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Borisov is one of the oldest Belarusian towns. It was founded in 1102 by Polotsk Prince Boris Vseslavovich. Throughout its history the town was held in turn by Polotsk Principality, Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Kingdom of Poland. In 1563 Magdeburg rights were granted to Borisov. In 1793 Borisov passed to Russian Empire. As the town lies on the way to Moscow, numerous wars passed through it. In 1796 Borisov achieved its emblem. In 1871 a railway Moscow-Brest was paved through the territory of Borisov, on the right bank of the Berezina River a railway station was built.

In 1917 Borisov fell under Soviet rule. In 1924 it became the center of a district, in 19241927 it was the administrative center of a region and since 1938 as a part of Minsk province has been under provincial submission. Borisov was conferred a decoration upon Patriotic War. After it was liberated from Nazi occupation, Borisov began to grow and develop, its population increased. Nowadays Borisov is a large industrial center with 40 industrial enterprises. Industries include engineering, metal processing, instrument-making, chemicals, woodworking, pharmaceutics, cut-glass, enamel and plastic ware, matches, furniture.

The population is about 150 thousand (1999). There remained some sights of historical value in Borisov, such as "Batarei" a 1812 Patriotic War memorial, imposing Voskresenskiy Cathedral (1874), which embellishes the town, the railway station building (the beginning of XX century) bearing elements in modernist style, market place (1908). Catholic Church in the village of Zembin (1809), Orthodox Church in the village of Zorichy (the end of XIX the beginning of XX century), country estate (the beginning of XX century) in the settlement of Staroborisov are also of historical value.

Guide to towns and district centers of Republic of Belarus. A.V. Varivonchik [etc.]

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