Barysaw is located in the central part of Belarus, near the Berezina River. Barysaw was founded in 1102 by Polotsk prince Boris Vseslavovich. In 1812 Napoleon's troops were defeated while crossing the Berezina river. In 1871, the railroad between Brest and Moscow passed near Barysaw. In November 1917 it became a part of the Soviet Union. From 1918 to 1920 it was occupied by Germany and then Poland. After they were evicted, the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic was established.
Church in Barysaw
During World War II, Barysaw was occupied by Nazi Germany from July 2, 1941, to July 1, 1944, and most of the city was destroyed. More than 33,000 people were killed in six death camps which were constructed around the town. After the war Barysaw became a major industrial centre.