The Phenomenon of a Polish Kresy Town on the Lithuanian-Belarusian Territory in the 1st Half of the 19th Century
Kresy towns at the turn of the 19th century represented an important element of the Polish history. The Lithuanian-Belarusian territory was covered mainly with small towns and most of them belonged to Polish owners. After 1795, this land was annexed by Russia, which gradually made the area dependent on its political and cultural influences and started a slow russification process. The town of Świsłocz in the Grodzeńska county met the same fate. However, the urban- economical and cultural involvement of count Wincenty Tyszkiewicz, as well as his feeling of responsibility for the inhabitants, allowed him to create the phenomenon of a Kresy town in the first decades of the post-partition period despite difficulties. Perfect architectural foundations, magnificent marketplace and an amazing gymnasium were characteristic of the town. After the fall of the November Uprising, the uniqueness of the town started to wane and, with the loss of its Polishness, it lost its unique character.
Key words: town; Kresy; Świsłocz; Wincenty Tyszkiewicz; 18th/19th century