In Smolensk, there are many sights and monuments dedicated to various events and people in the history of Russia. One of them is Readovsky Park, called by citizens just “Readovka”. The park combines a memorial complex dedicated to the victims of the fascist occupation of 1941-43, and an extensive forest park zone. A large park is a favorite place for walks and active recreation of Smolensk.
How many people wondered why the park was called "Readovsky"? Let's try to understand this in more detail.
The name of the park comes from the surname of an ancient noble family of the Scottish origin Red, which has a rather long and glorious history. This family has brought many benefits not only for Smolensk, but also took an active part in Russian military history: in particular, the Patriotic War of 1812 and the Crimean campaign of 1854-1856.
The founder of the clan, James Read, was from Scotland. In 1716 he accepted Russian citizenship and began to call himself Yakov Aleksandrovich. Sent to service in the Smolensk artillery garrison, and by 1720 became its captain. In 1743, for his zealous service by decree of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, Yakov Aleksandrovich was promoted to lieutenant colonel and sent to Vitebsk. But after some time, he again returned to Smolensk, where he acquired a estate on the banks of the Yasennaya River, which they began to call Readovka. Jacob had many sons and grandchildren, but most of all I would like to tell you about Nikolai Andreyevich Read. It was he who distinguished himself in significant Russian military events in the 19th century.
Nikolai Andreevich Read was born in 1792 in the village of Machuly, Elninsky district. He began his military career during the Patriotic War of 1812. The share of Nicholas fell and the defense of Smolensk, where he was in the cover of batteries. However, the battle of Borodino turned out to be the most significant in the career of the young Read, after which he was given the rank of major. Up to Paris, Read never left active units for one day, took part in all the battles, and as a result was awarded the Order of Saint George of the 4th degree. p>
After serving in the Caucasus, where Nikolai had to face the indomitable temper of the locals, Read was transferred to the Crimea by the commander of the 3rd Infantry Corps. Here he had to become a defender of Sevastopol. On August 4, 1855, in the battle on the Chernaya River, as a result of the premature indication to “start the battle,” Read opened artillery fire and began an attack, after which he was rejected by the French. During the attack over the head of Nicholas, who was following the battle, a grenade exploded. So ended the life of Nikolai Andreevich Read.
After 2 years, they founded the Readovsky Park, which still exists. Until 1960, in its place was the farm "Zelenostroy", whose main activity was aimed at growing and planting seedlings.
Since the 1960s, Readovka has become a place of rest for citizens. The area of the forest-park massif was increased, new alleys were planted.
On September 25, 1970, a memorial dedicated to the memory of Soviet soldiers, partisans and ordinary citizens who were victims of the invaders, who organized mass executions in nearby ravines, was opened in the central part of the Readovsky park. The complex consists of the Barrow of Immortality with the Eternal Flame at the foot and the monument to the Sorrowful Mother.
As part of the Barrow of Immortality - the land from the majority of mass graves in the territory of Smolensk. The mound is crowned with an observation deck with an 11-meter stele in the form of an open book, on which it is written: 1941-45. In the depths of the front of Kurgan is the Eternal Flame, behind which is a bas-relief depicting a warrior, a mother with a child, a partisan, a worker and a teenager. Above the bas-relief is the inscription: “People! As long as hearts are beating, - remember, at what price happiness is won, - please, remember! ”
The three-meter granite monument to the Grieving Mother is located just south of the mound - on the edge of the firing ravine.