Grodno or Hrodna is a city in western Belarus. It is located on the Neman close to the borders of Poland and Lithuania (about 20 km (12 mi) and 30 km (19 mi) away respectively). It has 365,610 inhabitants (2016 census). It is the capital of Grodno Region and Grodno District.
In Belarusian, the city is sometimes referred to as Го́радня or Гаро́дня. In Latin it was known as Grodna (-ae), in Polish as Grodno and in Yiddish as גראָדנע. The Lithuanian name of the city is Gardinas.
The city has one of the largest concentrations of Roman Catholics in Belarus. It is also a center of Polish culture, with the considerable number of Poles living in Belarus, residing in the city and its surroundings.
All the while, the Eastern Orthodox population is also widely present here. The city's Catholic and Orthodox churches are important architectural treasures.
This city is known for its Medical University, where many students from different parts of Belarus acquire an academic degree, as do a good number of foreign students as well. Other higher educational establishments are Yanka Kupala State University (the largest education center in Hrodna province) and Agricultural university. To support the Polish community, a Polish school was built in 1995 where all subjects are taught in Polish and students are able to pass exams to get accepted in Polish universities.
The town was planned to be dominated by the Old Grodno Castle, first built in stone by Grand Duke Vytautas and thoroughly rebuilt in the Renaissance style by Scotto from Parma at the behest of Stefan Batory, who made the castle his principal residence. Batory died at this palace seven years later (December, 1586) and originally was interred in Hrodna. (His autopsy there was the first to take place in Eastern Europe.) After his death, the castle was altered on numerous occasions, although a 17th-century stone arch bridge linking it with the city still survives. The Saxon monarchs of Poland were dissatisfied with the old residence and commissioned Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann to design the New Grodno Castle, whose once sumptuous Baroque interiors were destroyed during World War II.