were outstanding political and cultural figures.

The life in Molodechno during the war became well-known due to the Russian and world poets and writers (Russian writers Konstantin Paustovsky, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Valentin Katayev, poet Kostantin Simonov, Belarusian writer Maksim Goretski, Hungarian writer Gyula Illyes and others.)
Three marshals of the Soviet Union - Boris Saposhnikov, Georgy Zhukov and Rodion Malinovski - fought near Molodechno.

The period from 1917 to 1921 witnessed a frequent change in power in Molodechno as well as all over Belarus. The Soviet power was established in November 1917. The German troops dominated from February to December 1918.

In January-August 1919, Molodechno was governed by the volost revolutionary committee (a memorial plate dedicated to its activity was unveiled in 1967). In March 1921, in line with the Riga Treaty, Western Belarus including Molodechno became part of Poland. According to the Polish Seim, Molodechno acquired the status of a town in 1929. Nearly 20 new streets appeared there. The population tripled in comparison with 1921.
An inflow of former officials and military people, high unemployment and heavy tax burden, prohibition of the Belarusian language and neglect of the Belarusian culture resulted in a rise in the national-liberation movement.

Despite a reactionary policy of the authorities, the Belarusian Frantsysk Skorina Gymnasium stayed open in Radoshkovichi from 1922 to 1928 where the first performance by Yanka Kupala's Pavlinka was staged.

In September 1939, the Soviet power was restored in the town. The Great Patriotic War began in June 1941.

On June 26, Molodechno was seized by the German invaders.

In July 1941, the Nazis set up Stalag-342 for the Soviet POWs in the former Molodechno teachers’ training seminary. From 1941 to 1944, over 80,000 Soviet people were sent to this camp, of them 33,150 died (the population of the town then was nearly 10,000). In 1996, a memorial was erected at the place of the camp in commemoration of the Nazi victims.

In 1941, there was a transit camp Dulag-112 for the Soviet military in Molodechno. The Nazis used military and the residents of the town including children as donors for the German soldiers.

It was partisans who put up strong resistance to the enemy.

On July 5, 1944, Molodechno was liberated from the Nazis by the 3rd Belarusian front. Moscow saluted from 124 guns in honour of the liberation of this large railway junction.

The Victory park appeared in the town in 1946 and a memorial in honour of the liberators in 1982.
The town was 90% destroyed; the population halved. The first after-war session of the town on November 14, 1944 set a goal to restore Molodechno as soon as possible.

Piotr Masherov (1918-1980), outstanding Communist Party figure, made a considerable contribution to the restoration of the town. He headed the Molodechno oblast committee from July 1944 to July 1946.
In the 1950s, the Molodechno oblast committee of the Communist Party of Belarus was led by Sergei Pritytski (1913-1971), a Communist Party figure.

Over a short period of time Molodechno was restored and largely expanded.

The Molodechno land is well-known not only for its historic, production and cultural achievements but also by the people who made a great contribution to the world history and culture. Such outstanding persons as Symon Budny, Yadvigin Sh, Yanka Kupala, Maksim Bogdanovich, Ignat Buinitsky, Bronislav Tarashkevich lived and worked in Molodechno.

Molodechno is considered to be the cultural centre of the Minsk oblast, with 26 institutions of culture and art, Minsk oblast Local Lore Museum, Minsk Oblast Drama Theatre, Minsk Oblast Puppet Theatre Batleika, Oginski Musical College. The Palace of Culture, the venue for the majority of oblast and national events, was opened in 2002.

Molodechno plays a traditional host to a national festival of the Belarusian song and poetry, the national theatre festival Maladechanskaya Sakavitsa, oblast festivities Maladechanski Kirmash, a high fashion contest Golden Scissors and others.

Last modified on Monday, 24 September 2018