Ostroshitsky Gorodok before 1917


XVI century

- Gorodok was founded as a state possession in the Great Lithuanian Princedom.

XVII century

- Gorodok became a possession of Tyshkevich magnate family of Rech Pospolitaya. Jewish population appeared.

Since 1793

- in Russian Empire.

Since 1801

- a shtetle in Minsk District of Minsk Province.


- big fire destroyed a part of Ostroshitsky Gorodok.


- Gorodok became the center of Subdistrict and got "Ostroshitsky" (after the name of former Subdistrict center — the village of Ostroshitsy) as specific name to differ it from other Gorodoks.

Vital Statistics


Number of Jews

Number of Non-Jews


Specific gravity in total population number

Late XVII century

Jewish population appeared


about 230

Total population

No info




Both sexes

68,2 %


about 1350

Total population

No info




Both sexes

17,6 %

Jewish Life

In 1898 BOTVINNIK Iosel son of Leyzer was a Jewish Deputy of the Shtetle Petty-Bourgeois Administration.

By 1900 in Ostroshitsky Gorodok there were:

- a synagogue;

- 2 praying houses.

Economical Review.

Since foundation of the settlement, local population was busy with agriculture and copper mining. Since early time Usyazh river was the main road for Ostroshitsky Gorodok habitants.

Gorodok became to develop after Tyshkevich magnate family had got it from the State. Soon after that Jewish population appeared there.

Traditional activities of local Jewish population were trade with timber, grain and vodka. But some of them were farmers and worked as peasants.

According to the inventory for 1650 in Gorodok there were:

- a wooden castle with 4 towers, moat, bridge, master’s palace, bakery, Turkish bath and brewery;

- a market place;

- a church;

- an inn;

- trade stores;

- 3 streets (Minskaya, Glebkavichskaya and Kavalskaya);

- houses;

- a water mill;

- a sawmill.

In the 2nd half of XVIII century, because of wars and disorder in Rech Pospolitaya Ostroshitsky Gorodok felt into decay.

During Russian principality, vodka trade was under state hard control and became less popular among Jewish businessmen. But Russian authorities did a lot to develop the region because of military and fiscal reasons mostly. First of all, old communications were reconstructed there:

- post communications road Minsk - Logoysk - Lepel - Polotsk;

- trade road Smolevichi - Volozhin.

Since at least 1st half of XIX century Tyshkevich founded a copper smelting plant with water engine in Ostroshitsky Gorodok. That industry was the only one in Minsk Province (including Minsk itself). Its main production was spare parts for vodka and beer industries.

Beside the plant, there were also few flour mills, which were famous for producing flour of supreme quality.

In XIX, because of development of the AllRussian Market, new types of communications appeared in the region.

Since 1871 the closest railway station was in Kolodishchi (15 km). Few years later local post office was added with a telegraph.

Those events and provoked rapid increase of Ostroshitsky Gorodok.

In 1886 the shtetle there were:

- 11 stores;

- 4 mills.

Here is the list of major business and state enterprises of Ostroshitsky Gorodok and the Subdistrict for 1902.

Name of owner

Type of business


Fundyler Leyzer son of Khetman

Water mill


Botvinnink Liba son of Srol & Dovnar-Zapolsky Mechislav son of Vasily



Here is the table of development of Ostroshitsky Gorodok from its 1st phase of prosperity in XVII up to XX centuries:

Date of record

Number of houses













General cultural information.

In the 1st half of XIX century 2-floors palace was built by Tyshkevich in Gorodok. There were big arts and crafts and paining collections there. The palace was destroyed totally by fire in 1860. By 1876 Tyshkevich built a new palace with a big park around.

In beg. XX century in Ostroshitsky Gorodok there were:

- 2 Orthodox Churches;

- a stone palace of Tyshkevich family;

- a Roman Catholic Chapel near the palace;

- a park around the palace;

- a zoo (before 1870s);

- a public primary school;

- an inn;

- post office and telegraph station.

The closest doctor was in Minsk (21 km).

Copyright 1997-1998 Oleg Perzashkevich and Igor Avdeyev