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About Svisloch District

The Svisloch region was founded on January 15, 1940. It is located in the south-west of the Grodno oblast. The region borders on Poland, the Berestovitsa and Volkovysk regions of the Grodno oblast and the Pruzhany region of the Brest oblast. The Svisloch region occupies 1.4 thousand square kilometers.

The administrative center of the region, the town of Svisloch, is located 82km far from Grodno and 30km away from Volkovysk.

The region is located within the bounds of Pribugskaya Plain, in the north-east – Volkovysk Upland. The central part of the region is the watershed between the Neman River and the Narev River. the region’s highest point is 242m (near the village of Porozovo).

Minerals: coarse-grained sands, mortar sands, clay, peat.

The biggest rivers of the region are the Narev River and its confluents Kolonka and Rudavka, the Ros River and its confluent Khoruzhevka, the Svisloch River and the Zalvianka River. Forests occupy 48.8% of the territory of the region. Belavezhskaya Pushcha Reserve occupies a significant part of the region. There is hydrological reserve Dikoe in the Svisloch region. Marshes occupy 6.2% of the territory.

There are 3 border checkpoints in the Svisloch region.

The Svisloch region has a rich and colorful history. In ancient times, the Yatvyagi and Slavonic tribes inhabited the territory of the region. Later on, the region was inhabited by the Poles, the Tartars (early 15th century), the Jews (early 16th century). There are several versions why the Svisloch region has such a name. Svisloch has the Yatvigian origin that means a marsh or marshy area. The second version is connected with the Polish river of Wisla. It is the place where the Slavonic tribes moved from the west to the east to inhabit the territory of modern Belarus. The third version is that the name of the region came from the name of the Svisloch River.

Historians have known the Svisloch region since the 13th century. The Svisloch Principality led by Prince Izyaslav has existed along with the Grodno, Novogrudok and Volkovysk Principalities. The first settlement of the region was mentioned in the Ipatiy Chronicles of 1256.

The growth of the town of Svisloch was due to its favorable geographical position. In 1778, Vincent Tyszkiewicz, a senator of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the husband of a niece of August Poniatowsky, the King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, became the owner of the town of Svisloch. He renovated the town and its market place. There were a zoo and a theater in Svisloch. The town had a beautiful park, a 20-meter obelisk and an entrance.

On June 26, 1941, Svisloch was occupied by the Nazi invaders. Three partisan brigades, 13 partisan squads and special group “Bitter-Enders” functioned in the region. The Komsomol underground organizations functioned in the villages of Dobrovolya, Novoselki and Lozy.

In November 1942, the Fascists executed 1536 Jews from the Svisloch ghetto. A total of 5.231 civilians were killed in the region.

After the liberation in 1944, the Svisloch region started restoration. Railroads, bridges, communication were built; a local hospital, mail-office and a police station resumed their work. A number of collective farms were set up in the region.