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Smolensk travel attractions

This most important city in the west of Russia was founded in 863, a bit later than Velikiy Novgorod (859) and Kiev (854). The city is located on the bank of the Dnieper, Kiev is also located on this river. Such a convenient location made it possible for Smolensk to become the key city on the trade route from the Byzantine Empire to Scandinavia. The other important Russian cities, such as Moscow and Vladimir, were founded much later.

Smolensk was founded on the very rugged terrain, among steep hills. Many of the hills are just unsuitable for building, so even in our days one can see big spaces covered with forests in the center of Smolensk.

Cathedral Square is the highest one in the old town, and it is around it that the city itself was built. Today Smolensk Assumption Cathedral is located atop the hill. It was built in 1609-1611 on the site of a church of the 12th century. There was kept the Icon of the Blessed Virgin of Smolensk, but during World War II it was lost.

Considering the exceptional importance of Smolensk for defense of the borders of Russia, it virtually always had some defensive works. Under Ivan the Terrible, in the middle of the 16th century there was built a wooden fortress, but already 50 years later, in 1595, they began to erect the strong stone wall around the city. Russian architect Fyodor Kon` was the head of the construction.

From the wall of the 17th century, which encircled the city, with 40 towers there remained several sections of several kilometers long and 15 towers. But even this can give you certain idea about the strength of defenses. Each tower had its own name: Kopytenskaya, Bubleyka, Veselukha, Makhovaya, Orel, Volkova, and so on. At the foot of Gromovaya Tower the statue of Fyodor Kon` is standing. And in front of Donets Tower there located the military memorial dedicated to the defense of Smolensk from the armies of Napoleon and Hitler.

Generally, the city has a lot of memorials dedicated to defense of the city, as it survived the innumerable number of sieges and invasions. In the 15th century Smolensk was even under the dominion of the Polish-Lithuanian Princedom. After Smolensk was returned to the dominion of Russian tsars in 1514, Novodevichy Convent was founded in Moscow.

Near Smolensk there were very important battles with French troops during the Moscow campaign of Napoleon in 1812, as well as with German armies during World War II in 1941.

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Smolensk. Dnieper gate at the foot of Cathedral hill
Smolensk. Assumption Cathedral was built in 1740
Bronze statue of deer in the Park Blonie was brought to Smolensk as a trophy from Goering residence in Germany
The monument to the defenders of Smolensk in war 1812 in Lopatinsky garden
Avraamievskaya and Zaaltarnaya towers of the Smolensk fortress
Smolensk. The monument to defenders of Smolensk during the war of 1812 in the Square of heroes memory
The monument to the defenders of Smolensk in war 1812 was installed in Lopatinsky garden in 1841
The Church of Peter and Paul was built in 1146 - this is the oldest Church of Smolensk
The altar at the Polish military cemetery in Katyn memorial
The decoration of Cathedral. In right side is copy of the revered icon Our Lady of Smolensk. The original was last in war.
In photo (1912) of photographer Prokudin-Gorsky the Icon Our lady of Smolensk is on its place
The monument to Kutuzov near Soborniy hill, where the Cathedral of the Assumption is located
The Assumption Cathedral is at the top of the Cathedral hill high above the river Dnipro
Three steepled Church of the Vigin (1638) – the pearl of John the Baptist monastery
Holy Trinity Cathedral (1847), the main Church of Vyazma
The Church of Our Lady of Smolensk on the Dnieper gates and fortifications in Smolensk
Hmelita – the ancestral estate of A. S. Griboedov Smolensk region
The Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit in Flenovo with a mosaic panel made by Nicholas Roerich
The house decorated with carved motifs of Russian fairy tales, built by countess Tenisheva in Flenovo
The memorial of eternal flame in the Square of Heroes memory in Smolensk
Towers Dergachevskaya, Voronina and Zaaltarnaya of the Smolensk fortress
Transfiguration Avraamiev monastery near the fortress wall of Smolensk
The hill in the center of the Lopatinskiy garden, where were former casemates oga Royal Bastion
The Church of St. John the Evangelist in Smolensk was built in 1173
The embankment of the Dnieper river near the Gate of Dnieper in Smolensk
Trinity Gerasimo-Boldin monastery near the town Dorogobuzh in the Smolensk region
Novospasskoye is the manor estate of the Russian composer Mikhail Glinka in the Smolensk region
Big Soviet street - the main street in the historic center of Smolensk
The exposition of the Admiral Pavel Nakhimov Museum in Hmelita decorated in the shape of a ship
Bogoroditskoe field - here in 1941 was in Viazmensky "kettle" more than 800 thd people were captered or died