The town of Pskov is one of the oldest towns in Russia. One can observe different stone structures including churches, chapels and monasteries. Some of them look like small fortresses as the town had to fight many invaders during its long history.
Pskov was first mentioned in the chronicles in 903. According to the legend Prince Igor, the son of the great Prince Ryurik, met his future wife Princess Olga on the banks of the river Velikaya. They founded a settlement there and since then the city of Pskov started to develop. It served as a far post to protect the western borders of Russia.
Pskov kingdom together with Novgorod kingdom fought against Livonian Knights and Swedes, who tried to conquer this land many times. A lot of battles took place in the 13th century. The most famous ones were the battle on Lake Chudskoye (Lake Peipsi) in 1242 and the battle of 1299 near the fortress of Pskov.
Later in the 14th century Pskov kingdom became an independent state and they invited their own prince to rule. in 1510 after the Mongol-Tatar yoke, which lasted for about 300 years, Pskov kingdom joined Moscow state and became a part of united Russia. At the times of Ivan the Terrible Pskov again played a significant role in the Livonian war, when the citizens of the town courageously protected the fortress for many days.
In the 18th century after the Northern war against Sweden the western borders of Russia were moved. The fortress of Pskov lost its significance as a protective post of Russia. It was reconstructed at the command of Peter the Great and Pskov became an ordinary provincial town.
At the beginning of the 20th century in the course of 20 years the Pskov Land was a border zone, which resulted in the placement of considerable army numbers and the establishment of fortified border outposts on its territory. Tower of the Pskov Kremlin During the Great Patriotic War (WWII) Pskov was one of the first territories which met the enemy. It was occupied by German troops for several years. The liberation of the region started in August, 1944.
Today Pskov is the centre of the region. The population of the city is about 200 000 people. It is an important railway and motorway junction in the north-western part of Russia. The main branches of industry are machine-building, textile and food industries as well as production of construction materials.
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