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One of the oldest cities in Russia, Smolensk was first mentioned in history in 863. It was a wealthy medieval walled city, and throughout history has been considered a desirable location - which has led to it being involved in numerous military invasions.
Today, Smolensk is known for its history, medieval city center, cathedral, architecture, and higher education.
People Born in Smolensk
Smolensk in People's Lives
Napoleon Bonaparte: After deciding, against most people's advice, to invade the Russian border, the enemy forces continually slipped away and drew us deeper into Russia. We met in battle here, at the Battle of Smolensk, in 1812. Although we won, the battle was small and inconclusive, leaving the Russians to simply withdraw and lure us further into Russian mainland.