Average temperatures
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October+11 °C+3 °C
November+6 °C0 °C
December+2 °C-5 °C
January0 °C-9 °C
February+2 °C-8 °C




Pskov (Russian: Псков; IPA: [pskof], ancient Russian spelling "Плѣсковъ", Pleskov) is a city and the administrative center of Pskov Oblast, Russia, located about 20 kilometers (12 mi) east from the Estonian border, on the Velikaya River. Population: 203,279 (2010 Census); 202,780 (2002 Census); 203,789 (1989 Census).


View of the Pskov Kremlin from the Velikaya River in 2014

Early history

Pskov is one of the oldest cities in Russia. The name of the city, originally spelled "Pleskov", may be loosely translated as "[the town] of purling waters". Its earliest mention comes in 903, which records that Igor of Kiev married a local lady, St. Olga.[citation needed] Pskovians sometimes take this year as the city's foundation date, and in 2003 a great jubilee took place to celebrate Pskov's 1,100th anniversary.

The first prince of Pskov was Vladimir the Great's youngest son Sudislav. Once imprisoned by his brother Yaroslav, he was not released until the latter's death several decades later. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the town adhered politically to the Novgorod Republic. In 1241, it was taken by the Teutonic Knights, but Alexander Nevsky recaptured it several months later during a legendary campaign dramatized in Sergei Eisenstein's 1938 movie.

In order to secure their independence from the knights, the Pskovians elected a Lithuanian prince, named Daumantas, a Roman Catholic converted to Orthodox faith and known in Russia as Dovmont, as their military leader and prince in 1266. Having fortified the town, Daumantas routed the Teutonic Knights at Rakvere and overran much of Estonia. His remains and sword are preserved in the local kremlin, and the core of the citadel, erected by him, still bears the name of "Dovmont's town".

Krom (or Kremlin) in Pskov

Pskov Republic

By the 14th century, the town functioned as the capital of a de facto sovereign republic. Its most powerful force was the merchants who brought the town into the Hanseatic League. Pskov's independence was formally recognized by Novgorod in 1348. Several years later, the veche promulgated a law code (called the Pskov Charter), which was one of the principal sources of the all-Russian law code issued in 1497.

For Russia, the Pskov Republic was a bridge towards Europe; for Europe, it was a western outpost of Russia. The importance of the city made it the subject of numerous sieges throughout its history. The Pskov Krom (or Kremlin) withstood twenty-six sieges in the 15th century alone. At one point, five stone walls ringed it, making the city practically impregnable. A local school of icon-painting flourished, and the local masons were considered the best in Russia. Many peculiar features of Russian architecture were first introduced in Pskov.

Siege of Pskov by Stephen Báthory, by Karl Bryullov

Finally, in 1510, the city fell to Muscovite forces. The deportation of noble families to Moscow is a subject of Rimsky-Korsakov's opera Pskovityanka (1872). As the second largest city of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, Pskov still attracted enemy armies. Most famously, it withstood a prolonged siege by a 50,000-strong Polish army during the final stage of the Livonian War (1581–1582). The king of Poland Stephen Báthory undertook some thirty-one attacks to storm the city, which was defended mainly by civilians. Even after one of the city walls was broken, the Pskovians managed to fill the gap and repel the attack. "It's amazing how the city reminds me of Paris", wrote one of the Frenchmen present at Báthory's siege.

Modern history

Peter the Great's conquest of Estonia and Latvia during the Great Northern War in the early 18th century spelled the end of Pskov's traditional role as a vital border fortress and a key to Russia's interior. As a consequence, the city's importance and well-being declined dramatically, although it has served as a seat of separate Pskov Governorate since 1777.

During World War I, Pskov became the center of much activity behind the lines. It was at a railroad siding in Pskov, aboard the imperial train, that Tsar Nicholas II signed the manifesto announcing his abdication in March 1917, and after the Russo-German Brest-Litovsk Peace Conference (December 22, 1917 – March 3, 1918), the Imperial German Army invaded the area. Pskov was also occupied by the Estonian army between 25 May 1919 and 28 August 1919 during the Estonian War of Independence when Bułak-Bałachowicz became the military administrator of Pskov. He personally ceded most of his responsibilities to a democratically elected municipal duma and focused on both cultural and economical recovery of the war-impoverished city. He also put an end to censorship of press and allowed for creation of several socialist associations and newspapers.[citation needed]

Under Soviet government, large parts of the city were rebuilt, many ancient buildings, particularly churches, were demolished to give space for new constructions. During World War II, the medieval citadel provided little protection against modern artillery of Wehrmacht, and Pskov suffered substantial damage during the German occupation from July 9, 1941 until July 23, 1944. A huge portion of the population died during the war, and Pskov has since struggled to regain its traditional position as a major industrial and cultural center of Western Russia.

Landmarks and sights

Pskov Krom, view from the Velikaya River
The mid-12th century cathedral of St. John. Dozens of similar quaint little churches are scattered throughout Pskov.

Pskov still preserves much of its medieval walls, built from the 13th century on. Its medieval citadel is called either the Krom or the Kremlin. Within its walls rises the 256-foot (78 m)-tall Trinity Cathedral, founded in 1138 and rebuilt in the 1690s. The cathedral contains the tombs of saint princes Vsevolod (died in 1138) and Dovmont (died in 1299). Other ancient cathedrals adorn the Mirozhsky Monastery (completed by 1152), famous for its 12th-century frescoes, St. John's (completed by 1243), and the Snetogorsky monastery (built in 1310 and stucco-painted in 1313).

Pskov is exceedingly rich in tiny, squat, picturesque churches, dating mainly from the 15th and the 16th centuries. There are many dozens of them, the most notable being St. Basil's on the Hill (1413), St. Kozma and Demian's near the Bridge (1463), St. George's from the Downhill (1494), Assumption from the Ferryside (1444, 1521), and St. Nicholas' from Usokha (1536). The 17th-century residential architecture is represented by merchant mansions, such as the Salt House, the Pogankin Palace, and the Trubinsky mansion.

Among the sights in the vicinity of Pskov are Izborsk, a seat of Rurik's brother in the 9th century and one of the most formidable fortresses of medieval Russia; the Pskov Monastery of the Caves, the oldest continually functioning monastery in Russia and a magnet for pilgrims from all over the country; the 16th-century Krypetsky Monastery; Yelizarov Convent, which used to be a great cultural and literary center of medieval Russia; and Mikhaylovskoye, a family home of Alexander Pushkin where he wrote some of the best known lines in the Russian language. The national poet of Russia is buried in the ancient cloister at the Holy Mountains nearby. Unfortunately, the area presently has only a minimal tourist infrastructure, and the historic core of Pskov requires serious investments to realize its great tourist potential.


Photo (12)

Псков. Свято-Троицкий собор /  Pskov. Trinity CathedralВид на КромPskov: Nikolskaya ChurchНабережнаяПсков, КремльМстиславская башня Окольного городаPskov. Trinity CathedralЛетняя зима :)Винтовая лестница Ольгинского мостаАнастасьевская часовняНа площади Ленина, ПсковПсков

Video (1)

Street view


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17.09.2016 Mihail
Ancient town near St.-Petersburg. Good place for 1 day visit.
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02.08.2016 Lyubov??
Pleasant city
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23.07.2016 Sergej
 Not bad
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19.07.2016 Ilya
I live here)
25.12.2015 Khalida
Pleasant impressions about the city. Good people.
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20.06.2015 Dmitry
Go to eat at the cafe Jam on Oktyabrsky Avenue 27. Great food - Solyanka, okroshka, English Breakfast - oatmeal, toast with jam. Service at 5 +. Everything is clearly doing good music. And inexpensive.
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20.06.2015 Dmitry
A very beautiful city. With a rich history and a huge number of churches. The suburbs with broken roads, sometimes asphalt at all. The centre is neat and tidy. The Kremlin is a must to visit.
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04.02.2015 Andrey
City of childhood
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29.01.2015 Mike
Lovely little very ancient Russian city. The concentration of churches in the area, the largest in Russia. The city itself is enough for one day, then you need to go to wonderful places nearby.
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08.01.2015 Aleksandr
Convenient to spend the night traveling to Estonia.
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05.01.2015 Nataliya
The hospitality is priceless!!! A city with a broad mind!
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03.01.2015 Tatyana
The city administration!!! Have a conscience and engage in the city reduction in an order!!!
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29.08.2014 Natalia
Cozy town ?
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29.07.2014 Vyacheslav
The Monument To The Heroes Of The First World War. Bravo Pskov! Eternal Glory To The Heroes!!!
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11.01.2014 Vladimir
Come back and come back here again, after Moscow, Pskov always soothes me with its slowness! The beautiful ancient city!
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28.10.2013 Foursquare
Pskov — a city in Russia, administrative center of Pskov region and Pskov region. Located on the Velikaya river at the confluence with Pskovo in 743 km from Moscow. A population of 206 154 people. Founded in 903,
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17.08.2013 Paul
On the count of the city administration for such roads and shabby buildings!
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26.07.2013 Natalya?
Here the sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited from 21 to 10.
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26.07.2013 El_
Half way to Rus-Bel border -- about one sixth of the way to Odessa!!))) have a good holiday!
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24.07.2013 Oksana
Nice town,small,cozy and beautiful,though the road is not much,but still the impression is very good
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20.07.2013 Sofiya
Frogs on the road sorry :)
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07.07.2013 Lyudmila
The Rus restaurant-food and service not very. Mill café-not too much. Rosario restaurant-super. Tasty, nice service. .
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31.05.2013 Alina
The population of Pskov is approximately 207 thousand
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25.05.2013 borshc
Cozy town...But very neglected by the administration!!!
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12.05.2013 Sergey
Sad, but the Kremlin is!
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27.03.2013 Alexandra
Beautiful but cold in winter 
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20.03.2013 Maria
wonderful city!
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10.03.2013 Anastasiya
Pskov-homeland of Princess Olga! In terms of food.in Pskov there is a chamber 14 century! There are now 6 wards,including wine!A rich selection,average prices,but still very tasty!)
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31.10.2012 Alexey
Sometimes variegated, as in Poland.
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08.06.2012 Mikhail
Road-tough, the funding stopped near Smolensk...
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26.02.2012 Vadim
Pskov - a small town in the North-West of Russia
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09.01.2012 Irinig
To eat after 22.00 there is not easy! Yes, even coffee!
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01.01.2012 UltraRed
Constantly haunted by the feeling that you are Orthodox in Lithuania. In General, the city gives the impression of a city with great potential.
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08.11.2011 NeKakVse
Magnificent Russian city. Many attractions and museums. And, of course, the Trinity Cathedral and the Kremlin!
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