Ruzhany is situated on the river Ruzhanka and surrounded by picturesque hills. It is 140 km away from Brest, 38 km from Ivatsevichy (where the nearest railway station is located), 45 km north-east from Pruzhany, on the crossing of the roads from Pruzhany to Slonim and from Vaukavysk to Kosava.
The earliest mentioning of Ruzhany dates back to 1552. Following the First World War the town was part of Poland until 1945. Almost the entire pre-war population of 3,500 Jews were killed in the Holocaust, mostly at Treblinka extermination camp.
Some notable past residents of Ruzhany include:
- The Sapieha family, influential Polish-Lithuanian aristocrats, who built a palace at Ruzhany (see below).
- I. M. Pines, a famous writer and zionist.
- Yitzhak Shamir, former Prime Minister of Israel.
- Melech Epstein, a US Yiddish language journalist.
- Louis Leon Ribak, a US artist.
Interesting sights in Ruzhany include:
- Ruzhany Palace: a large and impressive, but mostly ruined complex. Now undergoing complete renovation.
- Two large churches: Trinity Church (Catholic, dating from 1617 ) and St Peter & Paul (Orthodox, built 1762-88 )
- A small chapel named for St. Casimir is in the town cemetery.
- An ancient Jewish graveyard  and a large ruined synagogue 
- A small German cemetery.
- "All About Ruzhany" (Unofficial Ruzhany Site)
- Ruzhany at Radzima.org
- Webpage about Ruzhany's history and present (in Russian)
- Jewish Electronic Encyclopedia page on Ruzhany (in Russian)
- ShtetLinks page on Ruzhany
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