I just thought I'd share some pictures of this beautiful city. Smolensk is one of the ancient cities of Russia. It is perhaps most famous in the west for its city wall and the battles in 1812 and 1941. I can't say this was a battlefield tour but there is a decent museum to The Great Patriotic War and many memorials around the city. The wall survives in 3 parts. Near the river Dnieper where one of the original bridges was (which is now a ruin). This is where I believe French forces attacked in 1812 to out flank the city. There is also another memorial at Ploshad Pobedy. This is a more solemn place as it was used as an execution site in The Great Patriotic War. The city had at least 1 Dulag (a supposed to be temporary POW camp) and the local population suffered greatly. It is also interesting to note that the man famed for being in the picture of the red banner above the Reichstag is buried in the Smolensk Wall. (for those familiar with the Kremlin Wall cemetery it is the same set up. Local heroes buried with memorials). I have uploaded some pictures. There are 2 images of the wall. The memorial with the plaque is to those executed at this site during the war and the other is a memorial to the soldiers from the city who died. The statue of a Deer has a fantastic story. It was made for the Kaiser who placed it on his estate in east Prussia. After the Nazi party came to power, the statue was owned by Herman Goering and was taken from his estate in a suburb of then Konigsburg. It was taken to Smolensk after the war. On a final note the local people are fantastic and the city is an fascinating mix of modern Russia, the USSR, and historic buildings thrown in. There is also a mammoth in the History Museum Please excuse if this is a ramble. It is late here and good sense would say do this tomorrow. But we can't all have good sense.