Pskov is an ancient Russian city located in the north-west of Russia close to Estonian border, on the Velikaya River. It is the capital of Pskov region. Pskov city is the regional center of economic and cultural activities. It has population of 207,400 people.
Pskov is a very ancient town. The city is believed to be founded in the X century or even earlier. It was first mentioned in chronicles in 903 and the year is considered the official foundation date. During XVI century the city was besieged by Polish army that failed to capture the city, although forced Russia to return other territories. In XVII-XVIII the city developed rapidly. Foreign commercial relations were always of special interest in Pskov. Pskov exported furs, wax, honey, tar, flax, leather, fat and grain and imported salt, herring, expensive cloth, wine and fruit. Arab silver drachm appeared in Pskov already in the IX-X centuries, and West European money came to Pskov in the XI and XII centuries.
Pskov suffered greatly during the World War II. On July 9, 1941, it was occupied by German forces and largely destroyed. The city was liberated only on July 23, 1944. After the war it was restored. Pskov is still surrounded by a number of solid city walls; at one point, it was ringed by five of these walls making the city practically impregnable. There is also the main fortress called Kremlin.
Economy and Transportation
Pskov is a center of trade in the northwest of Russia and has some international contacts (for example, the region has established partner relations with the region of Dalarna in Sweden). Exports include timber, peat, flax, linen, electric engines and generators, cables and wiring, clothing and footwear. Imports to Pskov include cereals, foodstuff, consumer goods, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers. Key investment areas are construction, transportation, tourism, agriculture, wood processing and food industry. The city has international airport, river port, railroad and bus connections. About 10 percent of all Russian export is shipped through Pskov each year.
The land of Pskov, one of the oldest seats of civilization in Russia, was throughout centuries guarding the country's northwestern borders and was one of the prominent centers of Russian culture. Pskov has rich history. There are several dozens churches, some dating back to the X century, ancient Kremlin and other wonderful pieces of architecture. It is still fortified by walls.
There are over 300 monuments of architecture of the XII-XX centuries that have been preserved to date. Spots of interest dating back to the X century include the Trinity Cathedral, the Pagankin Trade yard (civilian houses, merchant chambers), State Museum housing a collection of XII century icons and silver crafts, the tremendous Alexandr Nevsky Monument at the entrance to the city, the Mirozhsky Monastery with unique frescoes dating back to the XII century.
There are several places to see outside Pskov. For example, the town of Izborsk, which is older than Moscow and Pskov, located 32 km from Pskov city, is a truly unique place. Pushkin Hills is a place known by all lovers of classical Russian literature and admirers of Russian poet Pushkin.
In 2003 the city celebrated 1100 anniversary.