With the upcoming release of AtD2, and having been interested in the battles around Smolensk for a long time, I visited the city over a weekend. It is an easy train ride from Moscow to Smolensk (an overnight train) that gets into Smolensk around 5.30am. I had organised a hotel so we had somewhere to freshen up before exploring the city.
Smolensk is of course, one of the most ancient cities in Russia, and between the Golden Horde, the Polish, the Lithuanians, French and Germans, not to mention the various Russian princes, it has been fought over many times. Its position on the Dnepr River, and the way its walled fortress dominates the surrounding land, make it an important city in this region.
Remarkably, there are many buildings left from its past, including the Cathedral of the Assumption, which can be seen from any point in the city it seems, and the walls and turrets of the 16th century kremlin. It is a relatively easy city to walk around and was well worth the visit.
The big fella looks over the central city square.
This is a statue commemorating the poet Alexsandar Tvardovsky and his subject of the poem "Vasili Terkin".
The poem shows a typical Russian soldier who shows qualities that helped the nation win the war, and was based on the battles around Smolensk in 1941.
The Eagles monument, erected in 1912 to commemorate the battles against Napoleon.
The Eternal Flame in front of the Kremlin walls
A line up of hero-cities - Novosibirsk, Minsk, Tula, Murmansk