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Pskov, Russia

Pskov - The Town of Purling Waters

Brief Facts Year of Founding: 903 Population: 202,780 Interesting Fact: In March 1917, the last Russian tsar abdicated his throne in this city.

The first historic mention of Pskov was in the wedding record of Igor of Kiev to St. Olga in 903. With a foundation in love and romance, how could this city be anything but enchanting?

Teetering on the border of Russia and Estonia, Pskov, like most Russian cities, has seen its share of war. One of its most important heroes was Dovmont, a Lithuanian prince who fortified the town in 1266. The 14th century found Pskov as the center of a young republic, seen by Europe as the westernmost Russian outpost. This position brought it dozens of attacks and sieges, rendering unspeakable damage to the city's relics and buildings. Eventually, though, the city and republic fell in 1510 to Muscovite forces.

Modern Pskov still provides a plethora of historic sites that have withstood the warfare. The city walls themselves date back to the 13th century, enduring attacks from the Muscovites, the Polish, the German, and other invaders. The Trinity Cathedral looms inside the medieval citadel, holding the tomb of Dovmont, the Lithuanian prince. In contrast, Pskov also boasts a number of small, quaint churches such as St. Basil's on the Hill, St. Nicholas's from Usokha, and St. George's from the Downhill. The Pskov Monastery of the Caves is a must-see; it is the oldest still-functioning monastery in Russia. And, for the literature lovers, the grave of Alexander Pushkin resides just outside the city.

Stroll through this historically rich city, bask in the reverence of its churches, or pay homage to one of the world's greatest poets. Welcome to Pskov!

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Pskov, Russia

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Pskov, Russia

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