Halshany is a village and former town in Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, Hrodna Voblast
Hrodna Voblast
Hrodna Voblast or Grodno Oblast is a voblast in northwestern Belarus.The capital - Grodno is the biggest city of the province. It lies on the Neman River. Grodno's existence is attested to from 1127. Two castles dating from the 14th - 18th centuries are located here on the steep right bank of...

. It is known as the former seat of the Holszanski princely family and the location of the ruined Halshany Castle
Halshany Castle
Halshany or Holszany Castle is the ruined residence of the Sapieha magnate family in Halshany, Hrodna Voblast, Belarus. It was erected in the early 17th century in place of an older seat of the Holszanski princely family....



According to a legend the town was founded by the founder of the Olshanski
Olshanski was a Lithuanian princely family from Galšia , Belarus, which used to be a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Their Coat of Arms was Hipocentaur...

 (Olszańscy, Alšėniškiai) family of Lithuanian nobility. It was the place of birth of the Lithuanian princess and later the Grand Duchess of Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

 and queen of Poland Sophia of Halshany
Sophia of Halshany
Sophia of Halshany , was a Lithuanian princess of Halshany, Queen of Poland from , and the last wife of Jogaila.-Biography:...

, extending Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

n Jagellon dynasty over two states.

During the times of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth the town was in the hands of the Sapieha
The Sapieha is a Polish-Lithuanian princely family descending from the medieval boyars of Smolensk. The family acquired great influence in the sixteenth century.-History:...

 family, which constructed a castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

 there in early 17th century. The town grew smaller with the devastations of the mid-17th century wars wrought in the Commonwealth. The town became part of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 with the partitions of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Partitions of Poland
The Partitions of Poland or Partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in the second half of the 18th century and ended the existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland for 123 years...

 in the 18th century.

After the First World War the town became a part of the Second Polish Republic
Second Polish Republic
The Second Polish Republic, Second Commonwealth of Poland or interwar Poland refers to Poland between the two world wars; a period in Polish history in which Poland was restored as an independent state. Officially known as the Republic of Poland or the Commonwealth of Poland , the Polish state was...

; it was taken by the Soviet Union after the Soviet invasion of Poland
Soviet invasion of Poland
Soviet invasion of Poland can refer to:* the second phase of the Polish-Soviet War of 1920 when Soviet armies marched on Warsaw, Poland* Soviet invasion of Poland of 1939 when Soviet Union allied with Nazi Germany attacked Second Polish Republic...

 and became part of the Belorussian SSR. After the fall of communism it became part of the modern Belarus.
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