The historical "Pinesk" was first mentioned in the chronicles of 1097 and is thus one of the oldest Slavic settlements. The name is derived from the river Pina. Pinsk's early history is closely linked with the history of another Belarusan city - Turau. Until the mid-12th century Pinsk was part of the Turau principality. Later, in the 13th century, it became the centre of a principality of its own.

Short Description/History

In 1320 Pinsk became part of the Grand Duchy of Litwa (Lithuania). From this time on Pinsk was ruled by the son of the Grand Duke Gedymin. For the next two centuries the city had different rulers. In 1581 Pinsk was granted the Magdeburg Code of Law.

From 1633 on Pinsk had a secondary school, a so-called brotherhood school, the brotherhoods were religious citizen's organisations with the aim of providing education for their members and their children.

In 1648 on the eve of the war with Muscovite Russia Pinsk was occupied by Ukrainian Cossack army under commander Niababy and could only be reconquered with great difficulty by prince Janus Radziwill. During the war between Moscow and the Great Dutchy of Lithuania which raged between 1654-1667 the city suffered heavily from the attacks of the Muscovite army under its commander Valkonski and its allied army of Ukrainian Cossacks.

On the 5th October 1655 Pinsk was occupied. The conquerors destroyed the city and its surroundings, tortured and killed many of its inhabitants. The chronicles of the city describe how the wounded were buried alive and houses set on fire. The churches were especially badly plundered. All the gold, bells and icons were stolen, the churches - both Orthodox and Catholic - were burnt, often even the priests were killed. Thus the Muscovite Tsar Alexej who wanted to be the only ruler of all Eastern Slavic peoples, took revenge on the Great Dutchy of Lithuania and the Muscovite Orthodox Church had an opportunity to assert itself as the only successor of Constantinople, which had been taken by the Turks in 1453. Leaving Pinsk the troops set it on fire and the city and the castle were completely destroyed.

In 1706 Pinsk was again destroyed but this time it was the Swedish army of King Charles XII. In spite of all the wars the city recovered.

In 1793 Pinsk became part of the Russian Empire.

From 1921 to 1939 Pinsk was part of Poland

From 1939 onwards Pinsk was part of the BSSR.