MainInformation resourcesElectronic informational resourcesResources of the National Library of BelarusVirtual projects, exhibitions and collectionsLibrary virtual projectsThe year 1812 in the history of Belarus: a virtual projectCommemoration of the events of 1812 in Belarus The chronicles of events devoted to the 200th anniversary of the war of 1812
The chronicles of events devoted to the 200th anniversary of the war of 1812

The chronicles of events devoted to the 200th anniversary of the war of 1812

Within the framework of preparation for the celebrating of the anniversary of the war of 1812 in Belarus, there have been organized and held the events including the following:

  • perpetuating of the memory of events and heroes of the war of 1812;
  • activation of museum work regarding creation of new expositions and exhibitions;
  • arrangement of memorable actions, excursions and trips to memorable places where the events of those years happened;
  • arrangement of scientific and practical conferences, round tables, debates, seminars, festivals, competitions and other events;
  • provision of information support for events timed to the celebration of this date.

Thus, for example, in 2011 the exposition devoted to the events of the war of 1812 in Borisov Incorporated Museum was updated. On December, 14th, 2011 the exhibition “1812 in the history of Minsk” opened in the National Historical Museum of Belarus. The exhibition was organized together with museums of Mogilev, Vitebsk, Kobrin, the National Historical Archive and the National Library of Belarus. In December, 2011 in Gomel, the exhibition devoted to the war of 1812 opened in the regional Museum of Military Glory. The exposition presents the weapon, ammunition and awards of that war.

On March, 20th, 2012 in Vitebsk, the exhibition “Year 1812 in Vitebsk region” opened in Regional Museum of Local Lore; it reflects the events of that historical period showing Vitebsk against the background of 1812. The exposition presents more than 300 exhibits from the museum’s collections, and also I. Gorbunov’s collection of figures of soldiers made in a form of small dioramas of the battles. Various documents and correspondence, coins and awards, articles of property allow presenting more widely the historical background of the military events of 1812.

On March, 29th, 2012 in the Northeast Tower of the Mir Castle there opened the exhibition of the military-patriotic miniature by artist I.V. Gorbunov devoted to the 200th anniversary of the war of 1812. Along with traditional miniatures of soldiers of various epochs, the exhibition presents the reconstructions of regimentals of the subaltern officer of the Guards Naval Crew of 1812 and the warrant officer of navy fleet of the USSR of 1982.

On April, 10th, 2012 the exhibition “Year 1812 in artifacts” opened in the Vitebsk Art Museum. It presents more than 600 original exhibits – coins, signs, the weapon.

On May, 19th, 2012 in Brest, in the museum “Saved Artistic Treasures”, within the limits of the art project “The Museum Night” there took place an event devoted to the International Museums Day and the 200th anniversary of the war of 1812. The programme included a performance of the city wind band under the direction of V. Koval, Коваля, presentation of unique exhibits from funds of a regional study of local lore museum, a presentation of the exhibition “Year 1812 in artifacts”, and the book of Z. Dudjuk “Year 1812”, a presentation of the book collection of the M. Gorky Regional Library, speeches of Candidate of History L. Nesterchuk and head professor of the Brest State Technical University of O. Belevich and other events.

In May, 2012 the National Library of Belarus prepares a special release of the bibliographic supplement “1812 in the History of Belarus: 200 Years from the Beginning of the War” to the bulletin Новые книги: по страницам белорусской печати / New Books: Belarusian Press. It includes information on scientific and popular editions of 2000– 2012 devoted to the European policy before the war, the reasons of the conflict, the basic stages of the war. The especial attention is given to the “Belarus in the war 1812”.

On June, 22nd, 2012, an exhibition of lithographs, engravings and postcards "1812. War and peace” opened in the Belarusian State Museum of the Great Patriotic War. It presented original materials of the middle 19th – early 20th centuries from the collections of Belarusian researcher of local lore and folklorist V. Likhodedov and collector V. Peftiev.

The exposition section “Belarus in 1812” presented postcards of the middle 19th – early 20th centuries and their enlarged copies. The postcards depict monuments devoted to perished warriors, reproductions of battle-painting by eminent artists.

On June 25th, 2012, a presentation of the book by A. Lukashevich “Monuments and Memorable Places of 1812 in Belarus” took place at the National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus. The monograph is dedicated to perpetuation of the events of the war of 1812 in Belarus. The history of fortification works and other memorable places of the epoch is shown in detail. The book also describes tourist routes and objects of a possible international tourist route “Fortification of the epoch of 1812”. The book is well illustrated (more than 420 photos, including more than 160 in color) and it will be useful not only to historians and regional specialists, but also to everyone who is interested in Belarusian and military history.

From June 25th to July 30th, 2012, a subject exhibition “In the fire of 1812. The events of the war on the territory of Belarus” ran in the Belarusian literature reading room of the National Library of Belarus.

The exposition included more than 350 documents and consisted of five sections which titles clearly reveal the content of the exposition: "For the independence and honor of the Motherland", "The Belarusian land is an arena for hard battles", "The strength and power of the people’s spirit", " Their names are unforgotten in history", " Belarusians have a legend... ". Among the exhibits there are documents and acts, encyclopedias, author’s publications, proceedings of international conferences and exhibitions, etc.

On July 3rd, 2012, on the Belarus Independence Day, in the Borisov Fortress built in 1810–1811 by the project of engineer Carl Opperman (the eminent Brest Fortress is built by his project as well), the club of Military-Historical Reconstruction of 1812, within the framework of a holiday programme, showed a special theatrical performance. The Russian Center for Science and Culture in Minsk presented an exposition “Borodino – the battle of giants” arranged on the basis of materials from the collections of the State Borodino War and History Museum and Reserve.

On July 11th, 2012, the website “Archives of Belarus” which is an official resource of the Belarusian system of archival science, record keeping and archival institutions presented a special anniversary section “War of on the territory of Belarus”.

In the second half of July 2012, there took place the first transboundary tourist route “The paths of the military glory of the Patriotic War of 1812” with the participation of one hundred of cadets of Suvorov’s Military Schools from Russia and Belarus and winners of a contest on the best knowledge of the history of the Napoleonic wars. During ten days the cadets visited the places of battles, museums, panoramas and dioramas, military-historical settlements, and participated in reconstructions of the battles which took place 200 years ago in Moscow, Mozhaisk, Borodino, Vyazma, Smolensk, Vitebsk, Borisov, Polotsk and finished their travel in Minsk.

A memorable event became also the International scientific conference “The Patriotic War of 1812 in the history of Belarus” held on July 21st, 2012, by the Kobrin Military-Historical Museum named after А.V. Suvorov. The conference was dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the first victory of Russian forces over Napoleon near Kobrin and tok place on the celebrating of the 68th anniversary of the liberation of Kobrin from Nazi occupants during the Great Patriotic War 1941 – 1945 (the Day of the Town of Kobrin).

On July 25th –27th , 2012,  in Mogilev there took place the International scientific and practical conference “The Patriotic War of 1812 in the destiny of the peoples of Russia and Belarus” arranged by the Representatives of the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) in the Republic of Belarus – the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Minsk in cooperation with the Division of Humanitarian Sciences and Arts of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, the Museum of Histroy of Mogilev and the Mogilev State University named after А.А. Kuleshov.

On August 1st – 14th , 2012, withing the framework of the project for creative youth “The call-over of centuries: 1812–2012” students and graduates of art colleges from Minsk, Mogilev, Tula, Samara, Volgograd, Astrakhan, Novosibirsk, Kharkov and Lugansk visited the Brilevskoye Field on the banks of river Berezina, the Lyadansky Svyato-Blagoveshchensky Monastery, the manor “Bivak” designed in style of 1812. as a result young artists created a series of studies. This event was arranged by the non-governmental organization “The Belarusian Green Cross”. 70 best works were shown at first in the Borisov Central Regional Librray named after I.H. Kolodeev, then in the Museum of the History of Minsk, the Art Museum in Mogilev and Russia.

On August 12th, 2012, on the Poklonnaja Mountain in Moscow a horse trip on the route “Moscow – Paris” started. A group of twenty Cossacks led by camp atman А.М. Kalyakin followed the way that made Cossacks headed by atman М.I. Platonov in 1812–1814. On August 20th , the Cossacks entered the territory of Lyozno Region in Belarus. On August 23rd, 2012, in the Brilevskoye Field in Borisov Region, participants of the trip placed wreathes on the Monument to Russian Warriors and the Unknown Warrior Grave perished in the Patriotic War of 1812. Then the Cossacks followed the ways of Lithuania, Poland, Germany and on October 21st, 2012, they finished their 2 500-kilometer trip in Paris.

On October 2nd, 2012, in the office Т there opened an exhibition “The connection of centuries”. The event was arranged by the non-governmental organization “The Belarusian Green Cross”. During the two-week summer plein-air artists from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine created paintings devoted to the events of the war of 1812. The exhibition included about 40 works by young artists from Mogilev, Gomel and Bobruysk, Tula, Volgograd and Saratov, Kiev, Kharkov and Lugansk. The best works created during the plein-air were chosen by a jury of members of the Belarusian Union of Artists. The exhibition presented in Minsk was shown before in Borisov. It is planned to present these paintings also in Russia, France, Italy and Germany.

On November 19th, 2012, at the National Library of Belarus there took place a presentation of a cultural and educational project “1812. Known and unknown”. During the event a trilogy “The Western Boundary Region in Military-Strategic Plans of the Russian Empire (end of the 18th century – 1812.)” was presented. The edition is a result of the 15-year research of Associate Professor of the Belarusian State University А.М. Lukashevich. The books were compiled on the basis of written and graphical sources (formerly classified information) both published before and stored in 10 archives of Belarus, Lithuania, Poland and Russia. Also within the limits of the literary-educational project there took place the presentation of the NLB virtual project “1812 in the history of Belarus”, the opening of the exhibition in the Book Museum “War of 1812 in book monuments“ (manuscripts and rare editions dedicated to the military events of the epoch) and the republican exhibition of the children’s drawing devoted to the war of 1812. Pupils of six art studios from Gomel, Minsk and Brest took part in the event.

In the National Art Museum from November 21st, 2012, to January 23rd, 2013, there runs an exhibition “The war of 1812 by the eyes of the eyewitness. Graphics by Christian Wilhelm von Faber du Faur” presenting drawings made by a participant of the Russian Campaign. The exposition offers an exclusive opportunity to see the war of 1812 through the eyes of a Frenchman, officer of the “Great Army” of Napoleon who had passed all the dramatic way of the Russian Campaign – from the swift invasion of the French Emperor’s regiments into Russia to their tragic rout.

On November 22nd, 2012, in the State Literary Museum named after Yanka Kupala there was open an exposition "The Patriotic War of 1812 in modern art from the collections of the State Memorial Historical-Literary and Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve of A.S. Pushkin Mikhailovskoye". The exhibition presents graphics, albums and maps. Most precious are Военный альманах 321. Реестр армии Австрийской Империи за 1811 год. Несколько всемилостивых императорских привилегий / Military Almanac 321. The Register of Army of the Austrian Empire for 1811. Some All-Gracious Emperor’s Priviliges published in Vienna, and also the Belgium edition of 1837 Максимы Наполеона о войне / The Maximas of Napoleon on the War – a brochure with the Emperor’s citations. The Literary Museum named after Yanka Kupala presented a book, saved by a miracle, from the Belarusian Bard’s book collection Отечественная война 1812 года в пределах Смоленской губернии / The Patriotic War of 1812 inside the Smolensk Province (published in 1912).

On November 23rd –24th, 2012: the International scientific conference “The war of 1812 and Belarus” on the basis of the Belarusian State University.

On November 23rd–24th, 2012: IV International scientific-practical conference “Kolodeev’s lectures” on the basis of the Borisov Central Regional Library named after I.H. Kolodeev in cooperation with the Center of Napoleonic Studies and the Embassy of France to the Republic of Belarus.

On November, 23rd–25th, 2012, in Borisov and Borisov Region there were held the memorable events devoted to the 200th anniversary of the war of 1812. On November 23rd, there took place the opening of the House-Manor of Ivan Kolodeev in which the collector of artifacts of the war of 1812 lived one hundred years ago. In 1914, this collection considered as one of the richest in the world was transferred by Olga Sergeevna, the widow of Ivan Kolodeev, to the Moscow State Historical Museum. The house which after Ivan Kolodeev’s decease had been the property of different organizations for more than one and a half tens years, is today restored by the initiative of the Borisov Region Executive Committee by a private company. The House-Manor houses a big exposition devoted to the events of 1812. It presents a part of Ivan Kolodeev’s library collected from local residents and by various collectors. In the Sacred Trinity Church which is under construction in Borisov the memorable sign in honor of Kolodeev will be established.

On November 24th, 2012, on the Brilevskoye Field (Borisov Region) there took place an international meting-requiem and also a reconstruction of the battle on river Berezina. It gathered representatives of state bodies and organizations, diplomats, descendants of participants of the war of 1812: descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte – Charles Napoleon, descendant of general Alexander Sislavin – Andrei Zhuravlev-Sislavin… About 300 participants of military-historical clubs from Belarus, Russia, France, Poland, Switzerland and Belgium arrived to recreate the eminent battle.

On November 25th, a ball in the style of last centuries took place in the manor.


On November 27th–29th, 2012, the TV-channel “Belarus 1” showed a series of documentary films dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the war of 1812. A film Шляхта Банапарта / Bonaparte’s Gentry (TV and Broadcasting Company “Gomel”) explains for what Bonaparte decided to restore the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, what the Belarusian nobility was ready to sacrifice for the 600-thousand army of the French Emperor to gain independence, how Napoleon wanted to pay for forage and food commandeered from Belarusian peasants, and also why the Belarusian and Polish nobility welcomed the great commander. A film Партизанка 1812 / The Partisan Movement 1812 (TV and Broadcasting Company “Brest”) is about the partisan movement against the greatest army of the epoch.

The Ministry of Sport and Tourism initiated the development of tourist routes to the places of battles of 1812. Thus touristic organizations of Minsk Region have developed seven routes to Borisov Region. On September 27th, 2012, there were adopted memorable coins “The War of 1812. 200 Years” prepared by the National Bank of Belarus (total run 5 thousand coins), 3 thousand silver and 2 thousand copper-nickel coins.

Also interesting are some edition projects of 2011–2012 whose preparation and presentation was broadly covered by mass-media. For example:

  • Беларусь и война 1812 года : документы / Департамент по архивам и делопроизводству Мин-ва юстиции Респ. Беларусь, Нац. ист. архив Беларуси, Нац. ист. архив Беларуси в г. Гродно ; [сост. : А.М. Лукашевич, Д.Л. Яцкевич ; редкол. : В.И. Адамушко и др.]. – Минск : Беларусь, 2011. – 558, [1] с., [8] л. факсим.;
  • Тарас, А. Е. 1812 год – трагедия Беларуси / А.Е. Тарас. – Минск : Харвест, 2012. – 246, [1] с. : ил., портр., карты. – (Неизвестная история);
  • Лукашевич, А.М. Памятники и памятные места 1812 года в Беларуси / А.М. Лукашевич. – Минск : Харвест, 2012. – 287 с., [16] л. цв. ил. : ил., портр., карты.