Borovichi (Russian: Боровичи́) is the second largest town in Novgorod Oblast, Russia. Population: 53,690 (2010 Census); 57,755 (2002 Census); 63,009 (1989 Census).
The railway arch bridge across the Msta
The Msta River was an important waterway since at least the 10th century, since it connected Novgorod with the basins of the Volga and the Northern Dvina Rivers. The settlement was first mentioned in 1495. It was granted town status in 1770 by Catherine the Great. The main occupation of the town’s inhabitants was piloting ships through the rapids of the Msta River that used to be a part of an important waterway connecting Central Russia with the Baltic Sea (hence a rudder appears on the town’s coat of arms granted by Catherine the Great). However, by the mid-19th century, after opening of the Volga–Baltic Waterway and the Moscow-Saint Petersburg Railway, the significance of the Msta River as a transport route has decreased.
In the course of the administrative reform carried out in 1708 by Peter the Great, the area was included into Ingermanland Governorate (known since 1710 as Saint Petersburg Governorate). In 1727, separate Novgorod Governorate was split off. In 1773, Borovichsky Uyezd was established. In 1776, the area was transferred to Novgorod Viceroyalty. In 1796, the viceroyalty was abolished and Borovichsky Uyezd was transferred to Novgorod Governorate.
Sources of fire clay were discovered near the town in the 19th century, and the first fire brick manufacturing plant opened in the region in 1855. In 1878, a railway branch connected the town to Uglovka station of the Moscow-Saint Petersburg Railway, which allowed to establish several large fire brick plants in 1880. Now about half of the town’s population is employed in the fire brick industry.
In 1905, the first arch bridge in Russia was built in Borovichi across the Msta.
On August 1, 1927, the uyezds were abolished, and Borovichsky District was established, with the administrative center in Borovichi. The district was a part of Borovichi Okrug of Leningrad Oblast. The town of Borovichi initially belonged to the district, but from 1930 it was elevated in status to that of a town of oblast significance. On July 5, 1944, Borovichsky District was transferred to newly established Novgorod Oblast and remained there ever since.