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Introducing Smolensk

Set on the upper Dnepr River, this handsome city offers 16th-century fortress walls and towers to explore, onion-dome churches and well-landscaped parks. The highlight is the magnificent Assumption Cathedral, but art and music are also well represented in the home town of composer Mikhail Glinka and 19th-century arts patron Princess Maria Tenisheva, whose estate of Flyonovo makes for an interesting side trip.