Pskov, Russia

Pskov, Russia

According to WEDDINGINFASHION, Pskov is the administrative center of the Pskov region. The city is located in the north-west of the central part of Russia on the banks of the Velikaya River at its confluence with the Pskov River.

The first mention of Pskov dates back to 903, however, archaeological excavations indicate that the territory was already inhabited in the 6th century. The first inhabitants of these places were Krivichi. They founded a settlement on a high hill, which was limited by the Pskov and Velikaya rivers. Its advantageous geographical position – at the crossroads of important river routes, contributed to the development of trade. The first official records about Pskov in the Tale of Bygone Years refer to the wife of Prince Igor – Olga (in baptism – Elena), who was from Pskov. According to legend, it was under Olga, when she became the princess of Kyiv, that the fortified settlement became a city.

In the 10th-12th centuries, Pskov was part of the Old Russian state, as an integral part of the Novgorod land. However, the Pskovites always strived for independence, so by the 14th century they achieved some freedoms – the city governors were elected by the Pskov Veche from the Pskovites, and Novgorod did not have the right to judge the Pskovites. Officially, Pskov gained independence from Novgorod in 1348, after which the Pskov Veche Republic was created, which lasted until the beginning of the 16th century. In 1510 Pskov became part of the Russian state. The city was an important outpost, it was on the border with the hostile Livonian Order and Lithuania. The whole history of the medieval Pskov is a history of continuous wars, enemy raids, sieges and military campaigns.

In the 13th century, Pskov resisted the German knights, during the long months they besieged the city. On April 5, 1242, the legendary Battle of the Ice took place on Lake Peipsi under the leadership of Alexander Nevsky, as a result of which Pskovitself was recaptured, as well as Vod, Luga and Latygola. German knights disturbed Pskov until the collapse of the order in the 16th century, but the city was never captured by the enemy, so the Pskov fortress was considered one of the most powerful in Russia. The most important event in the military history of the Pskov land was the participation of the Pskovites in the Livonian War at the end of the 16th century. The war was fought for access to the Baltic Sea on international trade routes. The opponents of Russia were – first the Livonian Order, and after its collapse – Lithuania, Poland and Sweden.

In 1581-1582, the heroic defense of Pskov from the troops of the Polish king Stefan Batory took place with the participation of the governor Ivan Shuisky. The Pskovites not only repelled the blow, but also defeated the Commonwealth. Thus, the Livonian War was over in the former borders. In 1615 Pskov was besieged by the troops of the Swedish king Gustavus Adolf, but again managed to repel the blow. It is worth noting that, in addition to its defensive function, Pskov has been a major trading center since the end of the 15th century. The city established strong relations with the Hanseatic League, it intensively supplied its goods to Western Europe, and was also a major transfer point for goods to Russian cities and principalities, and to distant eastern countries. After the end of the Northern War, the borders of Russia expanded, and Pskov ceased to be an important border point and trade center. In 1777 Pskov became the center of the Pskov governorate. Agricultural production began to develop here, as the development of industry was hindered by the lack of minerals.

In Pskov in 1917, a historic event took place that turned the life of the country upside down – on March 2, Emperor Nicholas II abdicated the throne in the city.

The city was badly damaged during the Great Patriotic War. Today Pskov is a recognized tourist center – its heroic history is depicted in numerous museums and architectural monuments.

The historical part of the city is located at the confluence of the Pskov and Velikaya rivers on a narrow cape and is called Krom or the Pskov Kremlin. Its formation began in the 5th-6th centuries, and by the 16th century Krom, together with other fortified areas of the city, formed the Pskov fortress, which was considered one of the most powerful in Russia. It occupied the territory of Krom, Dovmontov, Sredny and Okolny cities and part of Zapskovye, its total area was 215 hectares. The Pskov fortress was surrounded by stone walls. The western wall stretched along the Velikaya River, the eastern one – along the Pskov River, from the south the third wall closed the territory of the Pskov fortress into an irregular triangle. More than 30 towers were erected along the walls of the fortress, about 20 towers have survived to this day. The main place of the ancient Kremlin was Veche Square, where the Pskov veche met. Now it is under a layer of earth. Holy Trinity Cathedral rises near Veche Square- one of the most important buildings of the ancient city, which is visible from almost all corners of Pskov and is a dominant in the city panorama. It is also called the “House of the Holy Trinity” or “Olga’s Temple”. According to legend, it was Princess Olga who ordered the construction of this temple in the middle of the 10th century. Ambassadors of foreign states were previously received in the cathedral, a people’s council met, the city’s treasury and documents of national importance were kept. The temple was rebuilt several times. The most outstanding was the third option – 1367. Then a grandiose one-domed temple was built, which included 25 thrones and had 32 roof slopes. The current cathedral was built in 1682-1699. This is a large five-domed white temple 72 m high. In the first tier of the cathedral there is a church in the name of St. Seraphim of Sarov. There is an iconostasis by the icon painter Archimandrite Zinon. In the Trinity Cathedral there are such shrines of the Orthodox world, as a gilded seven-tiered iconostasis (12-13 centuries) with the icons of the Holy Trinity, the Mother of God of Chir and the Mother of God of Tikhvin, the images of the Holy Blessed Prince Vsevolod-Gabriel and St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, the Holguin Cross, created in 1623, as well as the relics of Prince Dovmont, Blessed Nicholas Salos and Saint Prince Vsevolod-Gabriel. The people of Pskov especially revere the miraculous icon of the Chir Mother of God. It was brought here in a religious procession in 1420, in memory of the deliverance of the Pskovites from pestilence. Near the cathedral rises the bell tower of the 17th-19th centuries, which ends with a spire with a cross.

Pskov, Russia