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Smolensk fortress: towers, their description. The Thunder Tower of the Smolensk Fortress
The city of Smolensk is surrounded by fortress walls with towers. Often this defensive structure of medieval Russia is called the Smolensk Kremlin, the "Necklace of the Russian Land." Only half of the fortification built has survived to this day, but this fact only adds to the historical monument of the charm of authenticity.
From the history
At the time of Ivan the Terrible there was a wooden fortress with an earthen rampart at this place. But with the development of artillery wooden walls could not resist the enemy, as it was before.
Smolensk has always been an important stronghold of Russia and was often attacked by enemies, so the sovereigns always cared for its strengthening. According to the decree of Fyodor Ioannovich, in 1595 they began to build with all the forces of the State of Moscow the stone fortification, which later became known as the Smolensk fortress, with defensive corner and intermediate towers.
In this grandiose construction for the first time in history the labor of 30,000 wage workers was used. Fedor Kon was in charge of this huge construction. Stone walls were erected for 6 years. Their height reached 18 m, thickness - 6 m. At that time more powerful walls did not exist in Russia. The total length along the perimeter was 6.5 km. In addition to the walls, the towers of the Smolensk Fortress were also built in the amount of 38 pieces. Basically they were three-tiered, with a height of 22 to 33 m.
Towers of the Smolensk Fortress
They occupy a special place in the Smolensk fortress. It is with the help of these structures that you can:
- Longitudinal firing.
- The protection of the gate.
- Shelter of troops, etc.
An interesting fact: the Smolensk fortress did not have a single identical tower. The height and shape of the towers depended on the terrain and location. In 9 constructions there were gates. The main passing tower is Frolovskaya. Through it you could get to the capital of the Russian state. The second most important is the Molokhovskaya tower, it opened the way to Kiev, Roslavl and others.
Other towers were made more simply. 13 buildings were completely deaf, having a rectangular shape, 7 towers were hexagonal and 9 - round.
Fortitude and confrontation of the Smolensk fortress
During the Russo-Polish war in the 18th century, the Smolensk fortress was attacked repeatedly, four towers were destroyed to the ground. No one could take it once without a fight. The fortress for this period withstood 3 sieges with a total duration of more than three years. Officially, the fortress as a fortress ceased to exist in 1786. All the artillerymen serving in it and their guns were distributed to other fortifications. But Napoleon again had to storm Smolensk fortress and its gates in order to capture the city. Strong walls withstood a 2-day assault and artillery shelling of Napoleon's army in 1812. By the way, the walls (white stone details) were built of limestone, which was supplied for the construction of the quarry Konobeevsky. The Smolensk fortress was badly damaged when the French retreated, it was badly damaged. By the order of Emperor Napoleon, all the towers of the fortress were mined. 9 towers were completely destroyed by explosions, and the rest were repulsed and cleared by the Cossack corps of Ataman M. Platov.
Smolensk fortress in peacetime
Unfortunately, not only wars contributed to the destruction of the Smolensk fortress. After the war with Napoleon, in 1820-1830, the walls of the defensive structure, in poor condition, were dismantled for a brick to restore the buildings of the city, destroyed by the war.
In 1930 the Smolensk fortress was actively dealing with building materials for Stalin's construction. In the years after the Great Patriotic War, the fortress buildings helped restore the destroyed city and its region.
Fortress of Smolensk today
Until today, the total length of the Smolensk fortress is 3.5 km, including 9 fragments of walls and 18 towers.
The Smolensk fortress is an object of historical and cultural heritage of federal significance. Towers and fragments of walls are found in different parts of the city. The largest section of the wall with a length of 1.5 km is located in the eastern part of Smolensk.
Numerous tourists insanely like the Smolensk fortress. Smolensk is an ancient city with a mass of museums and monuments of architecture.
The main historical monument serves as a museum, a place for meetings and a favorite object of parkourmen. For those who do not like independent tours, it is advisable to visit the "Thunder" tower, where concerts often take place with the performance of rock stars, classics, etc.
A tourist can freely visit a stone relic, especially since a walk through the Smolensk fortress is a memorable event, in addition, one can look at the ancient city from a height, admire the Dnieper.
This tower and the same gate in it are restored and refined. Once through the "Pyatnitskie" gate it was possible to enter the city of Smolensk. In 1812, they, like other gates and towers, of which the Smolensk fortress consisted, were blown up by the Napoleonic army. Later on this place was built the church of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk. To date, in Pyatnitskaya Tower, the Russian Vodka Museum has been opened, where everyone can taste the products of the local distillery and learn about some facts of the development of distillation in Russia.
One of the most beautiful towers of the "Necklace of the Russian Land" is "Thunder". It is also known by other names:
- «Topinskaya». Once in front of the tower was a marsh swamp, hence its name.
- "Tupinskaya". The tower forms an obtuse angle, perhaps this gave it such a name.
The first of the restored - "Thunder" tower of the Smolensk fortress was restored in its original form. Here you can see the unique interior of the tower, stroll along the steep stairs and admire the wooden dome from the inside.
The second tier of the tower occupies an exposition, which narrates about the construction and heroic defense of the fortress. Visitors are given the opportunity to come in contact with authentic antiquities of the 16th-17th centuries. Also in this place the model of the Smolensk fortress is exposed - the initial appearance of the Smolensk citadel with all the towers, loopholes, gates.
On the third tier "Gromovoy" there is an exhibition "Battle of Grunwald, 600 Years Later" with exhibits - reconstructions of armor and weapons of the soldiers of the Smolensk Principality, the Golden Horde, and others.
The fourth tier is an observation platform. Sometimes there are various demonstration performances of artists and concerts. This is what the Smolensk-Shield of Russia Museum looks like, located in the Thunder Tower of the Smolensk Fortress.
Tour of the Smolensk fortress must begin with the "Thunder" tower, as it is often held historical reconstruction, where you can see a wide feast, people in medieval clothes and Lithuanian soldiers.