Orsk is the second largest city of Orenburg oblast of Russia by population and industrial production. Main industries of the city are as follows: non-ferrous metallurgy, machine-building, oil chemistry, food and light industries.
Orsk population is about 238,000 (2012).
The phone code is +7 3537; postal codes - 462400-462455.
Orsk was founded during the Southern Urals assimilation. It was founded in 1735 by Orenburg expedition headed by famous scientist of the 18th century Ivan Kirilovich Kirilov as a fortress near the mountain Preobrazhenskaya on the left bank of the river Yaik (Ural) where the river Or flows into it.
The original name of the settlement was Orenburg, it was a fortification for defending from nomads. Its construction was the start of military frontier line. In 1739, the fortress was renamed into Orskaya; at the same time Orenburg itself was removed further down the Ural.
A lot of famous people visited Orskaya fortress and later Orsk: German traveler and Russian academician P.S.Palas; astronomer Christoph Eiler, the son of famous mathematician Leonhard Eiler; German scientist Alexander Humbolt. From June 22nd, 1847, till May 11th, 1848, Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko was in exile in Orskaya fortress. In 1891, future Russian tsar Nicholas II visited the town.
In 1861, the fortress was abolished. In 1865, Orsk became a town. The population was busy in cattle and grain trade, agriculture product processing and handicrafts. A lot of women knitted famous Orenburg downy headscarves. Gold mining industry rapidly developed in Orsky district.
In 1913, the construction of Orsk train station building began, almost at the same time with the construction of the railway from Orenburg to Orsk. In 1916, the building was finished. Mainly it was the work of captive Germans and Slovaks. The building was constructed in the style of German classicism.
Revolution and total ruin in the country prevented the construction of the railway up to the building. 13 years later, in February 1929, when the railway bridge across the river Ural was finished, the railway station was opened.
In 1930s, on the right bank of the Ural large industrial plants were formed, they worked on the basis of rich natural deposits. In 1938, metallurgical plant “Yuzhuralnickel” was constructed. At present it produces the purest in Russia nickel and cobalt.
About 66,300 people inhabited the city in 1939. Within the years of the war dozens of thousands people arrived in the city (at the same time thousands of German migrants were exiled to the city), a lot of them remained their after the war. During war years the population of the city grew to 131,000.
Orsk State Drama theater named after A.S.Pushkin takes a special place in Orsk life, it is the center of cultural life not only in the city but in the whole Eastern Orenburg area. There is also a museum of local study, a laboratory of architectural research, children picture gallery, children amateur theater “Blue Bird”.
In 1990, Orsk received the status of a historical city of Russia having 62 architectural monuments and 28 historical monuments.
Among them are as follows: historical center of Orsk (buildings of 1870-1917); “Sotsgorod” district (“New city”), this part of the city was designed as a system of buildings on the basis of new city building ideas, as future city-garden. The city doesn’t have any analogues in the Urals, it is unique in its complex plan.
One of specific features of industrial Orsk is the presence of over 40 architectural monuments on its territory: settlements, burial grounds, separate mounds. In the burial mound of the 7th-6th centuries B.C., the Egyptian vessel was found with the name of Persian tsar Artaxex I (the 6th vessel in the world).
Famous Orsk motley jasper is one of specific features of the city. The deposit (mountain Polkovnik) is located within the city. Orsk jasper is remarkable for its variety of color and design. All the colors except pure blue are presented in it. Especially interesting are landscape and designed jaspers when some fantastic view is seen on polished stone.
A large hand-made sea - Iriklinskoye water reservoir - is located close to the city, the Urals spurs raise in the west, they are ideal for mountain skiing.