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Excursion in Smolensk!
Excursion 2017
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Touristic musts

Smolensk Fortress

Smolensk Fortress

The amazing scenery of the city of Smolensk that is spilled over the picturesque hills of the Dnieper Valley can be seen from the train windows on the railway between Moscow and the European capitals. Over the city stands the Assumption Cathedral, surrounding by medieval walls and towers of the Smolensk fortress. Both structures are not only architectural, but also historical monuments-symbols of the heroic 20-month defense of the city in 1609-1611 against the 30 thousand-strong army of the Polish King Sigismund III. This defense played an important role on the future liberation of Moscow from the Polish conquerors in 1612 and in the formation of the Russian state.

Holy Assumption Cathedral

Holy Assumption Cathedral

Holy Assumption Cathedral is the heart of Smolensk and its symbol, its “business card”-so to speak. The Cathedral Church is located in the central part of the city on the Cathedral Hill and can be seen from virtually every part of the city. On observation deck on Cathedral Hill you can see the panoramic view of the Smolensk Wall and the northern part of the city. Russian art historian accurately noted “Smolensk without the Assumption Cathedral is as unimaginable as Egypt without the Pyramids or Athens without an Acropolis…” 

The historic-architectural complex Teremok in Talashkino

The historic-architectural complex Teremok in Talashkino

Eighteen kilometers south of Smolensk is the princely manor of the Teneshev family named Talashkino. Talashkino has a special place amongst the list of Russian manors, and well known as a Russian cultural center in the late XIX-early XX century. Some of the most gifted artists of the time worked there, such as I. E Repin, M.A. Vrubel, Rerih. The watercolor painting of its famous owner, Maria Claudievna Tenesheva,  is the work of Repin, and is currently located in the Russian Museum of Saint-Petersburg.

Architectural monuments of the 12th century

Architectural monuments of the 12th century

Three stone churches are still standing in Smolensk. The most ancient of them- Church of Peter and Paul (1146)- stands not far from the grouse gardens of the czar and the favorite hunting grounds of the prince. The second church of St. John the Evangelist (1173) was built on the other side of the Dnieper River. It used to be the educational center of the nobility and of the princes personal retinue. At the end of the 12th century was built the church of Archangel Michael (1194-1197), which was the family church of the prince, as well where the members of the royal court went to pray.

Art Gallery

Art Gallery

Smolensk Art Gallery is located in the city center in one of the most beautiful buildings, built at the end of the XIX century for the Aleksandrovsky school.
The Exhibitions in the Art Gallery are huge and diverse in their content. A large section is composed of ancient Russian art collection by the princess M.K. Tenisheva, represented by the icons of XV-XIX century. The pride of the collection- works by V.A. Tropinin, I.K. Aivazovskago, A.I. Kuindshi, V.A. Serov, I.E. Repin, K.A. Korovin, A.N. Benua, L.S. Popovoi, and other masters of Russian art.

Smolensk Philharmonic Hall

Smolensk Philharmonic Hall

The building of the Smolensk Philharmonic Hall is a historical and cultural monument of the 19th century. It has always been the cultural center of the city, here there are halls for exhibitions and concerts and in 1988, a new concert hall was opened named in honor of Mikhail Glinka-a great Russian composer. An international star- great bass singer, Feodor Shalyapin, has performed on the stage of the Philharmonic Hall.
The hall’s acoustics have been recognized by many musicians as the best in Russia, and it keeps amazing those performers who are invited on the stage of the Smolensk Philharmonic Hall.

Lopatin Garden

Lopatin Garden

Lopatin Garden-one of the oldest city parks, a part of the rich historic and cultural Smolensk heritage.  It was founded in 1874 on the site of the former King’s fortress by the order of Governor A.G. Lopatin. Initially, the garden was limited by the earthworks of the King’s fortress and was planned in landscape style, which was largely based on the beauty of the surrounding territory and plentiful monuments from Smolensk’s history: fragments of the city walls, defensive earthworks, underground passageways into the King’s bastion, etc. In the past it was the location of the dramatic events of the 20-month long defense of the city against the Polish Army of the King Sigismund III in 1609-1611, and the Patriotic War of 1812, evidenced by numerous monuments, including the monument “For the defenders of Smolensk August 4-5 in 1812”, installed in 1841 and which is the oldest monument in Russia, dedicated the Russian people’s fight against the Great Army of Napoleon.

Smolensk Log-Hut (Smolenskaya Izba)

Smolensk Log-Hut (Smolenskaya Izba)

The workshop is interesting both for tour groups and for individual travelers. Here are held workshops and classes on pottery-making and ceramics.
In the “Smolensk Log-Hut” visitors will learn about the history of the ceramics and pottery production, and will spend time practicing it on the potter’s wheel. After a demonstration of the basics by a pottery specialist, those who wish it may try their hand at doing their own pottery and clay objects by themselves.

National Park “Smolensk Pozeria”

National Park Smolensk Pozeria

Smolensk National Park is a member of the federation of European national parks and is a member of the UNESCO program “Man and the Biosphere”. Scientists from USA, Poland, and Belarus have more than once visited the park for scientific research.
Annually, the park is visited by over one hundred thousand tourists. The tourists are especially impressed by the cleanness and majestic might of the lakes, of which the total number in the area is over 35. Each lake is unique in form, terrain, and coastal zone. The most number of visitors can be found in the middle of August. That is the time of the festival “Fisherman’s Cuisine”. For the most part, the lakes are open for fishing. The most common type of fish here is roach, bream, chub, pickerel, perch, ruff, and many others.

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