Dukhovshchina, Russia

According to Electronicsencyclopedia, city of Dukhovshchina is located 50 km east of Demidov. In the 13th-14th centuries, there was a Duhovsky convent here, around which a trading settlement was formed. In 1985, a historical and art museum was opened in Dukhovshchina. The museum tells about the great natives of the city, among them – the favorite of Catherine II G.A. Potemkin, researcher P.K. Kozlov and scientist B.N. Petrov. In addition, it contains rich ethnographic material and collections of works by Dukhovshchina masters.

Not far from the northwestern border of the Smolensk region is the city of Velizh. It appeared in 1536 and became the main trade center on the way to Riga. Many monuments of the city were destroyed during the Great Patriotic War. The remains of the earthworks of the ancient fortress and several buildings of the 19th-20th centuries have survived to this day. Three such buildings housed the Velizh Regional Museum of History and Local Lore. The museum includes an archaeological exposition, a historical exposition, an artistic and ethnographic exposition, a military exposition and an exposition “Famous countrymen”. The military exposition is dedicated to the events of the Great Patriotic War and occupies a significant place in the museum fund. Vyazma is locatedĀ 175 km northeast of Smolensk. It is spread out on the banks of the Vyazma River. The first mentions of Vyazma belong to 1239. At that time, the fortress built here was the center of the Vyazemsky specific principality, which belonged to Prince Andrei Vladimirovich Dolgaya Ruka. Later, the Vyazemsky lands were annexed to the Principality of Smolensk, and the fortress became one of its main outposts. In 1403, the Lithuanians captured the principality, only in 1493 it was recaptured and annexed to the Grand Duchy of Moscow. During the Time of Troubles, the city was repeatedly attacked by the Poles, in connection with this, in 1632, a powerful fortress was erected in Vyazma, known as the Big Lower City. In 1654-1655, Vyazmatemporarily became the residence of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, who waited out the epidemic that broke out in Moscow here. For him in Vyazma the royal palace was built. In 1776, Vyazma became a county town of the Smolensk province. She stood on the Smolensk road, which connected Moscow with Europe, in connection with which Vyazma became a major trading center. In October 1812, near Vyazma, Russian troops dealt a crushing blow to the retreating army of Napoleon. Today Vyazma is a quiet regional town surrounded by picturesque nature.

From the buildings of the Vyazemsky Kremlin, only the Spasskaya Tower (end of the 17th century) has survived to this day. On the hill of the Upper Small Town of Vyazma, on the site of an old ruined cathedral, stands the Trinity Church, which is now the main cathedral of the city. Inside it, the remains of fresco painting and a carved iconostasis with the icon of the patroness of the city – the Iberian Mother of God, have been preserved. In Vyazma it is also worth going to the convent of John the Baptist of the early 16th century, where the oldest of the architectural monuments of Vyazma is located – the Church of the Icon of the Mother of God “Hodegetria” (1638). Other religious buildings of the city are also interesting – the Church of Peter and Paul (Georgievsky), built in the style of classicism, the Transfiguration Church (1736), and the Bogoroditskaya Church (1727), which today houses the Vyazemsky Museum of Local History. The museum occupies eight halls, which present collections on archeology, peasant clothes of the late 19th – early 20th centuries, various samovars, medals and coins, documents from the times of the Patriotic War of 1812 and the Great Patriotic War. There are several monuments to the heroes of the Patriotic War of 1812 in the city – this is the monument to the “Valiant Ancestors” at the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior and a monument to the Pernovsky regiment at the Church of the Mother of God. The monument to Lieutenant General M.G. reminds of the events of the Great Patriotic War. Efremov.

35 km northwest of Vyazma is the State Historical, Cultural and Natural Museum-Reserve of A.S. Griboyedov “Khmelita”. It was created in 1990 on the basis of the museum-estate of Alexander Sergeevich Griboyedov. The childhood and youth years of the famous playwright, poet and diplomat passed in this estate, most of his comedy “Woe from Wit” was written here. The museum-reserve includes the villages of Khmelita, Nikolskoye, Grigoryevskoye, Bogoroditskoye, Gorodok, Kostkino, ancient settlements and burial mounds, as well as Semenovskoye and Translivskoye swamps and the source of the Dnieper River.

To the north of Vyazma, about 60 km from it, is the city of Sychevka. The first mention of a settlement on the site of the current Sychevka dates back to 1488. The local history museum, founded in 1919, operates in the city. It is located in an old two-story brick building of the former merchant Kurbatov and has three departments – the pre-revolutionary period, the Great Patriotic War and nature. The museum’s funds include about 4 thousand exhibits that reflect the history of the city and its environs, tell about the fighting in the area during the Great Patriotic War, and also acquaint visitors with the nature of the region.

In the north-east of the Smolensk region, 239 km from Smolensk, on the banks of the Gzhat River, stands the city of Gagarin. . At the beginning of the 18th century, there was a trading village here. In 1718, under Catherine II, a transshipment pier was formed on the site of the village, and in 1776 it received the status of a city, which was named Gzhatsk. In 1968, the city was renamed Gagarin in honor of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who was born in the nearby village of Klushino in 1934. The main attraction of Gagarin is the united memorial museum of YA Gagarin. This is the only museum of its kind dedicated to the first cosmonaut and the history of the region. It unites the house of Yu.A. Gagarin, house-museum of Yu.A. Gagarin, the house-museum of the Gagarin family, the Annunciation Cathedral of the late 19th century, built in the neo-Russian style, the Church of the Sorrowful Mother of God of the mid-18th century, the Tikhvin Church of the mid-19th century and a dugout in the village of Klushino. Also at the museum there is a center of folk crafts, where folklore holidays are held annually. The city keeps the memory of the famous countryman – in 1971, a monument to Yu.A. Gagarin.

25 km north of Gagarin in the village of Samuilovo is the former estate of Prince A.A. Golitsyn, late 18th century. The palace and outbuildings have been restored in the estate.

Dukhovshchina, Russia

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