Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition


a town of Russia, in the government of Orel, 83 m. by rail W.N.W. of the city of that name, in 53° 15′ N. and 34° 10′ E. on the river Desna. It is mentioned in 1146, being then also known as Debryansk. It afterwards formed a separate principality, which came to an end in 1356 with the death of the prince. After the Mongol invasion of 1241, Bryansk fell into the power of the Lithuanians; and finally became incorporated with the Russian empire in the beginning of the 17th century. Bryansk was taken by the followers of the first false Demetrius, but it successfully resisted the attacks of the second impostor of that name. Under the empress Anne a dock was constructed for the building of ships, but it was closed in 1739. In 1783 an arsenal was established for the founding of cannon. The cathedral was built in 1526, and restored in the end of the 17th century. There are two high schools; and the industrial establishments include iron, rope, brick and tallow-boiling works, saw-mills and flour-mills, tobacco-factories and a brewery. Some distance north of the town are the Maltsov iron-works, with glass factories and rope-walks, employing 20,000 men. A considerable trade is carried on, especially in wood, tar, hemp, pitch, hemp-seed-oil and cattle. In 1867 the population numbered 13,881, and in 1897 23,520.