Our next Destination

The City of Smolensk


We are excited to be heading to the City of Smolensk, with a population of almost a million people and some fascinating history it should prove to be a very interesting visit. The river you are looking at here is the Dnieper River. I will be posting many pictures once we arrive and have had a chance to do some exploring.  It is my understanding that there was a very heavily fought battle just outside of the city between the Russians and Napoleon’s army in 1812.



2 thoughts on “Our next Destination

  1. When the French came to Smolensk in the summer of 1812, citizens joined the Russian army in a desperate defense of the city until they had to give up and take flight. When Napoleon and his army and thousands of straggling civilians came back through from Moscow the following November, they were expecting a well-garrisoned and provisioned safe haven to spend the winter. Instead, dead bodies were piled high inside the city wall and scattered in the streets, while most of the buildings were ashes, and frozen corpses were being used as wind-blocks where the windows were broken. For warmth, soldiers crammed into the few standing structures remaining, which were then set on fire by the angry people who couldn’t get inside. They warmed themselves by the flames as their fellow soldiers roasted.There was hardly any food in Smolensk and Napoleon and the refugees had to move on. When the Russians got there, they burned the abandoned sick and injured alive in the hospitals. But Smolensk had been a strategic defensive garrison for centuries before that. There is a beautiful monastery on the hill overlooking the Dnieper above one of the main entrances to the city that survived 1812, or so the photos I’ve seen say. I wish I could see that city with you. Post pics if you get a chance. You’re giving me a way to see Russia. Thank you.

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