The most popular sights in Orel
Orel is a city on the Oka river founded during the reign of Ivan IV the Terrible. It’s said that during the construction of the fortress an eagle flew over the future city and predetermined its proud name.
This Russian literary nest (at least a dozen classics were born here!) And the city of military glory (the first salute of liberation from the Nazis was put here). In this article you will find photos and descriptions of the main attractions of Orel and the Orel region. Use our map to help with directions and directions:
↑ 1. Cathedrals and monasteries
To see the architecture of the city, and at the same time get a portion of awe (and blessing), go to the main religious buildings of the city:
- St. Vvedensky Nunnery. Address: 92, 1st Kurskaya Street (right bank of Oka). Relic – icon of the Balykinskiy Mother of God (list, but miraculous). The monastery is closed, you can appeal to the icon only once a week at a special service.
Akhtyrsky Cathedral. Address: 8, 5 Augusta Street. Relics are the Akhtyrsk icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary (exact copy), the image of St. George of Kosov (with parts of relics), the right hand of Tikhon of Zadonsk. The current cathedral, restored: a 14-meter gilded carved iconostasis, new paintings and fragments of old frescoes, marble floor.
The Church of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God. Address: Normandy-Neman 27 (left bank of the Oka). Relics: icon of the Smolensk icon of the Mother of God (“All Tsatsaritsa”), image of the martyr Mina of Alexandria. The church is the biggest working one in the city. Mentions about it are in “Soboryans” and “Trivia of Life” by Leskov.
- Cathedral of the Epiphany. Address: Epiphany Square, 1 (at the confluence of the Oka and Orlik). Relics – icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow”, chapel in the name of All Saints with a well inside, where water flows on a cross. The church is still active, it is also interesting architecturally.
↑ 2. Military History Museum
Not far from the Church of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God is the main military museum of Eagle. It is easy to find it – in front of the building tourists meet military equipment – a T-70 tank and a 122mm howitzer from 1938.
- edged weapons;
- Medieval weapons and uniforms;
- Uniforms of the 19th century.
The central exhibition is the diorama Oryol offensive devoted to the event that turned the tide of the war and started the counter-offensive of the Soviet troops.
↑ 3. Sculptural compositions of the Grinn complex
The main center of the sculptures is on the left bank of the Oka (Kromskoye shosse 4) near Grinn shopping mall. Here are some of them:
- “The Founding Eagle” – a huge bronze eagle and two archers;
- “Dedicated to Russian travelers” – a flat Earth, on top – three travelers (discoverer, cosmonaut and modern tourist) and a boy taking from them a map of Russia, a star and the Wheel of History;
A place of pilgrimage of lovers – the sculpture “Faith. Hope. Love.” Here under the dome is an icon of the Holy Martyrs Faith, Hope, Love and their mother Sophia, and on top of it sits an eagle.
Also of interest is the reconstructed from photographs “Station for tourists” – a real station square of the XX century with a steam locomotive and old carriages.
You can see famous natives and residents of Orel in the square with sculptures of writers – here you will meet Athanasius Fet, Leonid Andreev, Ivan Turgenev and Ivan Bunin, Nikolai Leskov and others.
↑ 4. Museum of Collecting Dolls
Almost at the other end of the city, on Novosilsk highway, there is another attraction. It is a non-state, family-run (but no less interesting and rich) Museum of Collectible Dolls.
For 20 years there are not only toys for children, but also dolls of famous brands, many of which resemble movie stars, singers and musicians, politicians, book and movie characters.
Their outfits deserve special attention – most of them are handmade (by real fashion designers and owners), they amaze with the jewelry and workmanship. The museum even has a doll city – also created by the owners.
Themed groups of dolls travel all over the country and represent themselves at different exhibitions, for example, “Wedding Album”, a collection of wedding garments, or “Harry Potter”, an exposition devoted to the book and movie series with the same name.
↑ 5. Bunin Museum
There are six literary museums for every ten museums in Eagle. For example, not far from Bogoyavlensky Cathedral (St. George Lane, 1) there is a museum of I.A. Bunin, one of three in Russia.
Ivan Bunin worked about three years in Orel as a journalist of the newspaper “Oryol Herald”. The writer did not have his own place, Bunin was constantly moving, so under the museum selected the most suitable building of the likely options. In the museum you can:
- “visit” the writer’s Paris office – with authentic (!) furniture and personal belongings;
- Hear Bunin’s voice (recording of the poem “Loneliness”);
- go through the exhibitions in 7 halls – from his youth and Indian travels to the 1933 Nobel Prize and his final years.
- see books in different languages – both Bunin’s and from his personal library.
↑ 6. Turgenev Museum and Spasskoye Lutovinovo
Another notable literary museum – the Turgenev Museum – is one for the whole of Russia. It consists of two parts: the museum in the city (next to the Bunin Museum, 11 Turgenev Street) and the estate of Ivan Sergeyevich – 70 kilometers from Orel, in the village of Spasskoye-Lutovinovo.
During the Great Patriotic War the literary museum with all the exhibits was saved in Penza. Now it has 10 rooms: personal belongings, many portraits, sculptures and an abundance of books. For some visitors the museum will seem a second-hand paradise: here you will find rare and handwritten editions, copies with marks and autographs of the author, books about Turgenev himself and, of course, his works in different languages.
You can plunge into the life of Turgenev’s family manor. Its interior is represented by genuine antique furniture in good condition: for example, a 200-year-old English clock still works. You can feel the creative literary atmosphere in the writer’s study and library. However, until November 2018, the house is under restoration, so tourists are only available:
- an outbuilding (“exile house”, where Turgenev lived during his exile);
- the “Russian European” exposition – a study and a gallery of female images;
- an oak tree, planted personally by Ivan Sergeyevich (do not touch it);
- A park with paths in the form of the number XIX;
- family crypt;
- as well as quests, horseback rides and master classes.
↑ 7. Leskov House Museum
The house-museum of Leskov (just next to the house of Turgenev – 9 Oktyabrskaya St.) is the only museum in Russia.
- Petersburg study;
- portraits (including the most authentic one by V.A. Serov);
- documents and photos with descriptions;
↑ 8. Ruins of Saburovskaya fortress
10 kilometers from Orel, in the village of Saburovo there was Saburovo Fortress – 18 hectares of defense structures. Now only 1.5 kilometers of Saburovo castle walls, 14 meter high tower, powder cellars pyramids, where later the products were kept as refrigerators, and the Church of Archangel Michael are left now.
↑ 9. National Park “Orlovskoe Polesie”
The real tourist routes of Oryol region are waiting for you in the National Park “Oryol Polesie”, on 77,7 thousand hectares of coniferous and mixed forests.
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30 top attractions in Orel
Orel and the region specialize in literary and cultural and educational tourism. Many attractions are connected with the names of famous Russian writers – I. S. Turgenev, N. S. Leskov, I. A. Bunin. In Orel are working several literary museums, a couple of atmospheric theaters, there are thematic squares and monuments.
Tourists will also be interested in monuments of church architecture of XVII – XIX centuries, built in different architectural styles: from traditional Russian architecture to strict classicism. The city center, the banks of the rivers Orlik and Oka – a picturesque historical space, built up with mansions, beautiful churches and consisting of squares and well-groomed alleys. It is very pleasant to walk here and admire the cityscape.
What to see and where to go in Orel?
The most interesting and beautiful places to walk. Photos and a brief description.
Sculpture “Eagle Jubilee”
The eagle sculpture was installed on Station Square in 2016, since then it is considered a symbol of the city. Spreading its wings, the bronze bird meets everyone who arrives in Orel by train. It sits on a pedestal in the form of a globe. The monument was made by a local sculptor at the expense of JSC “Corporation GRINN”, which decided to make a gift to the city.
Pedestrian street in the historic center of the city, which is the main walking area of Eagle. Along it, stores, cafes, offices and administrative offices are located in former noble mansions. The length of Lenin Street – about 600 meters, it begins at Alexander Bridge and ends at Lenin Square. Since the end of XIX century and until 1970s there were streetcars, but as a part of the city improvement the traffic was stopped.
Oryol Museum of Local Lore
The museum was founded in the late XIX century, so it is the oldest in Orel. The number of exhibits in the collection – more than 170 thousand. The museum has two branches: House-Museum of V. A. Rusanov and the Military-Historical Museum. In the exhibition areas there are paintings, documents, household items, antique coins, crystal, porcelain, textiles and antique furniture.
Military Historical Museum
The collection is a branch of the Orel Museum of Local Lore. It appeared in 1983. The main exhibit is a diorama, depicting the events of the Oryol offensive operation in 1943. The canvas is 33 meters long and 9 meters wide, was created by the artist A. Kurnakov. In 11 rooms of the museum placed objects devoted to military subjects: archival documents, letters, awards, photographs, personal belongings of soldiers.
Museum of Fine Arts
The Art Gallery was opened in 1919. For almost a hundred years, its holdings have accumulated over 7,000 exhibits: paintings, sculptures, drawings and objects of decorative and applied art. Especially valuable is the collection of icons of the 18th-19th centuries, as well as a collection of portraits of aristocrats and members of the royal family of the same period. The gallery also has a foreign department, where several hundred works of authors from England, Italy, Germany, Poland, and Austria are exhibited.
Museum of collectible dolls
A young exhibition that opened in Orel in 2016. It is composed of dolls depicting famous characters: actors, stage stars, writers, artists. In total, the collection consists of about 1,000 exhibits. The museum is popular with visitors of all ages and professions – both children and experienced theater directors and solid doctors will find something interesting for themselves.
I. S. Turgenev Museum
The exposition devoted to the writer was opened in the early 20th century in the premises of a 19th century aristocratic manor which once belonged to a distant relative of Ivan Turgenev. A special Turgenev Society had been created to collect and compile the collection. In 1976 some of the items were moved to the family home of the author in Spasskoye-Lutovinovo.
I.A. Bunin Museum
The house-museum is situated in the historical center of the town. In 1960s it was a unique collection of manuscripts, letters, books, documents, personal belongings of I.A. Bunin, which numbered several thousands of items. It was opened officially in 1991, in a nineteenth-century mansion. The exposition tells about the fate of the writer, his life in Russia before the 1920s and in exile.
The house-museum of Leskov.
Another house-museum exposition is devoted to another famous writer, Nikolai Leskov. It is also located in the territory of an old nineteenth-century mansion, built on the site where the Leskov family estate used to stand. The exhibition is located in six halls, it consists of several hundred items, including books, portraits, documents, autographs and furniture.
House-Museum of V. A. Rusanov
В. A. Rusanov was a scientist and explorer of the Arctic. He was born in Orel and died at the age of 38 in the Taimyr. Museum of his name is located in a wooden mansion, located in the historic center of the city, where, as a rule, settled wealthy merchants. The collection occupies only a part of the building, the second part is given for the exposition devoted to the life of Orlov citizens of XIX – beginning of XX centuries.
Russian Style” Theater
It is a chamber theater with only 50 seats. It is the youngest in Orel (founded in 1994). In recent years the repertoire has been formed and the theatre has its own grateful audience. Playwrights based on the works of A.N. Ostrovsky, N. S. Leskov, A.P. Chekhov, V.M. Shukshin, L. N. Andreev and plays by modern playwrights are in the theater’s poster.
Free Space Theatre
The stage was founded in 1976 as the Orlov Theatre for Young People. The first performances aroused great interest and were well received by spectators. Since 1990s the company has toured to other countries, the administration invites foreign directors for productions, thanks to which the professionalism of the actors is constantly growing, and the repertoire of the theater is expanding.
Cathedral of the Epiphany
The church was built in the 17th century, it is the oldest stone building in Orel and the only preserved building in the part of the city where the Orel fortress once stood. The extant church is a construction of the beginning of the XVIII century (the second stone building) in the style of Naryshkin baroque. In 1837 it was extended and rebuilt in classical style, in 1900 the bell tower was remade in neo-Russian style.
The Church of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God
The now existing building of the church was built at the end of XIX century partly due to money of the well-to-do Serebrennikov family. Quite a long time a school for the poor functioned under the church. During the Soviet period the building became desolate, but after restoration it became elegant and even luxurious again. The icon of the Mother of God of Smolensk “Vsetsaritsa” is especially revered.
The Iverskiy church was built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in honor of the enthronement of Nicholas II. The funds were provided by Oryol railway workers. That seems to be why they decided to place the church not far from the railway station. The building was erected in a picturesque eclecticism style – in its appearance you can see features of Russian, Byzantine and even Romanesque manner.
The church is located on the high bank of the Oka in the center of the city (formerly the Pyatnitskaya Sloboda was located here), so its bell tower is visible from afar. It is believed that it was built for the money of the merchant K. Pastukhov at the end of the 18th century, who through a miraculous prayer healed from a long-standing illness. During Soviet times the cathedral was closed for a short time, but then services were resumed and in 1962 it was given the status of a cathedral.
Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel
Magnificent building in classical style, situated on the bank of the river Orlik. The temple was erected in the early 19th century on the site of two old churches, which could not house all the parishioners, and were also dilapidated. Archangel Michael Cathedral is considered to be the most beautiful temple in the city; after it was built, it was used to hold celebrations and receive royalty.
Holy Dormition Monastery
Monastery of men of the XVII century. The architectural ensemble finally took shape by the end of the XIX century, but in 1917 the monastery was closed, and on its territory there was a children’s colony. The complex was reopened in 1998. Today it consists of the main cathedral of Kazan icon of the Mother of God, two churches, a chapel and administrative buildings.
This nunnery was founded in the XVII century. In 1844 after a big fire the monastery was moved to another place on the outskirts and started to be built anew. In the 1920s, the complex of buildings was converted to a railway workers’ settlement, and the main temple was demolished. Monastic life resumed in the 1990s. After the restoration the churches of the Tikhvin icon of the Mother of God, Elisabeth Feodorovna and the Resurrection of the Word had resumed their work.
Monument to tankers who liberated the city of Orel
The monument is in the area of the Square of tankmen. It represents a model of T-34 tank mounted on a pedestal. Till 1968 it was occupied by T-70 tank model, but then it was moved to the Military Historical Museum. A picturesque alley paved with cobblestone leads to the monument with flower-bed, at the edges of which are planted rows of slender trees.
Monument to A. P. Yermolov
The outstanding military commander AP Yermolov was born and was buried in Orel, he came from a family of local noblemen. A monument in his honor was installed in 2012 in a small square that also bears the commander’s name. Five-meter horse sculpture, somewhat reminiscent of the Bronze Horseman, was made of bronze by R. R. Yusupov. Together with a granite pedestal the monument exceeds 9 meters in length.
Monument to Leskov
The monument was established in 1980th in front of the former Orlov gymnasium, which he once graduated. It is a part of a sculptural composition that consists of the literary characters of Leskov’s works: Levsha, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District, the Toupeynov Painter, the Enchanted Wanderer, the Soboryan. The writer himself is sitting on a bench, thoughtfully looking into the distance.
The regional library is the largest and oldest in the city and in the whole region. It was opened in the 1830s by order of the Governor. During the XIX century the book collection was closed twice, and in 1917 it was nationalized. Today the collection includes over 600,000 printed and electronic books. The most valuable part of the collection is several hundreds of books of XV-XVIII centuries and about 10,000 of pre-revolutionary editions.
Railway station building
The building of the railway station is a true ornament of Eagle, its view pleasantly surprises passengers who have just stepped off the train. The construction is distinguished by original architecture with notes of monumental classicism, art nouveau and even Portuguese Manuelino (this style is used in the edging of the roof). There are open galleries on the sides of the building with broad staircases leading to them.
Central Bank Branch Building
Incredibly expressive building of the Central Bank occupies an entire city block. It was built in 1899 in Pseudo-Russian style to a design by S. K. Rodionov for the Commercial Bank and is the best example of this manner in the Orel region. Its bright red facade and decorative towers decorate the surrounding area, giving the streets a more festive look.
Park of Culture and Recreation
The park was founded in 1822 at the initiative of the governor, who thus took care of the cultural leisure of the citizens. In the XIX century it was used for fairs and gypsy bands. The area was divided into a paid part for the wealthy citizens of Orel and a free part for everyone else. After 1917 the whole park was opened for free. In the 1950s and 60s, a complete reconstruction was carried out after the destruction of the WWII.
Park and literary reserve, located on the bank of the river Orlik. In the XIX century here stood the estate of local aristocrats with a wooden mansion, where the heroine of I. S. Turgenev’s character Liza from the work “The Gentlemen’s Nest”. The garden of the same name was opened in 1903, and at the same time a bust of the writer was put there and a pier was built. Here, performances, concerts and musical evenings were often held. The place is mentioned in the works of I.A. Bunin, N.S. Leskov and K.D. Balmont.
Strelka” memorial square
The square is located on the place of confluence of Orlik and Oka, where in the 16th century by order of Ivan the Terrible the fortress was built. On its territory there is a memorial obelisk 27 meters high, which bears a picture of the ancient coat of arms, as well as a chronicle of major historical events related to the city. Nearby is a monument to the 400th anniversary of Orel.
Saburovskaya fortress is called the preserved section of the manor fence of the Kamensky estate, made in the form of a fortress wall, four towers, as well as preserved buildings of the theater and the Church of St. Michael the Archangel. The architectural complex is considered the main attraction of the Oryol region. In the 1970s there was an attempt to reconstruct the fortress (they even opened a museum in its territory), but later it was abandoned due to lack of funds.
“Spasskoye-Lutovinovo is the family estate of the mother of Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev, located 70 km from Orel. Ivan Sergeyevich spent here his whole childhood, and after 1850 he inherited the family estate, ceding to his brother the rest of the estate. During the time the writer lived in the estate, he wrote several of his works. His guests were I. S. Aksakov, A. A. Fet, L. N. Tolstoy.
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