Vilnius Governorate

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Coat of arms of the governorate
Map from 1897 (Russian)

The Vilna Governorate ( Russian Виленская губерния / Wilenskaja gubernija ) was an administrative unit of the Russian Empire . It bordered the Russian-Polish governorate of Suwałki and the governorates of Kowno , Vitebsk , Minsk and Grodno . It was subordinate to the Governor General of the northwestern Krais , also with its seat in Wilna (also Generalgouvernement Wilna ).

It had an area of ​​about 42,530 km², the capital was Wilna (Lithuanian Vilnius ).

In today's terms, it occupied the southeast of Lithuania and the northwestern border area of Belarus . It was formed from the division of the Lithuania-Vilnius governorate in 1843, where what would become the governorate of Kovno was separated and Vilnius received areas in the south and east as compensation. The territory itself came to Russia with the Third Partition of Poland in 1795. Formally, it existed until the independence of Lithuania and Poland after the First World War; in fact, Russian control over the area was lost as early as 1915.

Around 1900 the area was divided into seven Ujesdy (districts):


According to the 1897 census, the governorate had 1,591,207 inhabitants. Of these, 891,903 were Belarusians, 279,720 Lithuanians, 202,374 Jews, 130,054 Poles, 78,623 Russians and smaller groups of Germans and Tatars.

The main occupation of the population was agriculture, as well as gardening and meadow culture. The harvest in 1905 delivered tons: rye 293,872, barley 51,053, oats 126,805, potatoes 772,883. In 1904, 28,226 hectares were cultivated with flax, which provided 7.5 million kg of flax fiber. In 1904 there were 240,000 horses, 700,000 cattle, 505,000 (coarse wool) sheep and 520,009 pigs. Beekeeping had declined sharply around 1900. Industry was of little importance; in 1900 1759 there were commercial enterprises with 14,010 workers and a production value of 18.4 million rubles. The focus was on the leather industry, brandy distillery and beer brewery, paper, tobacco and horse nail manufacture.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Meyer's Large Conversational Lexicon. Volume 20, Leipzig / Vienna 1909, pages 655–656.
  2. census results 1897 (language groups of the governorate)