Pskov (also spelled Pskow) located in the northwestern part of European Russia, is an administrative center and capital city of Pskov oblast. It is one of the most ancient Russian cities. Pskov is situated at the confluence of the Velikaya and the Pskova rivers.
There is an airport in the city but the only available flight is to/from Moscow (Domodedovo airport).
Pskov population is about 204,000 (2012); land area - 96 sq. km.
The phone code is +7 8112; postal codes - 180000-180xxx.
The original name of Pskov was “Pleskov” meaning “purling waters town”. First mentioning of the settlement comes from 903. Later, in 1241, it was captured by Teutonic knights. Several months later it was liberated by Alexander Nevsky. From the 14th century, sovereign Pskov Republic was functioning with capital in the city.
For hundreds of years Pskov Republic was a Russian connection with Europe. From European point of view it was Russian western outpost. That’s why Pskov was the subject of numerous attacks and sieges through all its history.
Only in the 15th century, Pskov citadel was besieged dozens of times. Pskov is a city where a lot of Russian architecture features were first time introduced.
The city was taken by Moscow state in 1510. That time it was the second largest city of Moscow state. Pskov was still an attraction of various attackers. The most known siege happened during the Livonian War in 1581-1582 when Polish army of about 50,000 soldiers were trying to capture city numerous times but without success.
Later, in the beginning of the 18th century, after Russian Tsar Peter the Great had captured Estonia and Latvia states, Pskov role as the border citadel of Russia ended. So the importance of the city reduced greatly.
During the World War II, Pskov fortress was useless against German army so the city was captured in 1941. During the occupation lasting from 1941 to 1944, the city was seriously damaged. A lot of ancient buildings were destroyed during the battles.
Pskov St. Alexander Nevsky Church
Pskov places of interest
Main attraction of Pskov is so called “Krom” - medieval citadel built in the 13th century. There is Trinity Cathedral dated 1138 inside. The city is also rich in various churches built in the 15-16th centuries. The architecture of the 17th century is presented by such merchant mansions as the Salt House and the Pogankin’s chambers.
The oldest functioning Russian monastery (Pskov Monastery of the Caves) is the place where pilgrims from all Russia are coming to. Also there are Krypetsky Monastery(the 16th century) and Elizarovo Monastery giving a lot of info about medieval Russia.
Among the other attractions of Pskov is famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin family nest - Mikhailovskoe. The body of the poet is buried in the Holy Mountains nearby.