Sights of Smolensk
The glorious city of Smolensk, in comparison with its «brothers», such as Yaroslavl or Vladimir, is very much deprived of attention and support. Located not far from the capital, it has its own richest cultural and historical heritage, and a visit to it is a must for all lovers and connoisseurs of Russian history.
- Given the amazing centuries-old history, the city can be called a cross section of those eras that Russia has experienced. In the historical center of the city — behind the Smolensk fortress — you can admire both ancient monasteries and defensive towers.
- Here you can take a walk along the tiny streets of old Smolensk and enjoy the green squares and parks. Needless to say, if temples built even before the arrival of the Tatar-Mongol yoke in Rus’ have been preserved here!
In general, it is clear why, the city has always been a border town, here Belarus is within easy reach, a hundred kilometers to the border. And so the first thing we saw, like the second and everything that followed, is somehow connected with the military events of different years.
- Like this park of heroes of the Patriotic War of 1812 and monuments to outstanding commanders of that time. Pyotr Ivanovich Bagration: Below is also a monument to the heroes of the War of 1812, but without personalities, more symbolic. This square is located near the Smolensk fortress wall.
- The face of Smolensk today is the fortress wall. Locals proudly call this building the local Kremlin. This monumental building was completed at the very beginning of the 17th century, at that time it covered the whole of Smolensk with a mighty belt — the thickness of the walls was six meters, and the height of the walls was 13-19 meters (depending on the relief).
- Today we observe mainly fragments of a huge fortress. Of the 38 unique towers, less than two dozen have been restored, and the length of the restored walls is three kilometers.
- Nevertheless, today the Thunder Tower has been restored exactly — the largest and most majestic, which today houses the Smolensk — Shield of Russia museum. The museum has a pronounced military focus and tells in detail about everything that this city has experienced.
- Next, we go for a walk in the park, which is located behind the fortress wall. Everything here is like in any good city park: rides, a pond with ducks, happy children.
- But even here we are haunted by reminders of the glory and valor of Smolensk. Without them, nowhere. After passing through the park, we get to the Central square of the city. And we move further along one of the main streets of the city, along Bolshaya Sovetskaya, down to the Dnieper.
- Smolensk is also known for its cathedrals. The most famous of them is the Holy Assumption Cathedral. It stands in the religious heart of the city — on top of Cathedral Hill. The height of the temple is 70 meters, it was erected in the 17th century and survived two patriotic wars. Outside, the temple looks strict and modest, like all ancient Russian cathedrals, but inside it amazes with its splendor.
- In the cathedral, every single architectural element is interesting, from the decoration of the walls and the painting of the domes to the carved icons. The most notable is the 18th-century iconostasis, consisting of five tiers. The carved frame consists of grape leaves, sunflower flowers and other floral ornaments skillfully carved in gold and silver.
- Many composers, sculptors and writers are immortalized in the city. There are many theaters and modern cinemas open here, and if you are lucky enough to come to Smolensk during some kind of fair or festival, you will remain unconditionally in love with both the city and its inhabitants.
- The weather in Smolensk is peculiar, the locals even affectionately say that it is capricious. Due to the high humidity, the sky is often covered with clouds, and there are much more rainy days than sunny ones. It is best to go here in late summer or early autumn.
- From August to October, most of the festivals and fairs are held in Smolensk, September 25 is the day of the city, which is always accompanied by magnificent festivities.
- At the beginning of summer, the temperature is also quite pleasant — about +20 … +25 degrees. It almost never gets hotter, and if the heat does come, it does not last long. In September it is still warm (up to +15 degrees), but from the beginning of October it is worth warming up and getting ready for new rains.
- But at this time, numerous squares and alleys are especially beautiful, they turn from green to yellow-crimson, and autumn is revealed here in all its romantic beauty. Winters here are snowy, but not too cold, so this city is perfect for lovers of a winter fairy tale.
- Another reason to come to this city is the desire to take a break from the bustle of the city. The city has many parks and protected springs where you can stay alone with nature and take a breath. In the very center of the city, the Blonje garden is green — a well-groomed square, decorated with fountains and original sculptures.
- There is also a monument to Glinka with an intricate fence in the form of a stave with notes. Columns are installed near the monument. On summer evenings, the most famous works of the composer are played here. You can move around the garden on rented velomobiles.
- Another place famous for its wonderful atmosphere for leisurely walks is Lopatinsky Garden. In memory of its founder — the Smolensk governor of the late 19th century — a monument was erected at the entrance. There are also many shady alleys, forged benches for relaxing and charming sculptures.
By the way, each bench has its own design — each is forged according to its own unique sketches by Smolensk craftsmen. The garden provides recreation areas for families with children — a Ferris wheel, playgrounds, go-carts, aviaries with small animals and ponds with birds.