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The town of Oryol was founded by Ivan the Terrible in 1566 as a watch fortress for protecting southern borders of the Russian state from raid of Crimean Tatars. Ancient Oryol is a wooden fortress with a trading quarter. In 1611 Oryol is ruined, and in 1615 destroyed by Polish interventionists.

In 1636 the Oryol fortress is rebuilt and happily exists till 1702. In the middle of 17 century Oryol becomes an active trade centre peasants trade bread and other agricultural production. Industrial development of the city starts between 18 and 19 centuries. In 1755 the city includes 1741 homesteads, 9 churches, the Uspensky monastery and the Vvedensky convent.

During the Patriotic War of 1812 Oryol serves as a back base for the Russian army. 1815 welcomes opening of the serf-theatre of Count Kamensky, which later becomes municipal. In 1843 Oryol opens Orlovsky Bakhtina military school, which later rates among best military educational institutions in Russia. Most common city dwellers are noblemen and merchants. In the middle of the 19 century Oryol hosts 95 enterprises and organizes three annual trade fairs. City territories are covered with 3619 homesteads, 24 churches, 542 stores and 24 shops, 16 bakeries, 33 public houses, 2 pharmacies, 8 restaurants, 13 taverns, 11 hotels, 43 inns and 45 forges. At the same time small metal works start to appear. Banks of the Oka River are connected with high-level bridges in 1879. Public water pipe appears in 1870, telegraph and telephone stations starts connecting people in 1859 and 1892 respectively. Power station gives electricity to Oryol citizens since 1895.

Oryol is the second Russian town, where trams appear (in 1898). In 1917 population of the town is able to create an account in four banks and read news in same number of newspapers. Five libraries, two of which are private, 8 book shops, 9 printing plants, 6 photo studios and 3 cinemas carry enlightenment to Oryol citizens.

In 1920 63.8 thousand people live in Oryol. 42 primary schools teach 7790 pupils, and 8 secondary schools train 1403 students. Little citizens are welcomed in 10 kindergartens and 13 children houses, grown-ups frequent 11 clubs, 2 art studios, 10 music and 4 theatre schools. Oryol becomes the central town of Orlovsky district in 1928.

The city has three districts: Sovietsky, Zavodskoy and Zheleznodorozhny, covering 1811 hectares. In 1941 the city gives shelter to 110.6 thousand people, and its 57 industrial enterprises employ 20 thousand workers. 32 public schools train 20 thousand students. The city also has 15 professional and specialized educational institutions, 6 public reading rooms and 2 libraries for children. Four cinemas and 12 night clubs make life of Oryol citizens brighter. Other life necessities are covered in three hospitals, 2 clinics, 4 ambulance stations and 9 dentists, not to forget about three maternity clinics, emergency response station and a blood bank, a hydropathic establishment, 5 pharmacies, 30 kindergartens and 11 nurseries.

On October 3, 1941 Oryol is taken by fascists without striking a blow. The city becomes a concentration camp for prisoners of war and civilians, where about 5 thousand people die. The city is released in August 1943. Following years pass in reconstruction works. In 1959 television comes to Oryol with first broadcasting station. In 1968 trolley buses start solving transport problems in the city, and three years later river trams appear on the Oka River.

Today Oryol is a large Russian town with active population and beautiful nature around.




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  (Oryol Region)

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