[mah-hee-lou, -lyou]

Mahilyow (also transliterated Mogilyov, Mogilev; Магілёў, maʝi'lʲou̯, Могилёв) is a city in eastern Belarus, about 76 km from the border with Russia's Smolensk Oblast and 105 km from the border with Russia's Bryansk Oblast. It has more than 367,788 inhabitants (2007 estimate). It is the centre of Mahilyow voblast and the third largest city in Belarus.


The city was founded in 1267. Since 14th century a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, after the Union of Lublin and creation of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, it was transferred to The Crown as Mohylew or Mogilew. The city flourished as one of the main nodes of the east-west and north-south trading routes. In 1577 king Stefan Batory granted it with city rights. After the First Partition of Poland it came into the hands of Imperial Russia and was the centre of the Mogilev guberniya. In years 1915-1917, during World War I, the headquarters of the Russian army functioned in the city and the Tsar, Nicholas II, spent long periods here as Commander-in-Chief. In 1918 occupied by Germany and transferred to the short-lived Belarusian People's Republic. In 1919 captured by the forces of Bolshevist Russia and incorporated into Byelorussian SSR. Between 1941 and 1944 under German occupation. Since Belarus gaining its independence in 1991 Mahilyow remains one of its principal cities.


Mahilyow is one of the main economical and industrial centres of Belarus. After World War II a huge metallurgy centre with several major steel mills was built. Also, there were several major factories of cranes, cars, tractors and a chemical plant. The city is home to a major inland port at the Dnieper river and a domestic airport.

Sites of interest

The most striking building of Mahilyow is the six-pillared St. Stanislaw's Cathedral (picture), built in the Baroque style in 1738-52 and distinguished by its energetic murals. The convent of St. Nicholas (picture) preserves its magnificent cathedral from 1668, as well as original iconostasis, belltower, walls, and gates. Minor landmarks include the archiepiscopal palace and memorial arch, both dating from the 1780s, and the enormous theatre in the blend of the Neo-Renaissance and Russian Revival styles.

At Polykovichi, an urban part of Mahilyow, there is a 350 metre tall guyed TV mast, one of the tallest structures in Belarus.

Notable natives of Mahilyow

Sister cities

External links


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