Historical and old photos of Baran, Vitebsk Region
Baran was first mentioned in 1470 and chartered in 1598 by Krzysztof Radziwiłł. At the time, the area belonged to Poland. In 1772, during the First Partition of Poland, Baran was transferred to Russia and became a selo, a center of Baranskaya Volost of Orshansky Province of Mogilev Governorate. In 1777, the provinces were abolished, and Baran became a selo in Orshansky Uyezd. In 1919, Mogilev Governorate was abolished, and Baran was transferred to Gomel Governorate. In 1920, Orshansky Uyezd with Baran was transferred to Vitebsk Governorate, and in 1924, the governorate was abolished.
From 1924, Baran was a part of Orsha Raion, which belonged to Vitebsk Okrug of Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1935, Baran became an urban-type settlement. On January 15, 1938 Vitebsk Region was established, and Orsha Raion with Baran was transferred to the oblast.
During the World War II Baran was occupied by the German troops, the Jewish population was executed. A witness to a mass shooting of the Jews of Baran stated, "The perpetrators were put together in a special unit of 6 persons. They had a black uniform and machine guns. The policemen threw the Jews in front of the grave, they were then shot by families."
In 1960, Orsha was made a city of oblast significance, and Baran was transferred from Orshansky District and became subordinate to the city of Orsha. In 1972, Baran obtained a town status.