The town emerged as a settlement of merchants and craftsmen at the confluence of two rivers that connect Black and Baltic Seas.
In 1447 Radoshkovichy was mentioned in writing for the first time - a Catholic church of St. Trinity was established in town. The current church with the same name was rebuilt in the style of Classicism four centuries later.
An old Radoshkovichy map, 1920s
The noble owners included the families of Glebovichys, Massalskys, Oginskies and Radziwills. In the 16 century a solid wooden castle was built in Radoshkovichy. In 1549 Radoshkovichy was divided into the Old and New town and featured a Catholic church, taverns, a feudal residence, mills and household buildings. The city had 130 houses and hosted annual fairs.
The settlement gained the status of a town and twenty years later Magdeburg right was granted to it. Its historic coat of arms was assigned to it in 1792.
The second partition of Rech Pospolitaya a year later saw Radoshkovichy passing to the Russian Empire. Old liberties were cancelled and the town became a locality center.
Radoshkovichy street air view
In 1708 the Swedish army was based in Radoshkovichy during the Northern War. The latter event left a landmark on the edge of the town - the Swedish mount. Historians though claim that it has nothing to do with the Swedes.
In the 1780s Radoshkovichy featured over 160 households with over 1200 residents, three mills, a brewery, a sawmill, five streets and a market square.
This area saw action during the two uprisings in 1830s and 1860s - the Russian army engaged the rebels. The Russian Census of 1897 listed 2 615 residents, 1 515 of them - Jews, 521 Poles, 500 Belarusians and 76 Russians. A few years later it had eight streets and 362 houses. Radoshkovichy was a prominent pottery center.
During the First World War the town hosted a frontline base of the Russian army. The German occupation was followed by the Polish one and the 1921 Riga Peace Treaty saw the inclusion of the area into Rech Pospolitaya. In the Polish times Radoshkovichy became a borderline town and a center of the Belarusian cultural revival.
Radoshkovichy St. Trinity Church
A Belarusian-speaking gymnasium was open in Radoshkovichy to be one of the five similar establishments in Western Belarus. It had about 150 students from the nearby villages and towns - they staged performances and issued hand-written magazines. The Polish authorities closed the establishment down in 1928 to avoid the escalation of the national issue.
In 1940 Radoshkovichy then a Soviet place was reorganized into a town. The Nazi occupation claimed the lives of 1200 residents between 1942 and 1943. The effort to index the remaining macevas in the Radoshkovichy Jewish cemetery was launched in 2015 and is ongoing.
Radoshkovichy Old Jewish cemetery, 2015
The rebuilt Radoshkovichy exists today as a typical provincial Belarusian town. If you would like to take a trip to Radoshkovichy to track your ancestry or as a part of your Belarus tour – contact your private guide in Minsk!
Flying over Radoshkovichy town and the Jewish cemetery
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