Smolensk Kremlin

Smolensk, Russia

Smolensk Kremlin was built between 1595 and 1602, during the reign of Tsars Fyodor I Ioannovich and Boris Godunov. The length of the walls is about 6.5 kilometres, of which less than the half was preserved. The fortifications were built under supervision of the architect Fyodor Kon. The Smolensk Kremlin is classified as an architectural monument protected at the federal level, and also has a great historical significance, in particular, as the fortress protecting the Russian state from the west over centuries.

Smolensk historically had a great significance for the defence, and this is why Russian rulers paid considerable attention for its fortifications. In the spring of 1554, Tsar Ivan the Terrible ordered to build a new tall wooden fortress. After the development of artillery, it became clear that a wooden fortress is no more suiteble for the defence, and in the end of the 16th century it was decided to build a new stone fortress at the place of the old one.

In December 1595, the preparations for the construction started after the official decree was issued. The construction works were very intense and were performed daily from sunrise to sunset. The construction workers, however, lived in harsh conditions, and revolted in 1599 because of hunger, cold, and diseases. In the summer of 1597 long and heavy rains flooded all the trenches and ditches, and the construction workers had to strengthen the landslide soil by piles. In 1600, because of the heat and heavy rains, a large amount of crops was lost in Russia, causing the famine. The construction of the new fortress used the old existing fortifications, so that in some places the wall was built on top of them, and in certain areas the new fortress was extended beyond the limits set by the old one. The construction started from the western side of the fortress.

Several sections of the wall have survived, the eastern section with nine towers, the south-western section with five towers, and the northern section with three towers. The most famous remaining tower is the round-cornered tower named Veselukha. This name was given to it because of the nice view which opens from the tower. The Main Gate Tower was Frolovskaya (Dnieper Tower), through which was the exit to the capital of the Russian state. The second most important was Molohovskaya tower, opens the way to Kiev, Krasny and Roslavl.



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Founded: 1595-1602
Category: Castles and fortifications in Russia


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ольга Залесова (2 years ago)
Interesting city, definitely worth a visit! Walk along st. B. Sovetskaya, be sure to go to the Assumption Cathedral - it is gorgeous, everything inside is in gold, it is worth seeing. Pray to the icon of the Mother of God "Hodegetria", brought by Prince Vladimir II in 1103! Take a walk in the Lopatinsky garden, Blonye garden - in it we accidentally stumbled upon a saxophonist playing near the fountain, he plays excellently! We really enjoyed! Take a ride on a Ferris wheel in comfortable closed cabins with a wonderful view of the fortress wall. The embankment of the Dnieper River was a little disappointing, we were expecting more. But in general, I definitely recommend visiting the city of Smolensk!
Carlo Maranzana (2 years ago)
Walls to follow walking....
nada belova (3 years ago)
Today we were on the wall) we climbed quite calmly. You need to go to the right of the registry office to the two-story brick house # 2a, walk to the sheds and voila - it's easy to climb up the Kiripichiks. You can see the WWII Museum and the monument in front of it
srajan jaiswal (4 years ago)
JR (4 years ago)
A good tourist spot full of history of the city
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