Pskov Region was founded in 1944. In 1957 it was joined by a large part of former Velikolukskaya Region. Now the territory is 55 300 sq. km. with 696 392 population. It is in the same time zone with Moscow.
Pskov Region is located in the north-west of Russia and is an integral subject of the Northwestern Federal District; however its location is unique from the political point of view. Besides internal borders with Tver, Leningrad, Smolensk and Novgorod Regions it also shares borders with three countries — Byelorussia, Latvia and Estonia.
The administrative centre of the Region is Pskov inhabited by 194 179 citizens. It is 689 km far from Moscow. The city can be reached both by railway and by car.
The first mentioning of Pskov dates back to 903, when prince Igor of Kiev was brought his fiancée — the future princess Olga — from Pskov. After that there appeared a legend that when Olga became princess she was traveling around her property and stopped on a bank of the Velikaya River to rest. All of a sudden she saw three rays of light that hit the stone cape right in the junction point of two rivers — Velikaya and Pskova. Olga was so impressed that decided to erect the Trinity Cathedral and a town in this very place. After her return to Kiev the Great Princess Olga sent a lot of silver and gold to support erection of the Cathedral and the town. Today you can see the Pskov Kremlin or the Krom — the oldest part of the city — in this very river scroll. This is the legend of foundation of Pskov and the first Trinity temple on the territory of Russia. Years later at the place where Olga saw the sign locals built a small chapel called Olginskaya (after Olga).
The climate of the region is moderately continental turning into the sea type — rather humid with Atlantic air masses making it mild. The weather of all seasons is unstable. Summers are humid and moderately warm and winters are mild. The winter average is —7-8C and summer + 17C.
Tourism potential of the Region is very high with increasing popularization of ecological tourism. Hilly areas of Pskov Region alternate with coniferous and mixed forests that cover a third of Pskovshina (Pskov territory) lands. Forests are rich with animals and birds. Here you could see beavers, martens, otters, minks as well as rare species that are registered in the Red Book — ospreys, black storks, ernes.
Pskov Region is called «the land of a thousand lakes» for a reason. There are 3500 lakes on the Region territory including the famous Chudskoe Lake with 30 rivers flowing into it and the Narva River taking source. Chudskoe is the third largest lake in Europe.
It is the place where the notorious Battle on the Ice broke out.
Many of the lakes are interconnected into lake systems by canals and rivulets providing a natural infrastructure for water and fishing tourism. Pskov Region waters are rich with valuable commercial fish species — breams, ciscoes, perch-pikes, whitefish, pikes and the famous burbot and European smelt.
Pskov Region has two reserves that have a significant meaning not only for Russia, but for the World in general. They are the Polistovsky Nature Reserve and the Sebezhsky National Park.
The Polistovsky Reserve is the home for 36 protected animal species, 121 bird species and 272 plants, including relic and endemic species. And the Sebezhsky National Park is not only the place to spot animals and birds, but also a source of healing springs.
Pskov Region can offer 8 healing mineral springs and curative mud sites along the Lunevo lake with health and recreation complexes and resorts like «Hilovo», «Chereha» and «Golubye Ozera» health resorts.
There is a village called Stariy Izborsk that is 30 km far from Pskov that welcomes guests to visit the Izborsk State History, Architecture and Natural Landscape Museum and Reserve. The Museum includes unique archaeological attractions and old Russian buildings. The Izborsk Fortress dd. the XIV century that exactly mirrors the shape of the hill underneath is in good shape to this day. Inside the Fortress you would see the St. Nicholas Cathedral erected in the XV century and a secret underground well, which was the only source of water during sieges.
On the Reserve territory you could also visit Truvorovo Gorodishche, Truvor’s Settlement, that later expanded to be the town of Izborsk, the Malsky monastery and Izborsko-Malskaya valley that is famous for wonder-working healing springs.
There is the Rimsky-Korsakov Museum and Reserve located in Plussky District in the north of Pskov Region. The Resort consists of two estates — Lubenska and Vechashi. It is exactly the place where the great composer wrote his world famous operas «Sadko», «The Tale of Tsar Saltan», «The Golden Cockerel» and «Christmas Eve». He also passed away here in 1908.
In august Sigovo village of Pechersky District of Pskov Region becomes the host of the International Folk Festival «Slovensky Springs» and the International Ethno Cultural Festival «Setomaa» of Seto nation. The Festivals can introduce you to the culture and the life of original Pskov Region dwellers. You could enjoy performances of folk ensembles and engage in re-enactment fights and try some national cuisine dishes.
Izborsk is the scenery for the Historical and Re-enactment Festival «Zhelezny Grad» (Metal Town). The Festival program includes infantry battles with dummy weapons, joisting with blade and shaft weaponry, equestrian joists, historical dress contests and medieval music concerts.
For more detailed information on the region, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.