Excursion «Orsha collection»
This peculiar corner of Vitebshchina which has clung to Dnieper on the Belarusian-Russian border zone witnessed important events in the history of Belarus. The fate of many remarkable people passed through it. It is willing to share all this with every visitor.
The homeland of the classic of the Belarusian literature Vladimir Korotkevich and the place of origine of the first abc-book in Belarus, the place of great fight of 1514 and the first volleys of "Katyusha" in 1941 — all this about Orsha. It is a city on the Orshitsa River which was for the first time mentioned under 1067. From the middle of the 14th century Orsha was a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and in 1566 became the center of the county of the same name, and in 1620 received self-government by the Magdebursky right and the coat of arms. The main sight and a symbol of Orsha is considered Jesuit collegium. In the 17-19th centuries it was one of the best institutions of education in the territory of Belarus. Here the so-called Orshansky code — the collection of popular dramas and interludes of the era of baroque was created. There is also the mill constructed in 1902 in Orsha — nowadays it is an ethnographic museum. On the suburb of the city the Sacred Trinity Epiphany Monastery was founded in 1620. In 1630 at the monastery was established a printing house, the largest for those times in the territory of Belarus.
50 km from Orsha, on the right coast of Dnieper, Shklow regional center is located. Originally the city was founded 4 km from modern Shklow — on the Serebryanka River bend. In the 14th century it was owned by the Drutsky— one of the most powerful families of that time. In the 17th century the manor was redeemed by Jerome Hodkevich. Wars of the XVII-XVIII centuries had no mercy on Shklow. From the ancient castle there were only barrows; archeologists found a set of artifacts there which is now stored in the local museum. Since 1778 Shklow belonged to Catherine II's favourite Semyon Zorich, who really made it flourish. Semyon Zorich founded in Shklow a professional theater which in the 18th century was famous to the whole Europe. In the place of the former theater now stands the church of Saint apostles Peter and Paul (1849).
As original decoration of Shklow serves its restored town hall, a monument of neoclassical architecture of the end of the 18th century with a high cut tower topped with a spike on the center. The orthodox Church of the Transfiguration was built here in the 19th century in the style of eclecticism. The synagogue of the 17th century reminds of presence of the Jewish community in the city. And in 2007 on the square about the city market placed a monument to the Cucumber, which is not look like a vegetable at all.