Offical stamps from the Pruzany Magistrate

stamp from 1800's

Stamp from the 1800's 

Stamp from the 1900's 

Stamp from before WW1

Stamp during the period of the German occupation

Stamp from 1916

Stamp from 
1919 - 1925

Stamp from 1925


The best-known legend about the name of the town of Pruzana goes like this: in the distant past the spot on which the town was established was empty and barren. The river Muchaviec flowed among the many marshes that covered the area. One day, a woman landowner passed through the area holding on to a small child. When she reached the river, a serpent jumped out of the water, snatched the baby from her hand and swallowed it. The mother built a church on the spot in memory of her child. The church drew worshippers to it and very slowly the settlement of Pruzana was established in memory of the founder. This legend was perpetuated in the emblem of the town: a snake swallowing a baby down its throat.

According to a second version, the name of the baby boy or girl was Pruzina and the mother called the church by this name. A third version ignores the name Pruzina and explains the name Pruzana as being like the word "Pozareia" in Byelorussian or "Pozarta" in Polish, which means "swallowed".

The well-known Polish historian Balinski relates a similar story. He recounts that the nurse of the children of landowners in the area dropped a child into the river, which engulfed the child and the spot was called "Pozaria" and later the name was changed to Pruzana. The historian adds that "the story appears to be fabricated." This remark did not prevent the story appearing in the article: "A historical list of the district town of Pruzana" in the book "Urban Settlements in the Russian Empire".

There is also another legend, according to which the area around the present town was wooded and contained several scattered settlements. But the area on which Pruzana was established was empty and barren. It was called "Poroznia" in Byelorussian or "Pruznia" in Polish, which means empty. This name became attached to the settlement that was built.

As the historic documents show, the name Pruzana was given to our city at the end of the 16th century. Until that time, the place was called Dobuczyn like the name of the village which is seven kilometres north-east of the town. There is another legend that explains the change of name from Dobuczyn to Pruzana. In the distant past, the town was situated on the site of this village.

Once, a plague broke out there that killed off many of the local population. The remnant abandoned the place and settled alongside the Muchavietc river and set up the town of Pruzana there. It is obvious that this story, like the others, has no factual basis, but it is included to show how much the people tried to explain the. renaming of the name of the place.

Apparently, the name of Pruzana comes from the Pruzanka stream, which flows in the town's boundary into the Murhaviec. Today, we know about the Wiec stream, which flows from the north and the Muclia from the west and they merge in the town and are called Muchaviec. The Baba stream flows from the lakes and marshes in the east of the town into the left flank of the Muchaviec. There are indications of another stream, which today is a marsh, that flowed from the south-west, crossed present-day Kobrin street, continued to the new cemetery and emerged on the right side of the Muchaviec. Old maps indicate the name of the stream as Lacha. Nobody knows about the Pruzanka stream. Also, the ancients write in the Pruzana religous divorce-documents (Git(in) ) "a town on the Muchaviec river, Pruzanka river and Pizhuvka river and springs....." which shows that Pruzanka river exists. As regards the Pizhuvka, we believe that it is the Baba stream. Maps prior to the First World War record the name "Pizogohtka" instead of Baba. Some or all of the Pruzana streams have changed their names. Lacha in tile 16th century was called Polackiwa. The "Revizia of the Kobrin Economy" states the Polachwa river. The same source refers to Pruzanka stream.

Since there is no other stream that falls into the Muchaviec, close to Dereczyn, it is obvious that Pruzanka is the Pirhovka or Baba, as it is now known. The version of the Get that mentions Pruzanka and Pirhuvka in one breath as two separate streams is not understandable. Perhaps, it can be explained away by saying that in the beginning there was the version: "on the river Muchaviec and on the river Pruzsanka". Eventually, the stream was called by its other name and the writers of the Get did not want to omit the old name and for extra validity added the new name.