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Smolensk

(3.9/5 based on 1,400+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, religious sites, museums
Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River, 360km west-southwest of Moscow. Population: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.EtymologyThe 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 "" (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 recorded its name as Μιλινισκα.GeographyThe 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.
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