—  City  —
Kremlin in Pskov 1
Kremlin (Krom) in Pskov
Flag of Pskov (Pskov oblast)
Coat of arms

Pskov is located in Pskov Oblast
Red pog
Coordinates: 57°49′N 28°20′E / 57.817, 28.333Coordinates: 57°49′N 28°20′E / 57.817, 28.333
Country Russia
Federal subject Pskov Oblast
Administrative Center of Pskov Urban Okrug
Urban Okrug
Established 903
 • Type Representative Body
 • Body City Duma
 • City Head Ivan Tsetsersky
 • Total 95.5 km2 (36.9 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Total 203,300
 • Rank 91st
Postal code 180xxx
Dialing code 8112

Pskov (Russian: Псков, ancient Russian spelling "Пльсковъ", Pleskov) is an ancient city and the administrative center of Pskov Oblast, Russia, located in the northwest of Russia about 20 kilometers (12 mi) east from the Estonian border, on the Velikaya River. Population: 203,300 (2010 Census);[1] 202,780 (2002 Census);[2] 203,789 (1989 Census).[3]

Early history[]

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. 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 St. Vladimir's younger 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.

Troizkiy cathedral (Pskov)

View of the Pskov kremlin from the Velikaya River.

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".

Pamyatnik Olge v Pskove

Statue of Princess Olga in Pskov by Zurab Tsereteli

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 and subject of numerous attacks throughout the history. Unbelievably, the kremlin (called by Pskovians the Krom) withstood 26 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 local masons were considered the best in Russia. Many peculiar features of Russian architecture were first introduced in Pskov.

BrullovKP OsadaPskovPolGTG

Siege of Pskov by Stefan Batory, by Karl Brullov.

Finally, in 1510, the city fell to Muscovite forces.[4] The deportation of noble families to Moscow is a subject of Rimsky-Korsakov's opera Pskovityanka (1872). As the second largest city of Muscovy, 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 Stefan Batory undertook some 31 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 Batory'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 capital of separate government since 1777. It was here that the last Russian tsar abdicated in March 1917.

During World War I, Pskov became the center of much activity behind the lines, 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 February 1919 and July 1919 during the Estonian War of Independence.

Sobor Ioanna Predtechi v Pskove XIIv

The mid-12th century cathedral of St. John. Dozens of similar quaint little churches are scattered throughout Pskov.

The medieval citadel provided little protection against modern artillery, and during World War II Pskov suffered substantial damage during the German occupation from July 9, 1941 until July 23, 1944. However, many ancient buildings, particularly churches, suffered destruction before the Wehrmacht could occupy the city. Though a huge portion of the population died during the war, Pskov has since struggled to regain its traditional position as a major industrial and cultural centre of Western Russia.

Landmarks and sights[]

Pskov still preserves much of its medieval walls, built from the 13th century on. The Krom, or medieval citadel, looks as impressive as ever. Within its walls rises the 256-foot-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 chambers, and the Trubinsky mansion.


A Russian coin commemorating Pskov's 1,100th anniversary

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; Elizarovo Monastery, which used to be a great cultural and literary centre of medieval Russia; and Mikhailovskoe, 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 very minimal tourist infrastructure, and the historic core of Pskov requires serious investments to realize its great tourist potential.

Pskov is served by Pskov Airport which was also used for military aviation.


The climate of Pskov is humid continental (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with maritime influences due to the city's relative proximity to the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland; with relative soft but long winter (usually 5 months per year) and warm summer. Summer and fall have more precipitation than winter and spring.

Climate data for Pskov
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 9.8
Average high °C (°F) −4.4
Average low °C (°F) −10.4
Record low °C (°F) −40.6
Precipitation mm (inches) 35


  • JSC "AVAR" (AvtoElectroArmatura). Electric equipment production for cars, lorries buses and tractors (relays, switches, fuses, electronic articles)

Notable people associated with Pskov[]

  • Sergei Fedorov, NHL and Russian hockey legend
  • Oksana Fedorova, Miss Universe 2002
  • Miihkali Antreinpoika Golitsin, governor in the 1680s
  • Konstantin Luzyanin, chemist
  • Modest Mussorgsky, Russian composer, was born in Velikie Luki, 270 km (167.77 mi) from Pskov
  • Isaac Kikoin, Soviet physicist and academic, one of the founders of the Kurchatov Atomic Energy Institute, which developed the first Soviet nuclear reactor in 1946
  • Veniamin Kaverin, a Soviet writer
  • Yury Tynyanov, a Soviet/Russian writer, literary critic, translator, scholar and screenwriter

International relations[]

Twin towns - Sister cities[]

Pskov is twinned with the following cities:[6]

Copyrighted photos[]


Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
  1. ^ "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1 [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1)]" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года (2010 All-Russia Population Census). Federal State Statistics Service. 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек [Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000]" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. May 21, 2004. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  3. ^ Demoscope Weekly (1989). "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров. [All Union Population Census of 1989. Present population of union and autonomous republics, autonomous oblasts and okrugs, krais, oblasts, districts, urban settlements, and villages serving as district administrative centers]" (in Russian). Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года (All-Union Population Census of 1989). Institute of Demographics of the State University—Higher School of Economics. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  4. ^ MacLean, Fitzroy (18 March 1979). Pskov: A Journey Into Russia's Past, The New York Times
  5. ^ "" (in Russian). Retrieved September 8, 2007. 
  6. ^ Города-побратимы (Twin cities). Краеведческий Архив Псковской области. Retrieved 2010-02-27.

External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Pskov. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

Organizations, places, or other things founded or established in the year 903.

See also: Disestablished in 903 (if any).

Category:Established in the 900s: 900-901-902-903-904-905-906-907-908-909