The railway station in Shumilino

Shumilino

Architecture, Industrial buildings

Shumilino is a village with an interesting name situated in the Republic of Belarus. A legend says that in 1812 the French were miserably defeated at this place. Guns were buzzing and old pines were roaring. So they began to say: “This place was noisy…”. Another legend narrates about a Shumila who called this place as Shumilovo (this is the first name of the settlement mentioned in the manuscripts of the 16th century). They say Shumila had a very nasty temper so he had such a name.

Modern Shumilino is the administrative center of Shumilino district of Vitebsk region with the population of more than seven thousand people. The village is located on the railway line connecting Vitebsk and Polotsk. The distance from Shumilino to Vitebsk is forty kilometers.

Until 1962 the station had been called Sirotino in honor of the borough of the same name, located just to the North. Later the village of Shumilino, situated around the station, grew from a small settlement into a rather large borough. The railway in Shumilino is one of the oldest in Belarus. It was built in 1866, the founders were industrialists from London and Riga. At first using this part of the railway mainly transit cargo was transported from Vitebsk to modern Latvian Daugavpils, and the station was served mostly by the Germans, who later moved to Vitebsk. The building of the station is two-storeyed with one-storeyed wings attached on each side, with a complex gable roof and windows in the form of an arch.  The color gamma of the building is ochre with white accents. Along the building on the platform there stand lampposts adorned with decorative patterns and in front of the station there is a bust of Peter Melnikov, a famous engineer who conducted the construction of the Riga-Oryol railway. It was he who sent the Emperor a telegram with a report on the results of the work done when the first locomotive with three coaches had passed by the borough.

Near the station on the same Station Street stands another ancient building, a warehouse (a storehouse at the railway station). The construction is a red brick building with a pattern along the gable roof. The one-storeyed building is decorated with arched windows. Today this architectural monument is neglected and needs a restoration. Maybe in the near future they will find a sponsor and the building will look better.   

The station has a rich history.  Emperor Nicholas II himself visited this place. It was this building from which in 1917 he sent a telegram when he decided to abdicate. In spite of the fact that during the World War II Shumilino was under German occupation, the building of the railway station was not damaged and was the only surviving after the war construction.

If you come to Belarus it is worth visiting not only the capital attractions but also going to the interior of the country. It is pleasant to visit places where famous writers once stayed, significant battles took place and the Emperor himself even stayed. 

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