Velizh ( _ru. Велиж) is a town in
Smolensk Oblast, Russia. It is situated on the bank of the Western Dvina, 134 km from Smolensk, at coord|55|36|N|31|12|E Population: 8,343 (2002 Census).
In the late 14th century, it used to be a border fortress of the
Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Russians recaptured it in 1536, but it was restored to Lithuania after the Time of Troubles. The town was returned to Russia under the terms of the First Partition of Poland. Much of the town was destroyed during World War II. The houses of Nikolai Przhevalskiand General Rodziankoin the proximity to Velizh are open to the public as museums.
*ru icon [http://www.mojgorod.ru/smolensk_obl/velizh/index.html Various information on Velizh at "My Town" website]
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