Already in 1799
Rezhitsa became known as a place where Jews were accused of using the blood
of Christians in Pesach. In 1802, 26 Christian merchants live in Rezhitsa
and only 3 Jewish merchants, 187 Christian citizens and 533 Jewish citizens.
In 1803 a Russian traveler described Rezhitsa as a pitiful city with only
one street, no skilled craftsmen, no open air markets (fairs). In that era
the Jews participated in the government of the city.
Rezhitsa had 10,795 inhabitants of whom 6,478 were Jewish.
At the end of
the XIX Century Rezhitsa had 2 orthodox churches, 2 Old Believers prayer
houses, 10 synagogues. An important attraction were the ruins of the old
castle, built in 1257 by the Knights of the Livonian Order. At the end of
the XIX Century there were 2 private Jewish schools for the study of the
Talmud and Torah. Five plants with 28 workers which produced a profits of
24,450 Rubles per year. By then there were 1,081 craftsmen. Commerce in the
city was weakly developed: there were 403 merchants' shops, 303 traded in
small goods. It is interesting that the the poorest Jewish people lived in a
neighborhood called "America."
Russian writer, Juri Tynianov (1894 - 1943) was born in Rezhitsa. He was
considered to be a master of the Russian historical novel. His works include
the novels: Pushkin, Kuhla, and Death of Vazir-Muhtar.
1835: Description by the Russian geographer Deimidovich, Vitebskije
Gubernskije Vedomosti, Pg 1, 1865.
about Rezhitsa. The city is located near the St. Petersburg-Warsaw railroad
line, by two sides of Petersburg chauses (sic) and is a quiet clean city.
There are no factories except for one brewery which receives its hops from
abroad. All industry is represented by small buy-sell trade institutions.
The city has 1 orthodox church, 1 catholic church and 3 Old-Believers prayer
houses. The town is remarkable by the ruins of an old castle. An old ledged
says that this castle was built by Queen Ruzhina, her name is the basis for
the name of the city.