Population is over 200,000 people. Time: Moscow zone. Situated 265 km southwest of St.Petersburg Pskov is a pretty town with a long history. It was first chronicled in 903.

The central square.

The Rizhskaya hotel and the monument to Princess Olga who is much revered by locals.

The heart of the city is a riverside Kremlin with the beautiful Trinity Cathedral inside. The stone walls date from 13th century, the cathedral was built in 1699. Its gilded center dome as high as 28-storey building towers over the city and can be seen from 30 km away on a clear day. The cathedral has a large collection of bejeweled icons.

Views of the Kremlin.

The foundations of 12th-15th century churches at the Kremlin walls.

Across the river from the Kremlin you will find the UNESCO protected Cathedral of Transfiguration of the Savior whose 12th century frescoes survived the Mongolian invasion and devastation. 80% of what is seen today is carefully restored original.

UNESCO protected belfry and cathedral.

The chapel across the river adds beauty to the Kremlin view.


Located just 30 km west of modern day Pskov, Izborsk was already a town back in 862. Now it is a sleepy village around the ruins of the oldest stone fortress in Russia. The unrestored (before 2010) Izborsk fortress offered a unique photographic opportunity. Grass-grown walls and towers were open for exploration. Since 2010 the fortress has been under restoration. It looks cleaner and brighter but less authentic. Nevertheless, Izborsk is a not-to-be-missed place for a discerning traveler.

One tower has a viewing platform at the top.

Behind the fortress there are 12 springs flowing clean portable water from underground. Each spring bears a name of a virtue, that is Happiness, Love, etc.


Pechory is a small town close to the Estonian border. In spite of the closeness to the border travelers enjoy free access to the village. No special permit is required.

The place is famous for its monastery founded in 1473 by hermits living here in caves. A rare thing is that the monastery has been a working cloister ever since. Before WWII this territory belonged to Estonia. This fact saved the monastery from closure after the 1917 Russian revolution. Today visitors can listen to chimes of original 16th century bells and enjoy an elaborate landscape design.

Sites linked to Alexander Pushkin.

Another place worth to visit in Pskov oblast is the village of Mikhailovskoe – the family estate of Russian poet #1 Alexander Pushkin. He was born 1799, had African blood in his lineage. His great grandfather was an Ethiopian. Pushkin wrote everything: odes, sonnets, long poems, short stories, fairy tales, etc. His political views were not completely in line with the then tsarist regime. As a result he was exiled from Saint Petersburg three times. Once to his family estate at Mikhailovskoe, where he spent two productive years.

Pushkin was killed at a duel in February 1837 being just 37 years old. He was buried at the monastery near his family estate. Now the town is named Pushkinskie Gory, literally Pushkin Hills.

Pushkin’s grave.