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Orel(əryôl`), city (1990 pop. 337,000), capital of Orel region, central European Russia, on the Oka River. It is a large railroad junction, an agricultural trade center, and an industrial city producing machinery and clothing. Like Moscow, its main streets are rings and radii moving outward from a central core. It was founded in 1564 by Ivan IV as a fortified settlement to protect the southern border of Muscovy from Crimean Tatar attacks. In the 18th and 19th cent. it was a large trade center. Orel was (1919) the northernmost point reached by Denikin's White Army in the Russian civil war. The city was almost totally destroyed in World War II. The house of the author Turgenev, who was born in Orel, is now a museum.
a city; center of Orel Oblast, RSFSR. Situated on the Oka River and its tributary the Orlik, on the Moscow-Simferopol’ highway. Major rail junction, with lines to Moscow, the Donbas, Riga, and Voronezh. Population, 265,000 (1974; 70,000 in 1897, 76,000 in 1926, 111,000 in 1939, 150,000 in 1959, and 232,000 in 1970). Area, about 90 sq km; three city raions.
Orel was founded in 1566 as a fortress for the protection of the Russian state’s southern frontier. In the early 17th century it was one of the centers of the peasant uprising under the leadership of I. I. Bolotnikov. In 1708, Orel was made part of Kiev Province, and in 1719 it became the center of Orel Province. In 1727 it became part of Belgorod Province, and in 1778, the center of Orel Province. In the 18th and 19th centuries Orel was a city of the gentry and merchants, with cottage enterprises engaged in the processing of agricultural raw material, as well as small foundries and machine shops; it was a major center of the grain trade. In the 1870’s, Narodnik (Populist) circles emerged in Orel—for example, the P. G. Zaichnevskii circle in 1874. The Marxist circles that were established in 1894 merged in 1896 into a Social Democratic group headed by I. F. Dubrovinskii and V. K. Rodzevich-Belevich. From 1900 to 1903 a Social Democratic group of Iskra supporters operated in Orel; in 1903 and 1904 the Central Committee of the RSDLP was located there. During the Revolution of 1905–07 the Orel Committee raised a fighting druzhina (armed workers’ detachment) and organized strikes and illegal May Day meetings. The Orel railroad workers took part in the October All-Russian Political Strike of 1905. The Orel Central Prison for convict labor, through which many revolutionaries passed (for example, F. E. Dzerzhinskii, 1916), was built in 1908.
Soviet power was established in Orel on Nov. 25 (Dec. 8), 1917. On Oct. 13, 1919, Orel was captured by Denikin’s White Guard troops, which were routed by the Red Army on Oct. 20, 1919. In 1928, Orel became a part of Central Chernozem Oblast, and in 1934 it became part of Kursk Oblast; since 1937 it has been the center of Orel Oblast. On Oct. 3, 1941, the city was occupied by fascist German troops; underground groups, such as those of A. N. Komarov-Zhores and V. Sechkin, were active in the city. The city was liberated on Aug. 5, 1943, during the battle on the Orel-Kursk salient; in honor of the liberation of Orel and Belgorod the first artillery salute in the Great Patriotic War was fired in Moscow.
The fascist German invaders had inflicted great damage on Orel; on Nov. 1, 1945, the decree On the Restoration of the City of Orel was adopted by the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR and the RSFSR. The task was accomplished during the first two postwar five-year plans.
During the period of socialist construction, Orel became a major industrial center. The most important place in industry is occupied by machine building: there is production of graders and lift trucks, as well as equipment for the textile, leather-footwear, glass, and food-processing industries and for plants producing synthetic fiber and spare parts for tractors. Instrument-making has developed greatly. There are plants producing clocks and watches, instruments, and control computers. A large steel-rolling mill has been built. There are building-materials enterprises, as well as enterprises of the food-processing industry and light industry.
A regular plan based on a radial-ring layout was adopted in 1779, according to which the banks of the Oka and Orlik rivers were built up and the city center was shifted from a fortress located in the interfluve to the high left bank of the Oka. Among the city’s notable buildings are the Nikolo-Peskovskaia Church (1790) and the Church of the Archangel Michael (1722–1801) in the classical style, as well as a number of classical and eclectic civic structures of the late 18th and of the 19th centuries. In present-day Orel, intensive industrial and residential construction is under way (the latter is primarily in the vacant areas to the northwest), and the city center is being modernized. In 1970 a general plan for the development of Orel was approved. Orel has monuments to V. I. Lenin (bronze and granite, 1949–61; sculptor N. V. Tomskii, architect.’N. L. Golubovskii), General L. N. Gurt’ev (bronze and granite, 1954; sculptor E. V Vuchetich, architect la. B. Belopol’skii), and I. S. Turgenev’ (bronze and granite, 1968; sculptor G. P. Bessarabskii, architects A. I. Sviridov and V. S. Atanov) and a memorial group in honor of Orel’s 400th anniversary (concrete, granite, and steel, 1966; architect R. K. Topuridze, sculptor A. N. Burganov).
Orel has a pedagogical institute, branches of the All-Union Correspondence Institute of Machine Building and the Moscow Cultural Institute, and nine secondary specialized educational institutions, including machine-building, construction, and railroad transportation technicums. There are drama and puppet theaters; museums devoted to the writers I. S. Turgenev and N. S. Leskov, both originally from Orel; a museum of local lore; a picture gallery; and a television center.
General A. P. Ermolov, a hero of the Patriotic War of 1812, lived in Orel and is buried there. Others who were born and lived in Orel include the writers I. S. Turgenev and L. N. Andreev, the historian T. N. Granovskii, the scholar and artist P. Ia. Piasetskii, the actress G. N. Fedotova, the polar explorer V. A. Rusanov, and the astronomer and revolutionary P. K. Shternberg.
REFERENCESPiasetskii, P. Istoricheskie ocherki g. Orla. Orel, 1874.
Pamiatnye mesta Orla v graviurakh A. Mishchenko. [Orel] 1962.
Gorodu Orlu 400 let. Tula, 1966.
Fedorov, S. I. Orel. Moscow, 1969.
M. N. KOLOKOLOVA, V. P. MOSIN, and S. I. FEDOROV
an urban-type settlement in Usol’e Raion, Perm’ Oblast, RSFSR. A landing on an island in the Kama Reservoir, 15 km southwest of the Berezniki railroad station, Orel has a log pond, a ski-manufacturing plant, and a fishery.
(also Orel), a river in the Ukrainian SSR, a left tributary of the Dnieper. It measures 346 km long and drains an area of 9,800 sq km. The Orel’ is fed primarily by snow; its mean flow rate 31 km from the mouth is 13.2 cu m per sec. The river freezes between November and January, and the ice breaks up between March and early April. Reservoirs for regulating spring flow are under construction (1974) in the upper course.
a lake in Khabarovsk Krai, RSFSR, near the mouth and on the left bank of the Amur River. With an area of 314 sq km and a maximum depth of 3.8 m, the Orel’ is linked by a stream with the Amur. Among the lake’s tributaries are the Dzhapi and Bekchi rivers.