TEXT 15. Read and translate the text. Answer the questions below. Speak on the topic.
Smolensk is one of the oldest cities in the Russian Federation. It was first mentioned in history in 863. Smolensk is situated on the Dnieper river. The city is located not far from Moscow and like Moscow it stands on seven hills. Smolensk is divided into three districts: Leninsky, Zadneprovsky and Promyshlenny. The population of the city is more than 320 thousand people.
Lots of events of Russian history are associated with the city. Some historians call Smolensk a key-town and it is and has always been of great strategic importance for the country. During the Second World War the city was almost completely ruined. Only seven per cent of its buildings were not destroyed. After the war it was restored. The symbol of Smolensk is Phoenix which is pictured on the coat-of-arms of the city. Smolensk is a Hero-city, the city of Russian bravery and military glory.
Nowadays Smolensk is the economic, financial, industrial and cultural centre of the Smolensk Region. Besides, it is one of the most beautiful cities in Russia.
Smolensk can boast numerous masterpieces of ancient Russian architecture. It is famous for the Fortress Wall, «the necklace of the Russian State», designed by Fyodor Kon. There are a lot of sights and monuments in Smolensk. The most impressive and best-known of them are the Assumption Cathedral, the Church of Peter and Paul, the monument with eagles, the monument in commemoration of 1812 battle, the monument to the great Russian field-marshal Kutuzov and to the great composer Glinka, etc.
A lot of outstanding people are connected with the Smolensk Region. Among them are Glinka, Isakovsky, Tvardovsky, Rylenkov, Konenkov, Gagarin and others. The people of Smolensk are proud of their countrymen.
Smolensk has some large enterprises such as Kristall, plants, producing measuring devices, electric bulbs, alcoholic drinks, etc.
Smolensk is a cultural and sporting centre of the Region. There is a Drama Theatre, many museums, art galleries and cinemas here. There are some stadiums, swimming pools, skating-rings and the Ice Palace in Smolensk. The city is full of shops, cafes, restaurants and clubs.
Smolensk is a city of students. There are many universities, institutes, gymnasiums and colleges here.
- What events of Russian history are associated with Smolensk?
- What is the symbol of the city?
- What sights is Smolensk famous for?
- What countrymen are the people of Smolensk proud of?
- What enterprises are there in the city?