Vyazma (English)
Вязьма (Russian)
-  Town[1]  -
Вязьма, Ул. 25 октября, 10 1
In Vyazma
Coat of Arms of Vyazma (Smolensk oblast) (1780)
Flag of Vyazma (Smolensk oblast)
Coat of arms
Administrative status (as of February 2014)
Country Russia
Federal subject Smolensk Oblast[1]
Administrative district Vyazma Rayon[1]
Urban settlement Vyazma[1]
Administrative center of Vyazma Rayon,[1] Vyazemskoye Urban Settlement[1]
Municipal status (as of December 2011)
Municipal district Vyazma Municipal Rayon[2]
Urban settlement Vyazma Urban Settlement[2]
Administrative center of Vyazma Municipal Rayon,[2] Vyazma Urban Settlement[3]
Area (urban settlement) (February 2014) 48.58 km2 (18.76 sq mi)[1]
Population (2010 Census) 57,101 inhabitants[4]
Rank in 2010 288th
Density 1,175 /km2 (3,040 /sq mi)[5]
Time zone MSK (UTC+04:00)[6]
First mentioned 1230[7]
Postal code(s) 215110, 215111, 215113, 215116, 215118, 215119, 215125, 215129, 215169
Dialing code(s) +7 48131
Official website

Vyazma (Russian: Вя́зьма) is a town and the administrative center of Vyazma Rayon in Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Vyazma River, about halfway between Smolensk, the administrative center of the oblast, and Mozhaysk. Throughout its turbulent history, it defended western approaches to Moscow. Population: 57,101 (2010 Census);[4] 57,545 (2002 Census);[8] 59,022 (1989 Census);[9] 44,000 (1970).

Medieval history and monuments[]

Vyazma was first mentioned in a chronicle under the year of 1230,[7] although it is believed to be much older than that. The town was named after the river, whose name was from Russian word "вязь" (vyaz'), meaning "bog" or "swamp".[10] At the time, the town belonged to a lateral branch of the Rurikid House of Smolensk, and carried on a lively trade with Narva on the Gulf of Finland.[11] In 1403, the local princes were expelled by Lithuanians to Moscow, where they took the name of Princes Vyazemsky. The most notable among them were Pyotr Vyazemsky, an intimate friend of the poet Alexander Pushkin and a poet himself, and Sophie Viazemski, a French writer, for a time married to Jean-Luc Godard.

In 1494, Vyazma was captured by the Grand Duchy of Moscow and turned into a fortress, of which but a single tower remains. Two important abbeys were embellished with stone churches, including a rare three-tented church dedicated to Our Lady of Smolensk (Hodegetria) and consecrated in 1638 after Polish occupation between 1611 and 1634. A barbican church of the same abbey dates back to 1656, and the town's cathedral was completed by 1676. Other churches are designed mostly in baroque style.

Spasskaya tower Vyazma2

Spasskaya tower is the only tower left of the medieval Vyazma Kremlin.

Hodegetria church, Vyazma

Hodegetria church is one of three major three-tented churches in the world, the other two being in Uglich and Moscow.

Battles of Vyazma[]

Vyazma monument

Vyazma monument commemorating the Russian victory over Napoleon.

During the French invasion of Russia in 1812, there was a battle between the retreating French army (up to 37,000 troops) and the Russian army (25,000 men) near Vyazma on October 22, 1812. The vanguard of the Russian army under the command of Lieutenant General Mikhail Miloradovich and a Cossack unit of General Matvey Platov attacked the rearguard corps of Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davout east of Vyazma and cut off his retreat. Owing to the intervention of Eugène de Beauharnais and Józef Poniatowski, Davout managed to break through the Russian army's encirclement.

However, the French army's attempts to hold the heights near Vyazma and the town itself were unsuccessful. By the evening of October 22, Russians seized Vyazma, which had been set on fire by the French. The French lost 6,000 men during the battle; 2,500 soldiers were taken prisoners. The Russians lost around 2,000 men.

In 1941, during World War II, Vyazma was the scene of a battle of encirclement. Red Army units were trapped in the town after it was surrounded by the German Third and Fourth Panzer armies. Vyazma was occupied by German forces between 7 October 1941 and 12 March 1943. In October 1941, 11 Jews were shot in the town and two were hanged. In December 1941, 117 Jews were killed in a mass execution perpetrated by the Einsatzgruppe B.[12]

The town was heavily damaged in the fighting, then rebuilt after the war. U.S. journalist Quentin Reynolds, of Collier's Weekly, visited Vyazma shortly after the German withdrawal in 1943 and gave an account of the destruction in his book The Curtain Rises (1944), in which he stated that the town's population was reduced from 60,000 to 716, with only three buildings remaining. The Nazis also established two concentration camps in the town, Dulag 184 and Dulag 230. About 80,000 people died there and were buried in mass graves. The victims included Jews, political officers, and POWs.[13]

Administrative and municipal status[]

Within the framework of administrative divisions, Vyazma serves as the administrative center of Vyazemsky District.[1] As an administrative division, it is incorporated within Vyazemsky District as Vyazemskoye Urban Settlement.[1] As a municipal division, this administrative unit also has urban settlement status and is a part of Vyazemsky Municipal District.[2]


The town's main industries are engineering, leather working, graphite products, and flax textiles.


Esh 4290 Locomotive

Esh 4290 0-10-0 steam locomotive outside the Vyazma railway station.

Vyazma is a major railway junction, with connecting trains from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaluga, and Bryansk. It is also located near the main M1 Highway between Moscow and Minsk.

The town is served by the Vyazma Airport.


In terms of education Vyazma has branches of the Moscow State Industrial University, the Smolensk Humanitarian University, the International Academy of Tourism (WF RMAT), and the Moscow State University of Technology and Management, as well as the Vyazemsky Polytechnic College.


The town association football club, FK Vyazma, plays in the Amateur football league.

The town is known for the aviation-squadron Vyazma Russ which flies in Aero L-39 Albatros jet aircraft.

Notable people[]

  • Boris Almazov (1827–1876), poet, translator and literary critic
  • Sergei Davydov (born 1979), football player
  • Igor Korobov (1956–2018), chief of GRU
  • Anatoli Papanov (1922–1987), film and theater actor
  • Nikolai Plotnikov (1897–1979), film and theater actor
  • Vasily Stroganov (1858–1938), physician and scientist



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Resolution #261
  2. ^ a b c d Law #130-z
  3. ^ Template:OKTMO reference
  4. ^ a b "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1 [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1)]" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года (2010 All-Russia Population Census). Federal State Statistics Service. 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  5. ^ The value of density was calculated automatically by dividing the 2010 Census population by the area specified in the infobox. Please note that this value may not be accurate as the area specified in the infobox does not necessarily correspond to the area of the entity proper or is reported for the same year as the population.
  6. ^ Правительство Российской Федерации. Постановление №725 от 31 августа 2011 г. «О составе территорий, образующих каждую часовую зону, и порядке исчисления времени в часовых зонах, а также о признании утратившими силу отдельных Постановлений Правительства Российской Федерации». Вступил в силу по истечении 7 дней после дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Российская Газета", №197, 6 сентября 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Resolution #725 of August 31, 2011 On the Composition of the Territories Included into Each Time Zone and on the Procedures of Timekeeping in the Time Zones, as Well as on Abrogation of Several Resolutions of the Government of the Russian Federation. Effective as of after 7 days following the day of the official publication.).
  7. ^ a b Энциклопедия Города России. Moscow: Большая Российская Энциклопедия. 2003. pp. 99. ISBN 5-7107-7399-9. 
  8. ^ "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек [Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000]" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. May 21, 2004. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  9. ^ Demoscope Weekly (1989). "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров. [All Union Population Census of 1989. Present population of union and autonomous republics, autonomous oblasts and okrugs, krais, oblasts, districts, urban settlements, and villages serving as district administrative centers]" (in Russian). Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года (All-Union Population Census of 1989). Institute of Demographics of the State University—Higher School of Economics. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  10. ^ Е. М. Поспелов. "Географические названия мира". Москва, 1998, стр. 108.
  11. ^ Wikisource-logo One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. "Vyazma". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28. Cambridge University Press. p. 222. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ [1]


  • Template:RussiaAdmMunRef/smo/admlist
  • Template:RussiaAdmMunRef/smo/munlist/vyazemsky

Further reading[]

External links[]

Template:Smolensk Oblast

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