Main Births etc
Kalinin (from 1931 to 1995)
—  City  —
Tver nikitin
Afanasi Nikitin Embankment
Flag of Tver
Coat of Arms of Tver (Tver oblast)
Coat of Arms of Tver Oblast

Tver is located in Russia
Red pog

Tver is located in Tver Oblast
Red pog
Coordinates: 56°51′45″N 35°55′27″E / 56.8625, 35.92417Coordinates: 56°51′45″N 35°55′27″E / 56.8625, 35.92417
Country Russia
Federal subject of Russia {Tver Oblast]]
Urban Okrug Tver Urban Okrug
Established 1135
 • Type Representative Body
 • Body City Duma
 • Mayor Vladimir Ivanovich Babichev
 • Total 152 km2 (59 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Total 403,700
 • Rank 46th
Time zone MSK (UTC+3)
Postal codes 17xxxx
Dialing code 4822

Tver (Russian: Тверь) is a city and the administrative center of Tver Oblast, Russia. Population: 403,700 (2010 Census preliminary results);408,903 (2002 Census);450,941 (1989 Census).[1] Tver, which is north of Moscow, was formerly the capital of a powerful medieval state and a model provincial town in the Russian Empire, with a population of 60,000 on January 14, 1913. It is situated at the confluence of the Volga and Tvertsa Rivers. The city was known as Kalinin (Кали́нин) from 1931 to 1990.

Medieval origins[]

The first written record of Tver is dated 1135. Originally a minor settlement of Novgorodian traders, it passed to the Grand Prince of Vladimir in 1209. In 1246, Aleksandr Nevsky granted it to his younger brother Yaroslav Yaroslavich, who descended from a dynasty of local princes. Four of them were killed by the Golden Horde and were proclaimed saints by the Russian Orthodox church.

Formerly a land of woods and bogs, the Tver principality was quickly transformed into one of the richest and most populous Russian states. As the area was hardly accessible for Tatar raids, there was a great influx of population from the recently devastated South. By the end of the century, it was ready to vie with Moscow for supremacy in Russia. Both Tver and Moscow were young cities, so the outcome of their rivalry was far from being certain.

Grand princedom[]

Mikhail of Tver, who ascended the throne of Vladimir in 1305, was one of the most beloved of medieval Russian rulers. His policy of open conflict with the Golden Horde led to his assassination there in 1318. His son Dmitry "the Terrible Eyes" succeeded him, and, concluding an alliance with the mighty Grand Duchy of Lithuania, managed to raise Tver's prestige even higher.

Exasperated by Dmitri's influence, Prince Ivan Kalita of Moscow engineered his murder by the Mongols in 1326. On hearing the news of this crime, the city revolted against the Horde. The Horde joined its forces with Muscovites and brutally repressed the rebellion. Many citizens were killed, enslaved, or deported. This was the fatal blow to Tver's pretensions for supremacy in Russia.

In the second half of the 14th century, Tver was further weakened by dynastic struggles between its princes. Two senior branches of the ruling house, those of Kashin and Kholmsky, asserted their claims to the grand ducal throne. The claimants were backed up by Moscow and eventually settled at the Moscow Kremlin court.

During the Great Feudal War in Muscovy, Tver once again rose to prominence and concluded defensive alliances with Lithuania, Novgorod, Byzantium, and the Golden Horde. Grand Prince Boris of Tver sent one of his men, Afanasiy Nikitin, to search for gold and diamonds as far as India. Nikitin's travelogue, describing his journey from 1466 to 1472, is probably the first ever firsthand account of India by a European. A monument to Nikitin was opened on the Volga embankment in 1955.

Tver depot and roundhouse

Tver railway depot and roundhouse, ca. 1860. Photo courtesy SMU.

Later history[]

At last, on September 12, 1485, the forces of Ivan the Great seized the city. The principality was given as an appanage to Ivan's grandson, only to be abolished several decades later. Last scions of the ruling dynasty were executed by Ivan the Terrible during the Oprichnina. At that turbulent time, Tver was ruled by Simeon Bekbulatovich, a former khan of Kasimov. The only remnant of his ephemeral reign is a graceful tent-like church in the village of Kushalino, 28 km north-east of Tver.

The city's decline was not irrevocable, however. With the foundation of St. Petersburg, Tver gained importance as a principal station on the highway (and later railway) from Moscow to St. Petersburg. It was much visited by Russian royalty and nobility travelling from the old capital to the new one and back.

Putevoy dvorets Tver

The royal palace in Tver

Following a great fire of 1763, the city was rebuilt in Neoclassical style. Under Catherine the Great, the downtown was thoroughly reconstructed. Crumbling medieval buildings were razed and replaced with imposing Neoclassical buildings. The most important of these are the Travel Palace of the Empress (designed by the celebrated Matvei Kazakov), and the Ascension church (designed by Prince Lvov and consecrated in 1813).

In 1931, the city was renamed Kalinin, after the Soviet leader Mikhail Kalinin who had been born nearby. A last vestige of the pre-Petrine epoch, the Saviour Cathedral, was blown up in 1936. In 1940 the NKVD executed more than 6,200 Polish policemen and prisoners of war from Ostashkov camp.

The Wehrmacht occupied Kalinin for two months in 1941, leaving the city in ashes. A large-scale resistance movement in the city and the region resulted in over 30,000 German soldiers and officers being killed during the occupation of the city. Kalinin was the first major city in Europe to be liberated from the Wehrmacht.

During the Cold War Kalinin was home to the air base Kryuchkovo, which is no longer in service. The historic name of Tver was restored in 1990.

Apart from the suburban White Trinity Church (1564), there are no ancient monuments left in Tver. The downtown is graced with Catharinian and Soviet edifices, bridges and embankments. Tver's most notable industries are a railroad car plant, opened in 1898, an excavator factory, and a glass making factory. Tver is home to Migalovo, which is one of Russia's biggest military airlift facilities.


Tver is home to Tver State University, the most highly rated university of the region. It is also home to the Tver State technical university, medical, and agricultural academies and more than 20 colleges and lyceums, branch campuses of some Moscow higher educational institutions and more than 50 high schools.

The Tver State Medical Academy is a medical school located in Tver, one of the largest and most reputable in Russia.

Tver also houses the Zhukov Air and Space Defence Academy the main college of the Voiska PVO

Tver also has around 50 secondary schools, a private school (lycee) and a Suvorov military school


Tver has four functioning Russian Orthodox cathedrals, fifteen Orthodox churches, a Catholic church, a mosque, and a synagogue.


Tver is on the main railway line and the main motorway linking Moscow and St Petersburg. There is a river boat terminal on the River Volga. Local public transport consists of buses, trolleybuses, trams, and suburban trains.


Zvezda tver

The Zvezda Cinema (1937) is the largest in Tver Oblast

Vlg shop

The first graffiti shop in Russia was opened in Tver City in 1992

Tver is home to:

  • Tver Oblast Academic Drama Theater
  • Tver State Youth Theater
  • Tver State Puppet Theater
  • Tver State philharmonic orchestra
  • Tver State Circus
  • The Tver Oblast Art Gallery
  • The Tver state Art architecture and Literature Museum


The city association football team, FC Volga Tver, plays in the Russian Second Division.

Notable natives[]

Razin embankment

Stepan Razin Embankment in Tver

  • Igor Aksyonov, footballer
  • Anastasia Dobromyslova, professional darts player
  • Vladimir Gardin - actor and film director
  • Ilya Kovalchuk, NHL professional hockey player
  • Mikhail Krug, singer
  • Miron Akimovich Ljubovsky, surgeon
  • Afanasy Nikitin, merchant and explorer
  • Boris Pugo, politician
  • Nadia Russo, pioneering aviatrix
  • Alexander Smirnov (figure skater) - ice skater
  • Andrei Tupolev, aircraft designer. Born in the region and went to school in Tver
  • Viktor Troicki, professional tennis player. Competitor for Serbia
  • Yuri Zhdanov , chemistry professor and husband of Svetlana Aliluyeva

Twin towns/sister cities[]

Tver is twinned with:


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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Tver. 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.