Suraż, which has a long and rich history, and was a royal town in the Kingdom of Poland, currently is one of the smallest municipalities of the country, with the population of only 1012 (as of June 30, 2012).
The history of Suraż dates back to the 11th century, when a defensive gord was established on the right bank of the Narew river. In 1390, King Władysław II Jagiełło handed Suraż, together with other towns in the area, to Mazovian Duke Janusz I of Warsaw. The Suraź Castle is mentioned in a 1392 Teutonic Knights chronicle, when it was destroyed by forces of Grand Master Engelhard Rabe. Some time in the late 15th century, a new castle was built, with a brick tower, and a prison. The castle was destroyed during the Swedish invasion of Poland (1655-1660).
Since 1795, Suraź belonged to the Russian Empire. Its area was one of centres of the 1863 January Uprising: here a clash between rebels and Russians took place in May 1863. After the rebellion, the Russians imposed heavy taxes on its residents, and the population of the town rapidly declined. Furthermore, construction of the Saint Petersburg – Warsaw Railway (1862) bypassed Suraż, which deepened its decline.