For the first time I thought about a trip to Smolensk after I watched the TV series “Vampires of the Middle Band”, the action of which just takes place in this city. By the way, great series. Look if you haven't seen it. At first I did not even imagine that I would like it so much.
In short, I came to Smolensk. Came with nothing to do. Simply because it takes 3 hours to get to it, and in the conditions of semi-closed borders there is nowhere else to go especially. Of course, I understood that Smolensk is not Florence. But the sights of rusty trams and pigeons bathing in asphalt potholes still discouraged me at first.
I got out of the car, crossed the railway tracks – and dived headlong into the city, where ancient churches were lost among old garages, industrial pipes and Pyaterochka department stores.
Church of Peter and Paul
You look – on the one hand there are beautiful temples … -vampirov-e8414c4.jpg” alt=”Sights of Smolensk: the city of temples, pits and vampires” />
There is some kind of vegetable warehouse right opposite.
And the whole of Smolensk consists of such contrasts. I walked there and thought: “Of course, you have to be a very eccentric vampire to settle in this place.”
My attitude towards Smolensk began to change a little when I crossed the bridge and went out to the fortress wall that encircled the old city. By this time, there were a little less holes on the pavement, and quite nice views began to come across in the architectural vinaigrette of the streets.
Somewhere around Lenin Street, I drank a cup of cappuccino at a coffee shop called Surf Coffee and for the first time I thought that with the right approach, Smolensk could be quite a good destination for a short trip. The main thing is to properly prepare yourself for a meeting with him. i-vampirov-61b8ad3.jpg” alt=”Sights of Smolensk: the city of temples, pits and vampires” />
And how to do it – I'll tell you later in our today's post. It's been a long time since I've had an article like this one.
TOP attractions in Smolensk
I know that in other articles the lists of Smolensk attractions can be as long as the Grey's Anatomy series. But, in my opinion, there are only two truly iconic buildings in the city – these are:
- Assumption Cathedral;
- And the Smolensk fortress wall, stretching almost across the entire city.
The Assumption Cathedral is tightly occupied by a horde of very annoying beggars (one of whom even promised me that I would get ugly shots if I did not give her 50 rubles). But the complex itself looks, of course, very picturesque. The church stands on a high hill, and therefore is clearly visible from different parts of the city.
As for the Smolensk fortress wall (or the Smolensk Kremlin, as it is also called), it is really endless. Walking around the center of Smolensk, you will constantly meet certain fragments of it. I read somewhere that she has as many as 38 towers. But of course, there is no point in bypassing them all. In my opinion, the most picturesque sections of the wall are in the Ferris wheel area…
And in the east of the city – next to Zhukov Street.
In the same place – not far from the Avramiev Monastery and Timiryazev Street – there is the only section of the wall where you can climb for free. But the terrain there is rugged, and you will have to constantly maneuver among fences, dead ends and garages … Therefore, before climbing there, it is better to find a guide from among the locals.
No conductor? So, find a guide. Excursions in Smolensk are very cheap. Here are some offers with prices around 500 Russian rubles (that's about 20 BYN).
The most beautiful streets of the city
The main street of Smolensk is called – Big Soviet. There are several historical buildings here. But it didn't make any special impression on me.
Five days after the trip (when I am writing this article), I remember only two local buildings:
- the complex of the Trinity Monastery
- and this (shabby, but pretty) house of the book .
We live by the same principles. “Shabby but cute” — this is generally the main postulate of my everyday style.
Smolensk became truly cozy at the moment when I turned on Lenina Street and walked on toward Mayakovsky and Glinka streets .
Female vocals flowed from the windows of the Smolensk Philharmonic. The Museum “In the World of a Fairy Tale” offered me to test my heroic strength. And the painted cow in the Blonje garden was dragging a whole cart loaded with pumpkins. -jam-i-vampirov-a8e788b.jpg” alt=”Sights of Smolensk: the city of temples, pits and vampires” />
I remember the Art Museum on Communist Street.
And the wedding palace in the same place.
Cute Karl Marx Street…
And Dzerzhinsky Street, passing right by the walls of the fortress.
Monument “Grateful Russia – Heroes of 1812”. Address — Dzerzhinsky, 6.
They all flow into each other, so if you walk around Smolensk, you can take note of this route.
Observation platforms of the city
I will have a separate article about them. So here I will talk about everything very briefly. The city of Smolensk stands on the hills, and there are quite a few viewpoints here. The good news is that almost all of them are free. But the bad news is that most of these lookouts are wild, like the Canadian Yeti. Somewhere you have to knead the dirt. Somewhere to dodge branches.
But the views there are beautiful. Here, for example, is one of them.
Personally I liked two viewing platforms most of all:
- The first one is opposite the residential building at Kozlova 3.
- And the second one is on a low hill located on Zhukova Street.
As a bonus, you can also remember the site behind the Assumption Cathedral. But the views there are for everybody. Ahead – wooden houses and rickety fences. And right behind them is the fortress wall and the seemingly abandoned Temple of St. George.
Mystical atmosphere and echoes of ancient secrets -d56c6e4.jpg” alt=”Sights of Smolensk: the city of temples, pits and vampires” />
Another reason to come to Smolensk is the halo of mysticism that envelops this city. A lot of abandoned buildings are scattered throughout the center. And many places here have their own mystical history.
Here are medieval warlocks, and the secrets of the Veselukha tower, located above the “Devil's Moat”, and the underground passages of the Smolensk fortress, and abandoned mansions …
There are even special excursions to similar places in the city. If you're interested, I'll post one of these below.
The Church of the Virgin Mary, a deer from the Rominten Forest and Belarusian traces
In general, Smolensk has a lot of its own secrets and old stories (and not all of them are connected with any kind of mysticism). Here in the center of the city (in the garden of Blonje) stands a monument to a deer, created at the beginning of the last century (1910). It was first installed near the hunting lodge of the German Emperor Wilhelm II. Then he was transported to Goering's dacha, and in 1945 sent to Smolensk by Soviet soldiers.
If you go a little further from the city center, right in the middle of residential development you can see an old church founded back in 1894. Today this building is virtually abandoned. And, of course, there is no queue of tourists next to him. But it is definitely worth finding it – as a fragment of that part of the history of the city that is connected with the GDL and the Commonwealth.
Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
For some time, Smolensk was also part of the BNR and Soviet Belarus. We all learned this in history class. But in modern Smolensk, almost nothing reminds of this.
How to get to Smolensk?
The most convenient way to get there is by train. Tickets can be viewed on the RW.BY website (or pass.rw.by). Prices start from 45 BYN. Every day 7 trains run between Minsk and Smolensk. The fastest distance between cities is covered by Russian Railways trains of the Lastochka class. There are only seats there. But in general they are quite comfortable.
Minibuses from Minsk to Smolensk travel with a transfer in Mogilev. You can buy a ticket on the website atlasbus.by. But in fact, you will be sold two different tickets: the first Minsk – Mogilev and the second Mogilev – Smolensk. At the same time, the price will be the same as that of the train (20+25 BYN).
Another inadequate option for a trip is Intercars buses. They travel to Smolensk for 5 hours. And their tickets are often even more expensive than train tickets. At the same time, please note that the buses themselves stop on the highway near the Smolensk cafe, 3 km from the city itself. Maybe someday they will change the route. But you should still be careful with this.
Where to sleep in Smolensk?
After Booking and AIRBNB disappeared, rushing towards beauty is far away, I switched to Russian sites.
Now you can find housing in Smolensk on many different sites, but personally I like only two. These are:
- And Ostrovok.
The first is the Russian analogue of AIRBNB, where most of the offers are represented by “apartments from the owners”. The other is a Booking understudy. Everything is standard there – hotels, boarding houses and other representatives of the hotel industry.
Which one is better? Here you already decide for yourself. I check both and then see where more interesting offers appear.
Where to eat in Smolensk?
If you want to eat tasty and inexpensive, then pay attention to the Russian Court Cafe in the Blonie Garden. There is a nice interior, made in the style of a fabulous tower, and the menu consists of homemade dishes (like pancakes, borscht or dumplings). As I understand it, among the residents of Smolensk it is very popular. Even during the day on a weekday, 70-80% of the tables were occupied there.
Another good option for lunch is network dumplings Lepim i Varim on Novo-Moskovskaya street, 2 /8.
They have a pleasant interior, and from 10:00 to 16:00 they have an offer for set meals. Ten dumplings, a hodgepodge and a salad will cost you 350 RUB (or something like 13 BYN).
As for coffee, I liked two establishments:
- Surf Coffee ( at Lenina, 6a);
- and a coffee shop called ANDERSON (on Przewalski Street).
If you have something to add to this list, write in the comments. I will only be glad. Well, now I just have to say goodbye. Subscribe to my Instagram, bookmark the site and don't disappear from the radar. There is still a lot of interesting things ahead.