Cities of Belarus: sights of Orsha

Some tourists go to the highlands for visiting historical places, although there are unique monuments of the ancient land on their native land, allowing to look into the distant past, to touch the history of their people. Almost all the cities of Belarus boast such interesting objects . There is one of them, called Orsha, whose visit will certainly leave a lot of enthusiastic impressions.

A few words about the history

From time immemorial, Belarus records its history. Orsha, located in its eastern part, is the same age as Minsk. The first time about it is mentioned in the famous "Tale of Bygone Years". It's about 1067, when the trustful prince Vseslav Polotsky on the boat crossed to Orsha across the river to meet with the princes Yaroslavich. Those guests were seized and put in jail. Only then it was not a city, but a village, called not Orsha, but Rsha (Rha). "O" was added later. Since then many bad and good things have seen these lands. They entered the principality of Polotsk, into the Lithuanian, into the Russian, until finally after the October Revolution they became part of the Belarusian Soviet Republic. The transition from one owner to another was always accompanied by heavy fighting. Preserved historical evidence of a bloody slaughter, called the "Battle of Orsha," which occurred during the war between Russia and Lithuania (1514). Napoleon also thundered and burned Orsha. By the way, the commandant was then Marie-Henri Beyle, more familiar to us as the great Stendhal. The last wave of destruction and horror swept over the city during the Second World War. Much grief was brought by the fascists, but Orsha rose again from the ashes, and now hospitably welcomes all its tourists.

Location and road connection

There are several settlements with the name Orsha. So, in Russia there are three settlements in the Pskov and Tver regions with this name, the town of Orsha (Belarus) is located about 200 km from Minsk in an easterly direction, and 80 km from Vitebsk in a southerly direction. The city is situated in the mouth of Orsitsa, on the banks of this river and the Dnieper. The city has always been on important trade routes from Russia to Poland and Ukraine. Now it is called the "Eastern Gateway" of Belarus. Two international highways (M1 and M8) pass through Orsha. The route M1, called in the people of the Olympic, is paid. In addition, Belarus' routes to Krichev, Mogilev, Vitebsk, Lepel, Dubrovno and Shklov are passing through Orsha.

Railway transport

You can get to Orsha by rail. As far back as 1871, the first railway line that connected Smolensk and Brest was laid here. This event was a turning point in the history of the city. And although Orsha has always occupied an important place as a trade and economic hub, the "piece of iron" served as the factor that led to the fantastically rapid growth and development of the city. That is why the attractions of Orsha include in their list an old locomotive, standing in a place of honor at the Central Station. And the building, erected in 1912, is an architectural monument. Before him there was another, wooden station, but to date it has not survived. Orsha is the largest railway junction, where international trains run from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vilnius, Lviv, Kiev, Chisinau. There is also a suburban communication connecting Orsha with many cities and towns of Belarus.

The most ancient monument

Walking through the streets of Orsha, guests are surprised at the abundance of buildings with tablets "Historical and Cultural Value". It turns out that almost every house is a tourist attraction. However, there is one particularly revered place, which indicates almost every tourist map of the city of Orsha. It is a place of worship (or hillfort). Here many centuries ago there was the Orsha Castle, from which the city began its life. Five centuries ago, he was a formidable handsome man with five towers, he had guns, arquebuses, butchers. Unfortunately, now only pictures on old maps and a sign in the form of high gates remained from him. But for the townspeople this place is sacred. They say that even there is a special boulder that can cure any kind of sickness. And they say that there are still hidden passages to the White Kovel, another dilapidated castle in the neighboring village of Smolany, still under lock and key.


Monasteries, whether active or not, always draw attention to themselves. You can say that these are the most ancient sights of Orsha. There are several in the city. The Kuteinsky male Saint-Epiphany, built on the river Kuteinka in 1620, experienced an era of prosperity and complete oblivion. Once it was here that the printing house was opened and the first Belarusian "Bukvar" was released. Today the monastery and the Holy Trinity Church are restored again. Less fortunate monastery of the basilians, from which there was only one dilapidated building. From the monastery of the Trinitarians also preserved a little, but within its walls there is now a city registry office and a wonderful fresco is kept, so it will be a long time to stand. But the Assumption Monastery, which survived the rout and the conflagration, is restored and again operates. The Dominican monastery is also restored and reconstructed. Now it is the Church of St. Joseph the Betrothed.

The famous collegium

Speaking about the attractions of Orsha, it is impossible to ignore the Jesuit collegium. Founded in 1612, it operated until 1820. The building of the collegium is very beautiful. It is not only fully restored, but also complemented by a colorful tower with a clock. Now here are a gallery, a library for children and part of the city executive committee. And in the XVII-XVIII centuries there was organized a school for the children of the urban nobility, the Orsha Theater, and a church. At the monastery there were bursa, a good library, a boarding school for students from distant villages. Nowadays, near the collegium there are fairs, all city holidays, festivals, music and entertainment shows.

Sights of the Present

Monuments and monuments dedicated to the heroic struggle of the townspeople with fascists also make up the sights of Orsha. Belarus keeps a holy memory of its defenders and liberators, because in this country the Hitlerites destroyed three-quarters of the population. The memorial complex "For Our Soviet Motherland" (the second name "Katyusha") is of special interest to the rising generation and tourists. It was in Orsha that this weapon was tested, which terrified the Germans. In 1941, here for only 8 seconds, several experimental shells were fired, completely destroying the echelons with German equipment. Being in Orsha, you can not lay flowers to the Barrow of Immortality, where there is a handful of earth from the Brest Fortress.

And children, no doubt, will enjoy a walk through the wonderful park "Fairy Land", where you can see Gulliver, the crocodile Genu singing under the accordion about the birthday, fairy gin and many other favorite fairy-tale characters. In the park there is even a small railway, and the merry train rolls the kids along the alleys drowning in flowers and greenery.


The story about the attractions of Orsha would be incomplete without mentioning the museums located on the territory of the city and the region.

The museum of ethnography "Mlyn", which is located in the building of an ancient mill, is always popular with tourists. It runs from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm.

Recently, the Museum of Wooden Sculptures was opened and immediately became a favorite. All his exhibits were made by the most talented carver Semyon Shavrov. Sculptures look so realistic that they seem alive. At the museum there is a workshop in which the followers of the talented master teach the art of carving of all comers.

Not far from the city, in the village of Levki, there is a Yanka Kupala complex. It is open for visits all days except Monday.

And one more place that must be visited is the museum of the partisan Zaslonov, who was the leader of the partisan army in the Orsha district.

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