Information about archeological complex Gnezdovo: history, geography and researchers

General information

The Gnezdovo archaeological complex is the largest archeological site form the Viking Age and the period of the formation of the Old Russian state. The complex is located on the both banks of the Dnieper River at 13 km west from Smolensk. History of the Gnezdovo settlement extends back to more than 1000 years. On the territory of Russia there are few such “centenarians” where the life continues since time immemorial to this day now flowering rapidly now fading.

The Gnezdovo archaeological complex is the largest archeological site form the Viking Age and the period of the formation of the Old Russian state. The complex is located on the both banks of the Dnieper River at 13 km west from Smolensk. History of the Gnezdovo settlement extends back to more than 1000 years. On the territory of Russia there are few such “centenarians” where the life continues since time immemorial to this day now flowering rapidly now fading.

The Gnezdovo archaeological complex is protected as a heritage site of a nationwide scale by the Resolution No1327 of the Russian Council of Ministers from 30.08.1960 and the Decision of the Smolensk Executive Committee No233 from 25.03.1961.

Blossom time of the settlement in the VIII - XI centuries.

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The blossom time of Gnezdovo was the X century when Gnezdovo became one of the most important centers on the “route from the Vikings to the Greeks …”. This route connected the North and South of Europe and was a kind of rod of the ancient Russian state which was under formation at the time. Gnezdovo is considered as the ancient Smolensk according the reference to the Russian Primary Chronicle under 862. Gnezdovo was mentioned also in the treatise “On the management of the empire” of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus under the name “Miliniska fortress”. Gnezdovo was a military base for a march of Prince Oleg “Prophetic” on Constantinople as well became a place of discovery of the first Slavic inscriptions.

 

History of settlement in the XII - XVII centuries.

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Gnezdovo had lost power as an early medieval settlement and existed as a feudal estate in the vicinity of the medieval Smolensk. It housed once a military camp of King Sigismund during the storm of Smolensk and was a location of the residence of the Polish Bishop Peter Parchevsky and noble nests landlords Cardo-Sysoev.

History of settlement in the XX - XXI centuries.

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During the second world war the village Gnezdovo witnessed the terrible events of the occupation, concentration camps, construction of a headquarter of the army group “Center” (“Bernhalle”), executions of young guerrillas and the tragedy of the destruction of villages and districts during the retreat of the German troops.