The town of Pskov is one of the oldest towns in Russia. It has numerous churches, chapels and monasteries. Some of them look like small fortresses as the town had to fight many invaders during its long history.

Pskov 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, Pskov kingdom joined Moscow state and became a part of Muscovite Russia.

During the reign of Ivan the Terrible, Pskov was sieged by the troops of the Polish king and Grand Duke of Lithuania Stephan Báthory. The citizens of the town courageously defended the fortress for many days.

In the 18th century, as the result of the successful war against Sweden, Russian borders were moved to the West. The fortress of Pskov lost its defensive significance and Pskov became just an ordinary provincial town.

Pskov was among the first Soviet towns occupied by the Germans in 1941, to be liberated only in 1944.

Today Pskov is the centre of Pskov 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.