Ermak Travel Guide

 

Pskov

Pskov

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transportation

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

Interesting information and useful tips

 

Description of Pskov

Pskov is a city (since 903) in the north-west of Russia, the administrative center of the Pskov region and the Pskov district. It forms the urban district of Pskov located on the Great River at its confluence with the Pskova River.

Pskov is one of the oldest cities in Russia, first mentioned in the Laurentian Chronicle under the year 903. In the years 1348-1510 - the capital of the independent Pskov Republic. In 1510 it was attached to the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Until the beginning of the 18th century, Pskov was one of the largest cities in Russia and Europe, the most important defensive and commercial center of the country. The Pskov fortress consisted of five fortress rings (three of which are preserved to this day), which made Pskov almost impregnable. Throughout its centuries-old history, Pskov has more than once become the center for conducting major hostilities, but was taken only once, not counting the occupation during both world wars. After the founding of St. Petersburg, Pskov lost its dominant position on the western frontiers of the country, and after the Northern War, the borders shifted far to the west and Riga and Revel (now Tallinn) moved away from Russia, the value of Pskov as a trading and defense center finally fell. During World War II, the city was occupied by Germany for three years, during which time 3.5 thousand civilians were killed. In December 2009, Pskov was awarded the title "City of Military Glory."

The population of the city - 210 501 people. (2018).

Pskov is an important tourist center of the Pskov region and northwest Russia. Trinity Cathedral, Pskov Fortress, Mirozhsky Monastery, Pogankin Chamber, a number of ancient churches of Pskov are included in the list of the cultural heritage of the Russian Federation. The city is also a major transportation hub, it is located at the intersection of railways and major highways. Developed a network of urban buses.

 

 

 

Destinations in Pskov

Pskov Krom (Pskov Kremlin). A citadel dating back to the Middle Ages. The site includes the so-called Dovmont's city, impressive remains of the 13th century Pskov excavated and turned into a sort of an open-air museum.
Pskov Museum, ul. Nekrasov. 7. Hosted in Pogankin's Palace, built in the late 17th centenary and was one of the largest stone buildings in the area. The museum hosts a large collection of silver, art and religious icons.
Trinity Cathedral (Троицкий собор) (Inside the Kremlin). Founded in 1138 and rebuilt in the 1690s.
Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour (Спасо-Преображенский собор Мирожского монастыря). A former cathedral and monastery now functioning as a museum. The 12th century Byzantine-style frescos depicting biblical scenes are among the few who survived the Mongol expansion into Eastern Europe. Adminnsion RUB200.
Pskov-Caves Monastery (Pskovo-Pechersky Monastery), ☎ +7 811 4822145. The oldest functioning monastery in Russia.

 

 

History of Pskov

Early history

Pskov is one of the oldest cities in Russia. The name of the city, originally Pleskov (historic Russian spelling Плѣсковъ, Plěskov), may be loosely translated as "[the town] of purling waters". It was historically known in English as Plescow. Its earliest mention comes in 903, which records that Igor of Kiev married a local lady, St. Olga. 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 Alexander Nevsky.

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".

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. Already in the 13th century German merchants were present in Zapskovye area of Pskov and the Hanseatic League had a trading post in the same area in the first half of 16th century which moved to Zavelichye after a fire in 1562. The wars with Livonian Order, Poland-Lithuania and Sweden interrupted the trade but it was maintained until the 17th century, with Swedish merchants gaining the upper hand eventually.

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.

Finally, in 1510, the city fell to Muscovite forces. The deportation of noble families to Moscow under Ivan IV in 1570 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
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 the press and allowed for the creation of several socialist associations and newspapers.

 

Under the 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.

 

 

 


 

Transportation

Get in
By plane
Pskov Airport (Аэропорт Псков) (PKV IATA) have flights from Moscow Domodedovo airport three days a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. As of August 2012 the lowest fare is 1800 RUB.

By train
From Saint Petersburg

There are daily long-distance trains departing from Saint Petersburg's Vitebskii Station to Pskov. Also there is a commuter train (elektrichka) departing from Baltiskii Station six days a week (no schedule on Tuesdays). The train departs at 7:25AM and arrives to Pskov at 11:30AM, this train usually has a lot of passengers so if you want to have a seat by the window (or any seat at all, for that matter) make sure to arrive beforehand. As of August 2012 the ticket costs 464 RUB.

From Moscow
A daily night train leaves Moscow each evening at 4:55PM from the Leningradsky station and arrives to Pskov the next day at 7:30AM.

From Luga
There are two daily commuter trains and also the commuter train and both long-distance trains from Saint Petersburg make a stop in Luga

From Minsk
A long-distance train departs from Minsk two times a week, on Monday and Thursday.

By bus
Bus station, 21 Vokzalnaya st. Direct connections available with Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Velikiy Novgorod, Smolensk, Kursk, Minsk, Vitebsk, Novopolotsk, Pinks, Tallin, Kiev, Odessa.

There are several daily bus routes from Saint Petersburg. The travel times given below are according to schedule, and of course they are subject to change due to road work and weather conditions.

From bus station №2 you can ride on one of the several long-distance buses which make a stop in Pskov. The cost of the ticket is 420 RUB as of August 2012. The travel time is around 5 hours and 20 minutes. This bus station is at Naberezhnaya Obvodnogo Kanala 36, close to Obvodny Kanal metro station.
There is a dedicated bus service between Saint Petersburg and Pskov run by a local company. Tickets must be booked in advance by phone call or through the web-site and the price is 500 RUB as of August 2012. The buses depart from Park Inn Pulkovskaya hotel, close to Moskovskaya metro station. The travel time is 4 hours.
Ecolines operates two routes to Pskov. The buses depart from Vitebskii train station, close to Pushkinskaya metro station, Ecolines office is located there as well. The travel time is around 5 hours.
There are 2 buses per day to Novgorod, 4hrs ride, costs 470 RUB.

By car
When driving, Pskov is along the M20-RUS.svg highway, linking Saint Petersburg with the border to Belarus.

 

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

 

 

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

 

 

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

 

 

Interesting information and useful tips

Consulates
Estonia Estonia (Pskov office of the General Consulate of Estonia), Narodnaya street, 25, ☎ +7 8112 725-380, fax: +7 (8112) 725-381, e-mail: Consulate.Pskov@mfa.ee.
Latvia Latvia, Narodnaya street, 25, ☎ +7 8112 720-237, +7 8112 741-052, fax: +7 (8112) 724-056, e-mail: consulate.pskov@mfa.gov.lv. Mon-Fri, 9-30AM - 4PM.
Netherlands Netherlands (Representation at the Consulate of Estonia), Narodnaya street, 25, ☎ +7 8112 725-380, fax: +7 (8112) 725-381, e-mail: Consulate.Pskov@mfa.ee.

Visa Centers
France Slovenia France and Slovenia (French and Slovenian visa service provided by the Consulate of Latvia), Narodnaya street, 25, ☎ +7 8112 720-237, +7 8112 741-052, fax: +7 (8112) 724-056, e-mail: consulate.pskov@mfa.gov.lv. Mon-Fri, 9-30AM - 4PM.

 

 

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