Smolensk has played an important role in the history of Russia. Due to its location, it has been always serving as a shield for Moscow and has been protecting the capital from foes in dark times. For the first time the name of the city was mentioned in the chronicles in 863. From May, 1985 Smolensk has been being called “the hero-city”. Smolensk is the cultural centre of the Smolensk oblast. One can hardly manage to visit all tourist attractions situated in this ancient city within a week`s time. There are constructions in all kinds of styles. The diversity of local churches and civil buildings impresses. There are also incredibly beautiful parks, reserves, forests and lakes in Smolensk. This glorious city wins the heart of every tourist who has spent at least a couple of hours here.