Orsha. Part 1
The city of Orsha is situated in the east of Belarus on the rivers of Dnieper and Orshica. It is known since 1067, but scholars still discuss about the origin of its name. That time the Dnieper was a popular trade route from Scandinavia to Byzantium and I think the name has the Scandinavian origin and means “a settlement of rowers”. For several centuries, the city lived thanks to the trade, but in the 18th century the trading route on the Dnieper degraded and the city lost its economical importance. In 1772 it was incorporated into Russia and existed for some decades as a small provincial town. Only in the late 19th century it was revived thanks to development of the railway from Moscow to Europe and some industries, as weaving flax, brewing and skinnery. The influence of neighboring Russia is felt everywhere. For instance, in the great number of Orthodox Christian churches. But Orsha is much cleaner than any Russian city. Nowadays, the population of Orsha is approximately 125 thousand people.
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