The city of Smolensk: photo descriptions of local attractions and area map
Smolensk is an ancient city with rich centuries-old history and rich cultural heritage. For many centuries of existence he had time to visit the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Rzeczpospolita, which is constantly remind its many attractions.
In the city you can find sites of historical importance that tell us that more than a thousand years ago it served as a reliable shield for Russia.
- Guide for tourists - Smolensk on the map
- The main sightseeing areas
- The sights of the city with the names
- Religious buildings
- Architectural objects
- The streets and squares
- Natural objects
- Gardens, parks and promenades
- Noteworthy objects of the Smolensk region and the surrounding area
- What else can you see?
- 2 days
- In the winter
Guide for tourists - Smolensk on the map
Smolensk is quite a popular destination among tourists wishing to get acquainted with the history of Russian cities.
Every year in this region are hundreds of thousands of people to slowly walk along the area or to relax in nature.
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The first mention of Smolensk – a city lying on seven hills, are 836 a year. According to the "tale of bygone years" in those days Smolensk was listed as a settlement of the tribe of Krivichi. The city was so strongly fortified that for a long time no one dared to attack him. In 882 he was joined by Prince Oleg to the old Russian state, and after passed into the possession of Prince Igor.
In the entire history of Smolensk managed to successfully fulfill a strategically important role, for this reason by order of the lords of the city around it has continuously improved the fortifications erected here at different times. In 1239, due to the high walls, the residents managed to avoid a collision with the Tatar-Mongol yoke, but in 1404 the Lithuanian Prince Vitovt, after a two-month siege, took Smolensk and annexed it to the Duchy.
Under Basil III, the town was successfully liberated, declared a part of the Moscow Principality and significantly strengthened, then the Polish-Lithuanian troops conquerors never managed to capture it. It was not until 1611, until after 20 months of siege the city surrendered the army of Sigismund III king of Poland.
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During all subsequent century Smolensk was constantly in the way of invaders from the West. During the Northern war it was destroyed by the Swedes. The troops of France, invaded Russian lands for a long time tried unsuccessfully to capture the city, after which Napoleon felt the full force of the Russian spirit.
During the great Patriotic war Smolensk was in the way of troops of the German army and fierce fighting on its territory not only foiled the plans of Hitler's lightning-fast capture of Moscow, but also severely reduced the number of soldiers who fought on his side. The city was badly damaged and was destroyed almost to the base, and for your patriotism and perseverance he received the title of "city-key".
The main sightseeing areas
All Smolensk can be called one big tourist area, but traditionally the town is divided into districts:
Of them considered Lenin 's historic centre – a place where the most striking monuments of history and culture.
The historic district is an extensive pedestrian zone with parks and gardens, attractions, cozy cafes and souvenir shops.
Also, many tourists prefer to climb the hills, from where you can consider almost the whole city, and then walk down to the embankment of the Dnieper river, along which you can leisurely stroll.
The sights of the city with the names
Despite the constant wars and destruction over the centuries Smolensk has beento save a lot of attractions, and artifacts, carefully stored in the walls of the museums.
That Smolensk had to endure a lot of military events, and its residents to pass a difficult and long journey to the city-hero, reminiscent of the numerous monuments that can be found in the Central part of the city.
In honor of the two-day defense of Smolensk during the Patriotic war of 1812, the city installed the monument to the defenders of Smolensk. The sculpture is located in one of the oldest parks in the Lopatinsky garden.
This monument was opened 29 years after the victory, but over time it was upgraded.
Today, he is an obelisk, reminiscent of a modest chapel. On its creation worked the architect Antonio Adamini. All projects in the master was so heartfelt that the same work was commissioned and published in Polotsk on the Borodino field.
About military events also remind other attractions:
- The Monument To M. I. Kutuzov;
- The monument to Prince Vladimir;
- Alley generals;
- The monument of St. Sophia the shelf;
- Mound Of Immortality;
- Monument "Scorched flower";
- A memorial to those who died in the concentration camps.
Walking in the square of memory of Heroes it is possible to meet the monument "Grateful Russia" or as the locals call it "the monument with eagles". This is one of the most famous sculptures of Smolensk, established in the city in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Patriotic war of 1812. The monument is inaccessible rock, which protects two eagle – the symbol of the Russian army, actively defending the city from the French.
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On one side the rock tries to climb warrior Gaul, and the other is attached a bronze plaque with a grateful text.
In Smolensk, as in any city, there are monuments dedicated to the great historical figures. In the city you can find the monument to Peter I – the king who invested a substantial sum in strengthening the fortifications during the great Northern war. Here you can find a monument dedicated to the literary hero Vasily Terkin and the author of the poem – Alexander Tvardovsky.
Among the monuments devoted to famous people worth mentioning the monument to A. S. Pushkin, which can be found in the garden, named after the poet and writer as well as a sculpture of M. V. Isakovsky, M. I. Glinka and M. Mikeshin.
Smolensk is adorned with numerous churches and cathedrals – historical monuments, most of which was built two centuries later, after the founding of the city.
Residents actively erect religious buildings and already in the XII century in its territory there were about 40 temples.
The oldest and the tallest Church of the Smolensk Dormition Cathedral is an incredibly beautiful and majestic building that adorns the Cathedral mountain. The temple that can be seen from any point of the city, was built in 1101, and because the building is in Baroque style had an unusual beauty, he did not dare to break even Napoleon. Inside the Cathedral survived a unique iconostasis and a lot of wooden sculptures.
Smolensk is also famous for three religious buildings, built before the XIII century:
- Church of Peter and Paul – Church was built in 1146;
- The Church of St. John the Evangelist Church, built in 1173;
- The Church of the Archangel Michael – a historic building built in 1194.
That Smolensk belonged not only to Russiabut also to Western countries, reminds the Church and the Churchthat can be found in the city centre.
An interesting piece of architecture – Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception of the blessed virgin Mary – a deconsacrated Church in neo-Gothic style, built in 1889. In Soviet times the building has suffered, like many other religious buildings, since it is in disrepair, but despite this, it continues to impress.
Familiarity with the unique monuments in Smolensk starts on arrival at the train station. This building, located on the border between Russia and Belarus, meets guests of the city.
The station can be called beautiful gate of the West, although a tall building with sky-blue color was built quite recently, immediately after the Second world war.
Business card of Smolensk – Smolensk fortress and a fragment of the fortress wall – a part of the historic buildings, serving as reliable protection for centuries. First, in its place was a wooden structure, surpassing all known strongholds of Russia, but during the reign of Ivan the terrible in 1602 fortification was remade of stone.
Smolensk fortress, built by architectTheodore Horse, turned strong and unassailable. The length of its walls was 6.5 km, and their width is 6 meters. However, she looked not only powerful, but also beautiful. Embrasures were decorated architraves, and his appearance they resembled the Windows of houses.
During the Patriotic war of 1812 the fortress was badly damaged during the siege of Napoleon's troops, when his army marched on Moscow. On the way back to Bonaparte, angry over the defeat, coming back through Smolensk, and seeing in the way the same city where the Emperor lost most of his men, was ordered to blow up nine towers. Of the explosions was averted, but up to the present day survived only 17 of the 38 towers, each of which has its own name and differs from the other.
Despite the tragic events, Smolensk managed to keep a historic building located on a Great street in Smolensk. These homesteads give the city a special appearance, reminding themselves about past times. Unique examples of architecture built by order of Peter I, after the king was convinced of the importance of this city.
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Among them are particularly worth noting:
- The former building of the Noble Assembly;
- House of books;
- Artist's House;
- The former home of the governors of Smolensk;
- The House Of Engelgardt;
- Former building of merchant Assembly;
- The former building of the noble Assembly.
Colourful houses in the style of Baroque was lovingly restored, and a walk along them forces to plunge into the past.
The streets and squares
The historic centre of Smolensk particularly picturesque thanks to the lovely and well-kept streets.
The look we owe to the people who are restoring the city bit by bit, and do everything possible to retain its unique look.
Notably the historically important street of the Great Soviet, which goes from the Cathedral hill and continues to the Victory square. This street was formed in the city in the XIX century, when it was necessary to connect the two entrance to the city. Initially it had the name Big Annunciation, but in 1918 it was renamed the Great Soviet.
Walking on the Great Soviet street you can see several architectural structures such as:
- The Cathedral of the assumption;
- Trinity monastery.
Just behind the monastery you can see the city as it was in the XVII century, when it became part of the Commonwealth. About that time reminds the town hall clock at the intersection, as well as the House of the red Army is a tragic place where during the Second world war were shot 1.5 thousand prisoners of war.
Right after the crossroads is the House of Books – a monument of architecture of XIX century, as well as many other historic buildings related to the merchant. During the war many of them were destroyed, but already by the beginning of XX century they managed to restore.
Smolensk "Arbat" , a pedestrian street Lenin – a local landmark, became the face of the city. The first name of the street received from the Church located on it – Kirochnaya, and after it was renamed Pushkin in honour of the 100th anniversary since the birth of the poet. At home, walking along the street, is the former most expensive city shops, hotels and pharmacies, each of which is decorated with rich stucco work and original facades.
The main square also bears the name of the leader, and it is located in the heart of the city. Around it is the House of Soviets, a theatre and a scenic Park is a place where people love to relax residents and guests of the city. Once the square was surrounded by houses of the time of Catherine II, but they were destroyed or just dilapidated. Now it looks very solemnly. Holidays and anniversaries are held here demonstrations and concerts.
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In the Historical Museum are two expositions, one of which tells visitors about the ancient history of Smolensk (early ninth century) and the other about the time when Smolensk was part of the old Russian state.
Only in the vault, there are about 3 thousand items from axes and weapons of the Vikings to jewellery and coins.
The most interesting repository of history of the Smolensk Museum-reserve is a unique place in the city, which owns 16 branches. The oldest of these is the Historical Museum, founded in 1988. Speak positively about him, even those who rarely frequent such venues.
Very interesting to visit the museums:
- Exhibition complex "Smolensk fortress" Museum of Russian vodka in the Pyatnitskaya tower;
- Art gallery – art exhibition by Russian and European authors;
- Smolensk forge – miniature Museum with objects of blacksmithing.
The city is a Museum "Smolensk flax" is the only one in the world, but a small collection dedicated to flax. Here you can find a few exhibitions:on the ground floor for visitors provides information about how to grow flax, process and use in everyday life.
Among the nature monuments in Smolensk, first and foremost, stands out the Dnieper – the river along which the city was built. Among reservoirs is to provide Smolenskoe reservoir, created on the basis of the lake Soshne in 1977.
The pond is home to local species of fish as well as running in the course of stocking.
Gardens, parks and promenades
Walk along the Smolensk would not be complete without visiting the city's parks and landscaped gardens. The most popular place – the Blonie garden – Park open here in 1830. The entrance to the garden is decorated with openwork arch, and walking inside, you can see several interesting objects:
- Monument To Mikhail Glinka;
- Light and music fountain;
- Sculptures of lions and deer German trophies taken from Germany after the war.
Parks Smolensk you can make your own interesting route. If time allows, you should go to a secluded Radowski Park or choose the more lively the Lopatinsky garden.
To complete your walk on the waterfront Gorky, stretching along the Dnieper river. Beautiful and equipped place to stay was built about 200 years finally became available only in 2013. This place is particularly popular because it is possible to see several attractions, including the Holy assumption Cathedral Smolensk fortress.
Noteworthy objects of the Smolensk region and the surrounding area
Beyond Smolensk there is a lot of monuments of history and culture that also deserve the attention of tourists.
Among the architectural monuments in Smolensk region stands out the temple of the Holy spirit – the Church in the village Talashkino, was built over a hundred years ago. Its unusual shape attracts attention, as the facade with the image of Jesus, as well as the decoration in the ancient style give you the opportunity to learn more about this forgotten area.
In the village you'll hmelita estate Griboyedov – pompous building in the style of Elizabethan Baroque, reminiscent of the St. Petersburg luxury homes in the city centre. In the XVII century this building was the ancestral estate of the family of Griboyedov. It childhood and youth of the future writer and diplomat, about this place, he mentioned several times in his work. In the Park, where is located the manor house, is located just a few architectural objects that have become museums.
In the Katyn forest, 18 km from Smolensk is the Katyn memorial – a monument in honor of victims of political tyranny in the twentieth century. In 1930-40 years here was shot about 21 thousand captured Polish and Soviet citizens.
Incredibly beautiful natural attractions in Smolensk region. Outside the city are many lakes, most of which are collected in the Park Smolensk lakes. Just Park about 35 reservoirs, and the coast is particularly scenic. Among the lakes:
The latter are the mud.
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What else can you see?
In Smolensk there is an incredibly large number of sites belonging to different eras, a visit to which is interesting to both adults and children.
In Smolensk, in the first place, it should be up to Cathedral hillto meet the main asset of the city – Svyato-Uspensky Cathedral, and also to appreciate the beautiful view from the hill of the city.
Then you can go to the Smolensk fortress, where the tourists have an opportunity not only to get acquainted with the historically important structure protecting the city from enemies and also to visit several museums located in the towers.
From Catedral hill or castle you can stroll along ancient streets, decorated houses and estates, or explore the religious monuments of ancient architecture. In the city almost everywhere you can find cathedrals, the construction of which is carried out in the XII-XIX centuries.
The largest concentration of religious buildings is on the street Lenin, the Great Soviet and Karl Marx street.
On the second day of meeting with Smolensk nature lovers will definitely want to visit the cosy and well-kept parks or to see live the legendary monuments, reminiscent of the tragic military events. In the old part of Smolensk they meet almost at every step. To complete the walk on the embankment of the Dnieper – in the evening it is particularly beautiful.
In the winter
If the trip to Smolensk planned for the winter, you should dedicate it to exploring the museums and cafes of the city. To acquaintance with the cultural and historical life of the city at a costinexpensive enough to buy a guest card is a ticket and a list of sites to bypass the 11 museums of Smolensk.
If the trip is planned with children, you should visit the Museum "In the world of fairy tales", which contains a large number of exhibits and pieces from well-known folk tales as well as drawings and crafts the children themselves.
Also in the city for kids rides in Lopatinskiy garden, on street Pamfilova, 3b, is also a small zoo and the city center there is a pottery "Smolenskaya izba", is interesting not only for kids.
Smolensk – one of those Russian cities, which brings only positive emotions. On its territory there is a lot of interesting and unique attractions that deserve the attention of tourists.
We encourage you to watch the video clip from which you learn a lot about the attractions of Smolensk: