Smolensk fortress is a great architectural monument, it is considered the third longest in the world, after the Chinese and Constantinople fortresses. In former times, the fortress wall encircled the whole city. Today, a small part of it is preserved, because half was destroyed during the war in 1812. No excursion to our city is complete without a visit to the fortress wall, which, though partially, has survived to the present day and pleases the eyes of all residents and tourists of the city.
Throughout the history of Russia, Smolensk was the Western border of our country, had a crucial defensive value, which is why our city is called the"key city". It is important that the city was well fortified and difficult for the enemy. There is evidence that the first wooden fortress appeared in Smolensk in the XII century.
By the end of the XVI century, wooden fortresses were no longer considered reliable fortifications.
The stone Smolensk fortress was built very quickly, its construction lasted from 1596 to 1602. Haste was explained by the threat of attack of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with which truce came to the end in 1603.
The construction of the fortress in Smolensk was entrusted to the architect Fyodor Konya, who designed this magnificent fortification and supervised the construction of the fortress. Previously, he became the author of the Moscow White city. As a model for the Smolensk fortress, the architect chose the Moscow Kremlin, as well as the fortifications of some other Russian cities.
Six years after the start of construction, the impregnable fortress was built. Smolensk was surrounded by 38 towers, which were connected by six kilometers of powerful walls, whose height was 19 meters and width - 4.5 meters.
It is Striking that none of the towers is similar to the other, each had its own name. The shape and height of the towers depended on the relief of the place where it was built. In nine towers was provided by the gates through which you can come to the city. The main was considered as the Frolovskaya tower, and after it - Malkowska, opening the way to Kiev.
I Wonder what wall had a 3-tiered battle system. At the bottom of the installed gun and squeaked. But in the middle level of the established cannon, which the archers were raised by a special staircase. On the upper tier there are archers who shot from the knee and other weapons peculiar to those times.
Tower had different functions. They helped to observe the army, to fire at the walls, to protect the gates from strangers.
In 1609-1611 the fortress managed to detain the 20 thousandth army of the Polish king. Thus, the Russians gained time, and was able then to drive out of Moscow of the Polish interventionists.
in 1812, the fortress again played an important role in the history of Russia: the tar managed to detain Napoleon's army for two days. This time was enough for the Russian troops to unite and retreat in order to win glorious victories in the future. However, Napoleon's army during the retreat partially destroyed the fortress.
Types of modern Smolensk unthinkable without the city wall. In the heart of the city, near the Smolensk fortress, is a Square in memory of the Heroes. Such places of memory together with the buried army are located only near the Kremlin wall in Moscow and Smolensk.
In 1963 – the year of the 1100th anniversary of Smolensk-in the Smolensk fortress was immured message to descendants, which the inhabitants of the city printed, as expected, 50 years later – in 2013. In the same year, Smolyan wrote a new message to descendants, which should be printed in 2063.
Tar people know many legends related to the fortress wall. An interesting legend about the skull of a horse warrior mercury Smolensk, allegedly immured in the fortress. According to legend during the construction of the fortress of Tsar Boris Godunov cast a spell on those who will be closer to the city, and ordered to be immured in the fortress of the skull of a horse that belonged to the warrior who saved Smolensk from the Tatars.