Aerial view of Pskov near the Kremlin
|Federal subject||Pskov Oblast|
|• Body||City Duma|
|• City Head||Ivan Tsetsersky|
|• Total||96 km2 (37 sq mi)|
|Elevation||45 m (148 ft)|
|• Estimate||210,501 (+3.6%)|
|• Rank||91st in 2010|
|• Density||2,100/km2 (5,500/sq mi)|
|• Subordinated to||City of Pskov|
|• Capital of||Pskov Oblast, Pskovsky District|
|• Urban okrug||Pskov Urban Okrug|
|• Capital of||Pskov Urban Okrug , Pskovsky Municipal District|
|Time zone|| UTC+3 (MSK |
|Dialing code(s)||+7 8112|
|City Day||July 23|
|Twin towns|| Neuss, Valmiera, Perth, Roanoke, Białystok, Gera, Nijmegen, Arles, Norrtälje Municipality, Daugavpils, Derbent |
Pskov (Russian :Псков,IPA: [pskof] (
Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.
Pskov Oblast is a federal subject of Russia, located in the west of the country. Its administrative center is the city of Pskov. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 673,423.
Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia, is a country in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland with Finland on the other side, to the west by the Baltic Sea with Sweden on the other side, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia (338.6 km). The territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea, covering a total area of 45,227 km2 (17,462 sq mi), water 2,839 km2 (1,096 sq mi), land area 42,388 km2 (16,366 sq mi), and is influenced by a humid continental climate. The official language of the country, Estonian, is the second-most-spoken Finnic language.
Pskov is one of the oldest cities in Russia. It served as the capital of the Pskov Republic and was a trading post of the Hanseatic League. Later it came under the control of the Grand Duchy of Moscow and the subsequent Russian Empire.
Pskov, known at various times as the Principality of Pskov or the Pskov Republic, was a medieval state on the south shore of Lake Pskov. The capital city, also named Pskov, was located at the southern end of the Peipus–Pskov Lake system at the southeast corner of Ugandi, about 150 miles (240 km) southwest of Nevanlinna, and 100 miles (160 km) west-southwest of Great Novgorod. It was originally known as Pleskov, and is now roughly equivalent geographically to the Pskov Oblast of Russia. It was a principality ca. 862–1230, after which it was joined to the Novgorod Republic. From 1348, Pleskov became again independent from Novgorod and established an aristocratic oligarchy.
The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns in Northwestern and Central Europe. Growing from a few North German towns in the late 1100s, the league came to dominate Baltic maritime trade for three centuries along the coasts of Northern Europe. Hansa territories stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages, and diminished slowly after 1450.
The Grand Duchy of Moscow, Muscovite Rus' or Grand Principality of Moscow was a Rus' principality of the Late Middle Ages centered around Moscow, and the predecessor state of the Tsardom of Russia in the early modern period.
Pskov is one of the oldest cities in Russia. The name of the city, originally Pleskov (historic Russian spelling Плѣсковъ, Plěskov), may be loosely translated as "[the town] of purling waters". It was historically known in English as Plescow. Its earliest mention comes in 903, which records that Igor of Kiev married a local lady, St. Olga.[ citation needed ] Pskovians sometimes take this year as the city's foundation date, and in 2003 a great jubilee took place to celebrate Pskov's 1,100th anniversary.
Igor I was a Varangian ruler of Kievan Rus' from 912 to 945.
Saint Olga was a regent of Kievan Rus' for her son Svyatoslav from 945 until 960. Due to the imperfect transliteration between Old East Slavic and the English language, the name Olga is synonymous with Olha. Because of her Varangian origin, she also is known in Old Norse as Saint Helga. She is known for her obliteration of the Drevlians, a tribe that had killed her husband Igor of Kiev. Even though it would be her grandson Vladimir that would convert the entire nation to Christianity, her efforts to spread Christianity through the Rus’ earned Olga veneration as a saint. She is venerated in the Russian Orthodox Church as apostle-like saints. Remembrance day in Russia is the 11th of July.
The first prince of Pskov was Vladimir the Great's youngest son Sudislav. Once imprisoned by his brother Yaroslav, he was not released until the latter's death several decades later. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the town adhered politically to the Novgorod Republic. In 1241, it was taken by the Teutonic Knights, but Alexander Nevsky recaptured it several months later during a legendary campaign dramatized in Sergei Eisenstein's 1938 movie Alexander Nevsky.
Vladimir the Great was a prince of Novgorod, grand Prince of Kiev, and ruler of Kievan Rus' from 980 to 1015.
Sudislav Vladimirovich was Prince of Pskov. He was imprisoned by his brother, Yaroslav the Wise, Grand Prince of Kiev in about 1035. He was liberated from the prison in 1059 and died as a monk in a monastery in Kiev in 1063.
Yaroslav I, Grand Prince of Rus', known as Yaroslav the Wise or Iaroslav the Wise was thrice grand prince of Veliky Novgorod and Kiev, uniting the two principalities for a time under his rule. Yaroslav's Christian name was George (Yuri) after Saint George.
In order to secure their independence from the knights, the Pskovians elected a Lithuanian prince, named Daumantas, a Roman Catholic converted to Orthodox faith and known in Russia as Dovmont, as their military leader and prince in 1266. Having fortified the town, Daumantas routed the Teutonic Knights at Rakvere and overran much of Estonia. His remains and sword are preserved in the local kremlin, and the core of the citadel, erected by him, still bears the name of "Dovmont's town".
Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. Lithuania is considered to be one of the Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, to the east of Sweden and Denmark. It is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast to the southwest. Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.8 million people as of 2019, and its capital and largest city is Vilnius. Other major cities are Kaunas and Klaipėda. Lithuanians are Baltic people. The official language, Lithuanian, is one of only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family, the other being Latvian.
Daumantas or Dovmont, was a Lithuanian princeling best remembered as a military leader of the Principality of Pskov between 1266 and 1299. During his term in office, Pskov became de facto independent from Novgorod.
The Battle of Wesenberg, Rakvere or Rakovor was a battle fought on February 18, 1268, between the combined forces of Danish Duchy of Estonia, Bishopric of Dorpat, Livonian branch of the Teutonic Knights and local Estonian militia on one side and the forces of Novgorod and Pskov, led by Dmitry of Pereslavl, on the other. Medieval accounts of the battle vary with both sides claiming victory, however the Livonian victory being more plausible as Novgorodian-Pskovian forces retreated out of Danish Estonia, with Livonian Knights launching a retaliatory attack on Izborsk and Pskov soon afterwards, in June 1269.
By the 14th century, the town functioned as the capital of a de facto sovereign republic. Its most powerful force was the merchants who brought the town into the Hanseatic League. Pskov's independence was formally recognized by Novgorod in 1348. Several years later, the veche promulgated a law code (called the Pskov Charter), which was one of the principal sources of the all-Russian law code issued in 1497.
Veche was a popular assembly in medieval Slavic countries.
The Pskov Judicial Charter was an Old Russian legal code of the Pskov Republic. It was issued in various redactions between 1397 and 1467, and was based on certain resolutions of the Pskovian city assembly or veche, princely decrees, provisions of the Russkaya Pravda and common law. It, along with the Novgorod Judicial Charter, was an important source for the Sudebnik of 1497.
The Sudebnik of 1497 was a collection of laws introduced by Ivan III in 1497. It played a big part in the centralisation of the Russian state, creation of the nationwide Russian Law and elimination of feudal division.
For Russia, the Pskov Republic was a bridge towards Europe; for Europe, it was a western outpost of Russia. Already in the 13th century German merchants were present in Zapskovye area of Pskov and the Hanseatic League had a trading post in the same area in the first half of 16th century which moved to Zavelichye after a fire in 1562.The wars with Livonian Order, Poland-Lithuania and Sweden interrupted the trade but it was maintained until the 17th century, with Swedish merchants gaining the upper hand eventually.
The importance of the city made it the subject of numerous sieges throughout its history. The Pskov Krom (or Kremlin) withstood twenty-six sieges in the 15th century alone. At one point, five stone walls ringed it, making the city practically impregnable. A local school of icon-painting flourished, and the local masons were considered the best in Russia. Many peculiar features of Russian architecture were first introduced in Pskov.
Finally, in 1510, the city fell to Muscovite forces.The deportation of noble families to Moscow under Ivan IV in 1570 is a subject of Rimsky-Korsakov's opera Pskovityanka (1872). As the second largest city of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, Pskov still attracted enemy armies. Most famously, it withstood a prolonged siege by a 50,000-strong Polish army during the final stage of the Livonian War (1581–1582). The king of Poland Stephen Báthory undertook some thirty-one attacks to storm the city, which was defended mainly by civilians. Even after one of the city walls was broken, the Pskovians managed to fill the gap and repel the attack. "It's amazing how the city reminds me of Paris", wrote one of the Frenchmen present at Báthory's siege.
Peter the Great's conquest of Estonia and Latvia during the Great Northern War in the early 18th century spelled the end of Pskov's traditional role as a vital border fortress and a key to Russia's interior. As a consequence, the city's importance and well-being declined dramatically, although it has served as a seat of separate Pskov Governorate since 1777.
During World War I, Pskov became the center of much activity behind the lines. It was at a railroad siding in Pskov, aboard the imperial train, that Tsar Nicholas II signed the manifesto announcing his abdication in March 1917, and after the Russo-German Brest-Litovsk Peace Conference (December 22, 1917 – March 3, 1918), the Imperial German Army invaded the area. Pskov was also occupied by the Estonian army between 25 May 1919 and 28 August 1919 during the Estonian War of Independence when Bułak-Bałachowicz became the military administrator of Pskov. He personally ceded most of his responsibilities to a democratically elected municipal duma and focused on both cultural and economical recovery of the war-impoverished city. He also put an end to censorship of press and allowed for creation of several socialist associations and newspapers.[ citation needed ]
Under the Soviet government, large parts of the city were rebuilt, many ancient buildings, particularly churches, were demolished to give space for new constructions. During World War II, the medieval citadel provided little protection against modern artillery of Wehrmacht, and Pskov suffered substantial damage during the German occupation from July 9, 1941 until July 23, 1944. A huge portion of the population died during the war, and Pskov has since struggled to regain its traditional position as a major industrial and cultural center of Western Russia.
Pskov is the administrative center of the oblast [ citation needed ] and, within the framework of administrative divisions, it also serves as the administrative center of Pskovsky District,[ citation needed ] even though it is not a part of it. As an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as the City of Pskov—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, the City of Pskov is incorporated as Pskov Urban Okrug.
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
The mid-12th-century cathedral of St. John. Dozens of similar quaint little churches are scattered throughout Pskov.
|Inscription||2019 (43rd Session)|
|Area||29.32 ha (72.5 acres)|
|Buffer zone||625.6 ha (1,546 acres)|
Pskov still preserves much of its medieval walls, built from the 13th century on. Its medieval citadel is called either the Krom or the Kremlin. Within its walls rises the 256-foot-tall (78 m) Trinity Cathedral, founded in 1138 and rebuilt in the 1690s. The cathedral contains the tombs of saint princes Vsevolod (died in 1138) and Dovmont (died in 1299). Other ancient cathedrals adorn the Mirozhsky Monastery (completed by 1152), famous for its 12th-century frescoes, St. John's (completed by 1243), and the Snetogorsky monastery (built in 1310 and stucco-painted in 1313).
Pskov is exceedingly rich in tiny, squat, picturesque churches, dating mainly from the 15th and the 16th centuries. There are many dozens of them, the most notable being St. Basil's on the Hill (1413), St. Kozma and Demian's near the Bridge (1463), St. George's from the Downhill (1494), Assumption from the Ferryside (1444, 1521), and St. Nicholas' from Usokha (1536). The 17th-century residential architecture is represented by merchant mansions, such as the Salt House, the Pogankin Palace, and the Trubinsky mansion.
Among the sights in the vicinity of Pskov are Izborsk, a seat of Rurik's brother in the 9th century and one of the most formidable fortresses of medieval Russia; the Pskov Monastery of the Caves, the oldest continually functioning monastery in Russia (founded in the mid-15th century) and a magnet for pilgrims from all over the country; the 16th-century Krypetsky Monastery; Yelizarov Convent, which used to be a great cultural and literary center of medieval Russia; and Mikhaylovskoye, a family home of Alexander Pushkin where he wrote some of the best known lines in the Russian language. The national poet of Russia is buried in the ancient cloister at the Holy Mountains nearby. Unfortunately, the area presently has only a minimal tourist infrastructure, and the historic core of Pskov requires serious investments to realize its great tourist potential.
On 7 July 2019, the Churches of the Pskov School of Architecture was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The climate of Pskov is humid continental (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with maritime influences due to the city's relative proximity to the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland; with relative soft (for Russia) but long winter (usually five months per year) and warm summer. Summer and fall have more precipitation than winter and spring.
|Climate data for Pskov|
|Record high °C (°F)||9.8|
|Average high °C (°F)||−2.7|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−5.1|
|Average low °C (°F)||−7.9|
|Record low °C (°F)||−40.6|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||35|
Pskov is twinned with the following cities:
Gdov is a town and the administrative center of Gdovsky District in Pskov Oblast, Russia, located on the Gdovka River, just 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) from its outflow into Lake Peipus. Population: 4,379 (2010 Census); 5,171 (2002 Census); 6,009 (1989 Census).
Velikiye Luki is a town in Pskov Oblast, Russia, located on the meandering Lovat River. It is the second largest town in Pskov Oblast; population: 98,778 (2010 Census); 104,979 (2002 Census); 113,745 (1989 Census). Velikiye Luki is a City of Military Glory, an honor bestowed on it because of the courage and heroism its citizens displayed during World War II.
Porkhov is a town and the administrative center of Porkhovsky District in Pskov Oblast, Russia, located on the Shelon River, 75 kilometers (47 mi) east of Pskov, the administrative center of the oblast. Population: 10,608 (2010 Census); 12,263 (2002 Census); 14,170 (1989 Census).
Ostrov is a town and the administrative center of Ostrovsky District in Pskov Oblast, Russia, located on the Velikaya River, 55 kilometers (34 mi) south of Pskov, the administrative center of the oblast. Population: 21,668 (2010 Census); 25,078 (2002 Census); 29,060 (1989 Census); 27,000 (1974).
Soligalich is a town and the administrative center of Soligalichsky District in Kostroma Oblast, Russia, located on the right bank of the Kostroma River. Population: 6,438 (2010 Census); 6,996 (2002 Census); 7,456 (1989 Census).
Pechory is a town and the administrative center of Pechorsky District in Pskov Oblast, Russia. Its population in the 2010 Census was 11,195, having fallen from 13,056 recorded in the 2002 Census and 11,935 in the 1989 Census. This population includes a few hundred ethnic Estonians.
Novorzhev is a town and the administrative center of Novorzhevsky District in Pskov Oblast, Russia, located on the Sorot River 144 kilometers (89 mi) southeast of Pskov, the administrative center of the oblast. Population: 3,695 (2010 Census); 4,125 (2002 Census); 5,050 (1989 Census).
Pustoshka is a town and the administrative center of Pustoshkinsky District in Pskov Oblast, Russia, located on the Krupeya River, 191 kilometers (119 mi) southeast of Pskov, the administrative center of the oblast. Population: 4,619 (2010 Census); 5,509 (2002 Census); 6,332 (1989 Census).
Strugi Krasnye is an urban locality and the administrative center of Strugo-Krasnensky District of Pskov Oblast, Russia, located 87 kilometers (54 mi) northeast of Pskov. Municipally, it is incorporated as Strugi Krasnye Urban Settlement, the only urban settlement in the district. Population: 8,447 (2010 Census); 8,762 (2002 Census); 7,067 (1989 Census).
Gdovsky District is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the twenty-four in Pskov Oblast, Russia. It is located in the northwest of the oblast and borders with Slantsevsky District of Leningrad Oblast in the north, Plyussky District in the east, Strugo-Krasnensky District in the southeast, and with Pskovsky District in the south. Lake Peipus forms the border with Estonia in the west. The area of the district is 3,400 square kilometers (1,300 sq mi). Its administrative center is the town of Gdov. Population: 12,792 (2010 Census); 17,715 ; 19,842 (1989 Census). The population of Gdov accounts for 34.2% of the district's total population.
Pechorsky District is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the twenty-four in Pskov Oblast, Russia. It is located in the northwest of the oblast and borders with Pskovsky District in the northwest, Palkinsky District in the southeast, Alūksne municipality of Latvia in the southwest, and with Võru and Põlva Counties of Estonia in the northwest. Lake Peipus limits the district from the north. The area of the district is 1,251 square kilometers (483 sq mi). Its administrative center is the town of Pechory. Population: 22,123 (2010 Census); 25,300 ; 27,199 (1989 Census). The population of Pechory accounts for 50.6% of the district's total population.
Plyussky District is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the twenty-four in Pskov Oblast, Russia. It is located in the northeast of the oblast and borders with Slantsevsky District of Leningrad Oblast in the north, Luzhsky District of Leningrad Oblast in the northeast, Shimsky District of Novgorod Oblast in the east, Strugo-Krasnensky District in the south, and with Gdovsky District in the west. The area of the district is 2,767 square kilometers (1,068 sq mi). Its administrative center is the urban locality of Plyussa. Population: 9,187 (2010 Census); 11,610 ; 13,988 (1989 Census). The population of Plyussa accounts for 37.6% of the district's total population.
Pskovsky District is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the twenty-four in Pskov Oblast, Russia. It is located in the northwest of the oblast and borders with Gdovsky District in the north, Strugo-Krasnensky District in the northeast, Porkhovsky District in the east, Ostrovsky District in the south, and with Palkinsky and Pechorsky Districts in the southwest. Lake Peipus forms the border with Estonia in the west. The area of the district is 3,600 square kilometers (1,400 sq mi). Its administrative center is the city of Pskov. Population: 34,323 (2010 Census); 37,216 ; 37,557 (1989 Census).
Pushkinogorsky District is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the twenty-four in Pskov Oblast, Russia. It is located in the center of the oblast and borders with Ostrovsky District in the north, Novorzhevsky District in the east, Opochetsky District in the south, and with Krasnogorodsky District in the west. The area of the district is 1,059 square kilometers (409 sq mi). Its administrative center is the urban locality of Pushkinskiye Gory. Population: 9,253 (2010 Census); 11,694 ; 13,566 (1989 Census). The population of Pushkinskiye Gory accounts for 56.4% of the district's total population.
Pytalovsky District is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the twenty-four in Pskov Oblast, Russia. It is located in the west of the oblast and borders with Palkinsky District in the north, Ostrovsky District in the east, Krasnogorodsky District in the south, and with Kārsava, Baltinava, and Viļaka municipalities of Latvia in the west. The area of the district is 1,111 square kilometers (429 sq mi). Its administrative center is the town of Pytalovo. Population: 12,083 (2010 Census); 14,853 ; 16,167 (1989 Census). The population of Pytalovo accounts for 48.2% of the district's total population.
Velizhsky District is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the twenty-five in Smolensk Oblast, Russia. It is located in the northwest of the oblast and borders with Vitebsk District, Vitebsk Region of Belarus in the west, Usvyatsky and Kunyinsky Districts of Pskov Oblast in the northwest, Zapadnodvinsky and Zharkovsky Districts of Tver Oblast in the northeast, Demidovsky District in the east, and with Rudnyansky District in the south. The area of the district is 1,473.19 square kilometers (568.80 sq mi). Its administrative center is the town of Velizh. Population: 12,248 ; 14,329 (2002 Census); 17,239 (1989 Census). The population of Velizh accounts for 62.2% of the district's total population.
Zaplyusye is an urban locality in Plyussky District of Pskov Oblast, Russia, located in the east of the district, right at the border with Leningrad Oblast. Municipally, it is incorporated as Zaplyusye Urban Settlement in Plyussky Municipal District, one of the two urban settlements in the district. Population: 1,096 (2010 Census); 1,393 (2002 Census); 1,887 (1989 Census).
Krasnogorodsk is an urban locality and the administrative center of Krasnogorodsky District of Pskov Oblast, Russia, located on the Sinyaya River south of Pskov. Municipally, it is incorporated as Krasnogorodsk Urban Settlement, the only urban settlement in the district. Population: 3,870 (2010 Census); 4,694 (2002 Census); 5,295 (1989 Census).
Pushkinskiye Gory is an urban locality and the administrative center of Pushkinogorsky District of Pskov Oblast, Russia. Municipally, it is incorporated as Pushkinogorye Urban Settlement, the only urban settlement in the district. Population: 5,222 (2010 Census); 6,089 (2002 Census); 7,067 (1989 Census).
Idritsa is an urban locality in Sebezhsky District of Pskov Oblast, Russia, located on the Idritsa River, a left tributary of the Velikaya River. Municipally, it is incorporated as Idritsa Urban Settlement, one of the three urban settlements in the district. Population: 4,988 (2010 Census); 5,784 (2002 Census); 5,485 (1989 Census).
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