A monument to a steam locomotive in Orsha
Sculpture, monuments, memorials
Orsha is a district center of Orsha district in Vitebsk region. Fr om the regional center to Orsha is 80 km, the capital of Belarus and Orsha connects the distance of 202 km. The city is located on the place wh ere the river Orshitsa flows into the Dnieper.
The city of Orsha received its name from the river Orshitsa, the name of which in its turn has a Russian-Lithuanian origin and means “slow flow”.
Orsha was first mentioned in historical documents in 1067. When it was owned by Minsk Principality, a fortress was built in the city.
In the mid-14th century Orsha became a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. After the battle between Russian troops and Polish-Lithuanian soldiers Orsha became the center of Orsha uyezd (district), and in 1620 the inhabitants of the city received the right to self-government.
After the second partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1772 Orsha was taken over by the Russian Empire. Then it was stripped of its Magdeburg Rights.
Orsha was transferred to the Byelorussian SSR in 1924. From the very first days of the World War II Orsha was occupied by the invaders. The soldiers of Hitler's army stayed in the city until its liberation in June 1944. An interesting fact: one of the first combat tests of the famous “Katyusha” was conducted near Orsha.
At present Orsha is one of the most interesting cities of Belarus. Industry is well developed in Orsha. In addition, there are many museums and monuments in the city.
According to the latest information the population of Orsha is more than 115 thousand people.
Every Belarusian knows that Orsha is a city with a rich historical past. However, first of all Orsha is perceived as a major railway junction.
Everyone, who comes to Orsha by train, notices one of its famous monuments – a monument to a steam locomotive. It was established more than three decades ago near the city railway station. The chosen model of the monument P-36 was known all over the Soviet Union for its payload and speed. Six years later after the release of the first exemplar it became possible to significantly increase the volume of passenger transportation. Because of the solid size and distinctive colored stripes on the sides, reminiscent of the stripes on sides of uniform trousers, the locomotive was nicknamed “General”. P-36 went down in the history of the railway as the last passenger train of the Soviet Union. At present there are several preserved copies of the locomotive on the territory of Russia.
The locomotive-monument in Orsha was functioning from 1950 to 1960. In 1984 workers, who reconstructed the building of the railway station, set P-36 on a pedestal. So the steam locomotive became a symbol of the labour feat of railway workers of Orsha.
Residents of the city are respectful to the monument of a steam locomotive. Local authorities allocate sufficient funding to keep the attraction of Orsha clean, regularly paint it and gladden residents and visitors of the city.