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Hotels of Smolensk
A hotel in Smolensk is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Smolensk hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Smolensk are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Smolensk hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Smolensk hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Smolensk have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Smolensk
An upscale full service hotel facility in Smolensk that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Smolensk hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Smolensk
Full service Smolensk hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Smolensk
Boutique hotels of Smolensk are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Smolensk boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Smolensk may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Smolensk
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Smolensk travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Smolensk focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Smolensk
Small to medium-sized Smolensk hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Smolensk traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Smolensk hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Smolensk
A bed and breakfast in Smolensk is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Smolensk bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Smolensk B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Smolensk
Smolensk hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Smolensk hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Smolensk
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Smolensk hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Smolensk lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Smolensk
Smolensk timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Smolensk often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Smolensk on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Smolensk
A Smolensk motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Smolensk for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Smolensk motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Smolensk Oblast, Smolensky District, Smolensk Urban Okrug
Municipal status (as of December 2011)
Smolensk Urban Okrug
Administrative center of
Smolensk Urban Okrug, Smolensky Municipal District
Smolensk City Council
166.35 km (64.23 sq mi)
Population (2010 Census)
- Rank in 2010
1,965/km (5,090/sq mi)
Smolensk on Wikimedia Commons
Smolensk (Russian: Смоленск; IPA: [smɐˈlʲensk] ( listen), Lithuanian: Smolenskas) is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River, 360 kilometers (220 mi) west-southwest of Moscow. Population: 326,861 (2010 Census); 325,137 (2002 Census); 341,483 (1989 Census).
The walled city in the center of Smolensk (along with the outskirts) was destroyed several times throughout its long history because it was on the invasion routes of both Napoleon and Hitler. Today, Smolensk is noted for electronics, textiles, food processing, and diamond faceting.
The name of the city is derived from the name of the Smolnya River. The origin of the river's name is less clear. One possibility is the old Slavic word "смоль" (smol) for black soil, which might have colored the waters of the Smolnya. An alternative origin could be the Russian word "смола" (smola), which means resin, tar, or pitch. Pine trees grow in the area, and the city was once a center of resin processing and trade. The Byzantine emperor Constantine VII (r. 913–959) recorded its name as "Μιλινισκα" (Miliniska).
The city is located in European Russia on the banks of the upper Dnieper River, which crosses the city within the Smolensk Upland, which is the western part of the Smolensk–Moscow Upland.The Dniepr River flows through the city from east to west and divides it into two parts: the northern (Zadneprove) and southern (center). Within the city and its surroundings the river takes in several small tributaries.
In the valleys are stretched streets, high ridges, hills, and headlands form the mountain. Smolensk is situated on seven hills (mountains).
The old part of the city occupies the high, rugged left (south) bank of the Dnieper River. The area features undulating terrain, with a large number of tributaries, creeks and ravines.
See also: Timeline of Smolensk
Smolensk: Medieval origins
Smolensk is among the oldest Russian cities. The first recorded mention of the city was 863 AD, two years after the founding of Kievan Rus'. According to Russian Primary Chronicle, Smolensk (probably located slightly downstream, at the archaeological site of Gnezdovo) was located on the area settled by the West Slavic Radimichs tribe in 882 when Oleg of Novgorod took it in passing from Novgorod to Kiev. The town was first attested two decades earlier, when the Varangian chieftains Askold and Dir, while on their way to Kiev, decided against challenging Smolensk on account of its large size and population.
St. Michael's Church (Svirskaya) was built in 1180–1197.
The first foreign writer to mention the city was the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus. In De Administrando Imperio (c. 950) he described Smolensk as a key station on the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks. The Rus' people sailed from the Baltics up the Western Dvina as far as they could then they portaged their boats to the upper Dnieper. It was in Smolensk that they supposedly mended any leaks and small holes that might have appeared in their boats from being dragged on the ground and they used tar to do that, hence the city name.
The Principality of Smolensk was founded in 1054. Due to its central position in Kievan Rus', the city developed rapidly. By the end of the 12th century, the princedom was one of the strongest in Eastern Europe, so that Smolensk Dynasty frequently controlled the Kievan throne. Numerous churches were built in the city at that time, including the church of Sts. Peter and Paul (1146, reconstructed to its presumed original appearance after World War II) and the church of St. John the Baptist (1180, also partly rebuilt). The most remarkable church in the city is called Svirskaya (1197, still standing); it was admired by contemporaries as the most beautiful structure east of Kiev.
Smolensk had its own veche since the very beginning of its history. Its power increased after the disintegration of Kievan Rus', and although it was not as strong as the veche in Novgorod, the princes had to take its opinion into consideration; several times in 12th and 13th centuries there was an open conflict between them.
Smolensk: Between Russia, Lithuania, and Poland
Although spared by the Mongol armies in 1240, Smolensk paid tribute to the Golden Horde, gradually becoming a pawn in the long struggle between Lithuania and the Grand Duchy of Moscow. The last sovereign monarch of Smolensk was Yury of Smolensk; during his reign the city was taken by Vytautas the Great of Lithuania on three occasions: in 1395, 1404, and 1408. After the city's incorporation into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, some of Smolensk's boyars (e.g., the Sapiehas) moved to Vilnius; descendants of the ruling princes (e.g., the Tatishchevs, Kropotkins, Mussorgskys, Vyazemskys) fled to Moscow.
Capitulation of Russian garrison of Smolensk before Władysław IV of Poland in 1634
With tens of thousands of people living there, Smolensk was probably the largest city in 15th-century Lithuania. Three Smolensk regiments took part in the Battle of Grunwald against the Teutonic Knights. It was a severe blow to Lithuania when the city was taken by Vasily III of Russia in 1514. To commemorate this event, the Tsar founded the Novodevichy Convent in Moscow and dedicated it to the icon of Our Lady of Smolensk.
In order to repel future Polish–Lithuanian attacks, Boris Godunov made it his priority to heavily fortify the city. The stone kremlin constructed in 1597–1602 is the largest in Russia. It features thick walls and numerous watchtowers. Heavy fortifications did not prevent the fortress from being taken by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1611 after a long twenty-month siege, during the Time of Troubles and Dimitriads. Weakened Muscovy temporarily ceded Smolensk land to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Truce of Deulino and for the next forty-three years it was the seat of Smolensk Voivodeship.
To recapture the city, the Tsardom of Russia launched the so-called "Smolensk War" against the Commonwealth in 1632. After a defeat at the hands of king Wladislaw IV, the city remained in Polish–Lithuanian hands. In 1632, the Uniate bishop Lew Kreuza built his apartments in Smolensk; they were later converted into the Orthodox Church of Saint Barbara. The hostilities resumed in 1654 when the Commonwealth was being affected by the Khmelnytsky Uprising and the Swedish deluge. After another siege, on September 23, 1654, Smolensk was recaptured by Russia. In the 1667 Truce of Andrusovo, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth renounced its claims to Smolensk.
Smolensk: Modern history
Eagles monument in Smolensk, commemorating the centenary of the Russian victory over Napoleon
Smolensk has been a special place to Russians for many reasons, not least for the fact that the local cathedral housed one of the most venerated Orthodox icons, attributed to St. Luke. Building the new Cathedral of the Assumption was a great project which took more than a century to complete. Despite slowly sinking into economic backwater, Smolensk was still valued by Tsars as a key fortress defending the route to Moscow. It was made the seat of Smolensk Governorate in 1708.
In August 1812, two of the largest armies ever assembled clashed in Smolensk. During the hard-fought battle, described by Leo Tolstoy in War and Peace, Napoleon entered the city. Total losses were estimated at 30,000 men. Apart from other military monuments, central Smolensk features the Eagles monument, unveiled in 1912 to mark the centenary of Napoleon's Russian campaign.
View of Smolensk in 1912. Early colour photograph by Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii
At the beginning of World War I, the 56th Smolensk Infantry Division was first assigned to the First Army of the Imperial Russian Army. They fought at the Battle of Tannenberg. It was subsequently transferred to the 10th Army and fought at the Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes. In March 1918, while the city remained a part of Russia, Belarusian People's Republic, proclaimed in Minsk under the German occupation, declared Smolensk a part of it. In February–December 1918, Smolensk was home to the headquarters of the Western Front, North-West Oblast Bolshevik Committee and Western Oblast Executive Committee. On January 1, 1919, the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed in Smolensk, but its government moved to Minsk as soon as the German forces had been driven out of Minsk several days later.
Smolensk: Soviet period
After the Revolution, for inclusion in its composition as claimed Smolensk Belarusian People's Republic and the Byelorussian SSR. Since April 1918 Smolensk was the center of the Western Region, which is based on January 1, 1919, Byelorussian SSR was formed. January 7 BSSR government moved from Minsk and Smolensk already January 16, 1919 decision of the Central Committee of the RCP Smolensk region was transferred to the RSFSR. In 1920 was held the new provincial census, according to which the Russian population prevailed over Belarus, but the Belarusian party leadership until 1926 leaves no hope for the inclusion of Smolensk in the Belorussian SSR. In 1940, 18 km (11 mi) from Smolensk, the Katyn Massacre occurred.
During World War II, Smolensk once again saw wide-scale fighting during the first Battle of Smolensk when the city was captured by the Germans on July 16, 1941. The first Soviet counteroffensive against the German army was launched in August 1941 but failed. However, the limited Soviet victories outside the city halted the German advance for a crucial two months, granting time to Moscow's defenders to prepare in earnest. Camp 126 was situated close to Smolensk and at this time Boris Menshagin was mayor of Smolensk, with his deputy Boris Bazilevsky. Both of them would be key witnesses in the Nuremberg Trials over the Katyn massacre. Over 93% of the city was destroyed during the fighting; the ancient icon of Our Lady of Smolensk was lost. Nevertheless, it escaped total destruction. In late 1943, Göringhad ordered Gotthard Heinrici to destroy Smolensk in accordance with the Nazi "scorched earth" policy. He refused and was punished for it. The city was finally liberated on September 25, 1943, during the second Battle of Smolensk. The rare title of Hero City was bestowed on Smolensk after the war.
After the Germans captured the city in 1941, they found the intact archives of Smolensk Oblast Committee of the Communist Party, the so-called Smolensk Archive. The archive was moved to Germany, and a significant part of it eventually ended up in the United States, providing Western scholars and intelligence specialists with unique information on the local workings of the Soviet government during its first two decades. The archives were returned to Russia by the United States in 2002.
Smolensk: Recent events
On April 10, 2010, a Tu-154 military jet carrying Polish president Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and many notable political and military figures crashed in a wooded area near Smolensk while approaching the local military airport. All ninety-six passengers died immediately on impact. The purpose of the visit was to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre, in which some 22,000 Polish POWs were murdered by the NKVD.
In 2013, archaeologists of the Russian Academy of Sciences discovered and unearthed in the ancient temples in Smolensk dated to middle to second half of the 12th century, built on the left bank at the time the city was the capital of Smolensk principality. From unique object preserved walls in some places low, in others the height of human growth.
In September 2013, Smolensk widely celebrated the 1,150th anniversary with funds spent on different construction and renovation projects in the city. In celebration Central Bank of Russia issued commemorative coins made of precious metals.
Smolensk: Administrative and municipal status
Smolensk serves as the administrative center of the oblast and, within the framework of administrative divisions, it also serves as the administrative center of Smolensky District, even though it is not a part of it. As an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as Smolensk Urban Okrug-an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, this administrative unit also has urban okrug status.
Climate data for Smolensk
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Source #1: Pogoda.ru.net
Source #2: NOAA (sun, 1961–1990)
Smolensk has several factories including the Smolensk Aviation Plant and several electronics and agricultural machinery factories.
Smolensk is located on the M1 main highway and main railway between Moscow and Minsk. Since 1870, there is a railway connection between Smolensk and Moscow. Local public transport includes buses and trolleybuses. Public transportation network includes buses, trolleybuses, trams, and marshrutkas.
There are two airports located in the outskirts of the city; Smolensk South (civilian) and Smolensk North (military); however, there are no regular flights scheduled to Smolensk South Airport.
Smolensk is home to the Smolensk State University (SMOLGU) and the Smolensk State Medical University (affiliated as university in 2015) (SSMU); together with colleges of further education and other educational institutes. Smolensk is home for many foreign students including Indians, Japanese, Sri Lankans and few others. Among them Indians are with highest count of population. Smolensk is a great site for pursuing medical education.
Smolensk: Twin towns and sister cities
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Russia
Smolensk is twinned with:
Tulle, France (1981)
Hagen, Germany (1985)
Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States (1993)
Targovishte, Bulgaria (2002)
Woodstock, Georgia, United States (2006)
Smolensk: Notable people
Sergey Belavenets (1910–1942), chess master, theoretician, and chess journalist
Alexander Belyayev (1884–1942), science fiction writer
Lydia Durnovo (1885–1963), art restorer and historian
Dzham (born 1986), hip hop musician
Konstantin Dzyuba (born 1983), football player
Peter Fishman (born 1955), sculptor
Yuri Gagarin (1934–1968), cosmonaut
Mikhail Glinka (1804–1857), composer
Elizaveta Golovanova (born 1993), Miss Russia 2012
Natalia Ishchenko (born 1986), swimmer
Anatoly Kharlampiyev (1906–1979), founder of Sambo
Eduard Khil (1934–2012), singer
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow (born 1946), religious leader
Ivan Kirpa (born 1978), boxer
Vladimir Kirpichnikov (1903–1950), general
Sergey Konenkov (1874–1971), sculptor
Dina Korzun (born 1971), theater and film actress
Pavel Kucherov, (born 1964), football player and coach
Olga Kuzenkova, (born 1970), athlete
Semyon Lavochkin (1900–1960), aircraft designer
Maria Itkina (born 1932), runner
Natalia Levchenkova(born 1977), biathlete
Anatoly Lukyanov (born 1930), politician
Morris Markin (1893–1970), businessman and founder of Checker Motors Corporation
Gregori Maximoff (1893–1950), politician
Timofey Mikhaylov (1859-1881), revolutionary, one of the assassins of Tsar Alexander II
Uladzimir Navumau (born 1956), Belarusian politician and general
Olga Voronets (1926–2014), mezzo-soprano folk singer
Smolensk Strait between Livingston Island and Deception Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after the city.
Smolensk: See also
Battle of Orsha
БД ПМО Смоленской области. Город Смоленск
Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1" [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года (2010 All-Russia Population Census) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
The value of density was calculated automatically by dividing the 2010 Census population by the area specified in the infobox. Please note that this value may not be accurate as the area specified in the infobox does not necessarily correspond to the area of the entity proper or is reported for the same year as the population.
Правительство Российской Федерации. Федеральный закон №107-ФЗ от 3 июня 2011 г. «Об исчислении времени», в ред. Федерального закона №271-ФЗ от 03 июля 2016 г. «О внесении изменений в Федеральный закон "Об исчислении времени"». Вступил в силу по истечении шестидесяти дней после дня официального опубликования (6 августа 2011 г.). Опубликован: "Российская газета", №120, 6 июня 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Federal Law #107-FZ of June 31, 2011 On Calculating Time, as amended by the Federal Law #271-FZ of July 03, 2016 On Amending Federal Law "On Calculating Time". Effective as of after sixty days following the day of the official publication.).
Почта России. Информационно-вычислительный центр ОАСУ РПО. (Russian Post). Поиск объектов почтовой связи (Postal Objects Search) (Russian)
Russian Federal State Statistics Service (May 21, 2004). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек" [Population of Russia, Its Federal Districts, Federal Subjects, Districts, Urban Localities, Rural Localities-Administrative Centers, and Rural Localities with Population of Over 3,000] (XLS). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года [All-Russia Population Census of 2002] (in Russian). Retrieved August 9, 2014.
Demoscope Weekly (1989). "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров" [All Union Population Census of 1989: Present Population of Union and Autonomous Republics, Autonomous Oblasts and Okrugs, Krais, Oblasts, Districts, Urban Settlements, and Villages Serving as District Administrative Centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года [All-Union Population Census of 1989] (in Russian). Институт демографии Национального исследовательского университета: Высшая школа экономики [Institute of Demography at the National Research University: Higher School of Economics]. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
Администрация Смоленской области. Постановление №261 от 30 апреля 2008 г. «Об утверждении реестра административно-территориальных единиц и территориальных единиц Смоленской области», в ред. Постановления №464 от 27 июня 2014 г. «О внесении изменений в реестр административно-территориальных единиц и территориальных единиц Смоленской области». Опубликован: База данных "Консультант-плюс". (Administration of Smolensk Oblast. Resolution #261 of April 30, 2008 On the Adoption of the Registry of the Administrative-Territorial Units and Territorial Units of Smolensk Oblast, as amended by the Resolution #464 of June 27, 2014 On Amending the Registry of the Administrative-Territorial Units and Territorial Units of Smolensk Oblast. ).
Смоленский городской Совет. Решение №164 от 28 октября 2005 г. «Устав города Смоленска (новая редакция)», в ред. Решения №1419 от 29 мая 2015 г. «О внесении изменений в Устав города Смоленска». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования, за исключением положений, для которых установлены иные сроки вступления в силу. Опубликован: "Смоленские новости", №71, 22 декабря 2005 г. (Smolensk City Council. Decision #164 of October 28, 2005 Charter of the City of Smolensk (New Edition), as amended by the Decision #1419 of May 29, 2015 On Amending the Charter of the City of Smolensk. Effective as of the day of the official publication, with the exception of the clauses for which other dates of taking effect are specified.).
Smolensk: External links
(Russian) Official website of Smolensk
(Russian) Travel in Smolensk
(Russian) Smolensk news
(Russian) Smolensk Wiki
(Russian) Homepage of the Smolensk fortress
Some photos of the Smolensk fortress
More photos of Smolensk
Historic images of Smolensk
(Russian) Basketball in Smolensk
(Russian) News of Smolensk sport
(Russian) News of Smolensk medicine
The murder of the Jews of Smolensk during World War II, at Yad Vashem website.
Smolensk State Medical University
Administrative divisions of Smolensk Oblast
Administrative center: Smolensk
Cities and towns
Major fortresses of Western Russia
New Dvina Fort
Hero Cities of the Soviet Union
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