Vileyka is a city in the Minsk region of Belarus, the administrative center of the Vileyka district. From December 4, 1939 to September 20, 1944 - the center of the Vileyka region of the BSSR.



It is believed that Vileyka appeared about five centuries ago, but archaeological finds indicate that people founded a permanent settlement near the current borders of Vileika much earlier than this date. The first people on the territory of the modern Vileika region appeared in about the 9th millennium BC. Not far from the villages of Sosenka and Ostashkovo, sites of ancient people and flint tools were found, according to which the age of the sites found is dated to 7-5 millennia BC. Later archaeological sites dating back to the Neolithic era (4-2 millennia BC) were found near the villages of Kameno, Kastyki, Kurenets, Naroch, Rabun and some others.

The oldest of these finds belong to the tribes of the Kunda culture who lived in the northern part of the present-day territory of the region until about 4 millennium BC, after which the tribes of the Narva culture came to their place. However, already in the 3rd millennium BC they were replaced by tribes of the culture of comb-and-pit ceramics. Later, in the Bronze Age (3rd - 2nd millennium BC - 7th century BC), our lands were inhabited by the tribes of the Corded Ware culture, and in the early Iron Age - by the Baltic tribes of the line pottery culture. A lot of archaeological finds on the territory of the Vileika region related to the Bronze and Iron Ages have been made, including near Vileika itself.

From about the middle of the 1st millennium AD, the time of Bantzer culture came. Numerous burial monuments have survived since the time of the Krivichsko-Dregovichi Slavs: on the territory of the Vileika region there are more than 20 burial mounds of the 9th-12th centuries. n. e.

In the X-XIII centuries. the territory of modern Vileyshchina was a border territory between the Baltic tribes and the Polotsk principality.

Grand Duchy of Lithuania
From the XIV to the XVII century. - as part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. During this period, the settlement was called Stary Kurenets.

According to the latest research, the first written mention of Vileika dates back to 1460. However, earlier the date of the first mention and, accordingly, the foundation of the city was considered 1599. Thanks to this, Vileika celebrates its 400th and 550th anniversary with a difference of only 11 years.

In 1599, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania became the center of the head office of Oshmyanskaya povet.

the Russian Empire
Since 1793, after the 2nd partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Vileika became part of the Russian Empire. On the available maps of the Vileika of the 18th century, it can be seen that a small settlement was located for more than a kilometer along the bank of the Viliya along the only street with a small area at the place where its tributary flows into the Viliya.

On May 3 (old style), 1795, Vileyka became a district town - the center of the Vileika district of Minsk, and later (since 1843) - of the Vilna province. Since January 22 (according to the old style), 1796, the coat of arms of Vileika has existed, from the original image of which to our time, only the lower part has been preserved in a slightly altered form (in the upper one the Minsk coat of arms was depicted, which in 1845 was replaced by Vileyka, and after the October revolution it was canceled simultaneously with the disappearance of the Vilna province).


The main occupations of the inhabitants of the city in the old days were agriculture and river navigation. Along Viliya and further along the Neman, timber and agricultural products were exported to Europe. Every year, large trade fairs were held in the city; the volume of trade began to decline only by the end of the 19th century. Since the XVIII century. the largest glass manufactory in the territory of modern Belarus started working in Ilya. In the XIX century. not far from Dolginovo there was a cloth factory. By the end of the 19th century, there were more than 3.5 thousand inhabitants in Vileika (though 59% were mostly illiterate), and in the province itself there were more than 200 thousand.

Since the beginning of the XIX century. after the great fire of 1810 and destruction during the war of 1812, a major reconstruction of the city began.

Since 1845, Vileika became the center of the Vilna province, its renewal continues.

The old buildings were completely replaced during the century. Many buildings of today's Vileika were laid down in the late 19th - early 20th centuries. Water transportation on the river in the XX century. replaced by significant flows of goods and passengers through the Vileika railway station (existed since 1904).

In 1897, the population of the city was 3560 people, the native language indicated: Belarusian - 1871, Jewish - 1326, Russian - 217, Polish - 109.

XX century
In September 1915, Vileika was occupied by the German army, but was soon liberated by the Russian army during a heavy battle. In honor of the liberation of the city in 1917, a new regiment of the Russian army was named - the 748th Infantry Vileika, and in 2015 a monument in the form of a gate chapel was unveiled in the city, on the walls of which the names of the dead officers and soldiers are listed.

On November 8, 1917, Soviet power was established in Vileika. It lasted a little over a year - from December 1918 Vileika was occupied by German troops, in 1919 - by Polish troops, from 1921 - it became part of Poland and remained a provincial town on its outskirts until 1939. After the entry of Western Belarus into the USSR, Vileika received the status of the center of the Vileika region, in which it existed almost until the end of the Second World War.

During the Great Patriotic War, the region was under German occupation (from 06/25/1941 to 07/02/1944). During the war years, the invaders killed more than 15 thousand civilians in the area, including completely burned down together with the population of 5 villages. Two villages (Lyubcha and Borki) were never rebuilt after the war.

In September 1944, two months after the liberation of the region from the German occupation, Vileika became the regional center of the Molodechno region, and after its abolition in 1960 - the Minsk region.

Since 1964, the 43rd communications center of the Russian Navy has been located 10 km west of the city, providing communication on ultra-long waves of the General Staff of the Navy with nuclear submarines carrying combat duty in the waters of the Atlantic, Indian and partly Pacific oceans.



In Slonim, cycling accounts for only 1% of all transport journeys. In terms of population, Vileika is about half the size of Slonim, and utilitarian cycling is noticeably more common here - their share in the total labor movement in transport is 3%.

Has a cycle route "A over the Vilija river". It starts in the old city park Vileyka, runs along the floodplains of the Lower Park along a bicycle path to the bridge over the river and then runs through the arboretum along the gentle banks of the Viliya to the Dubovka tract and Soldatskoye Lake. Then the route leads along Lugovoy lane to Villanin khutor with an island in the middle framed by water lilies and Canadian oaks, and then through the Central Square of Vileika again leads to the city park. The length of the route from the start to the finish line is 5.3 kilometers. Car traffic is minimal. Vehicle speeds are also low here, there are practically no dangerous areas. The main part of the route passes through natural places along the banks of the Viliya, through meadows and forests, where there is no traffic at all.


Tourist routes in the vicinity
Several tourist routes have been developed and operate in the vicinity of Vileika. Every year, starting from 2007, the water expedition "Shlyakham Tyshkevich" ("By the way of Tyshkevich") starts from the Vileika region and passes through Vileika. The first expedition took place in 2007. It was timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Count Konstantin Tyshkevich, a well-known trip to Viliya by local lore. The travelers followed in the footsteps of Count Tyshkevich's expedition from the sources of Viliya to the confluence with the Neman. The organizers and participants of the first water expedition were Lithuanian and Belarusian scientists, ethnographers and tourists. Today it acquires a more popularizing and tourist character and ends on the territory of Belarus.

Not far from Vileika is the Zabrodye estate, where the only museum of the First World War in Belarus, created by the local historian Boris Borisovich Tsitovich and his family, is located, the largest museum of retro technology in Belarus and the museum of rural life a century ago, as well as an exposition of the USSR.