If you visit the ancient Russian city Pskov, located in the Northwest Russia (about 700 km from Moscow and 200 km from St. Petersburg), you would probably be busy during the day time visiting its museums, monasteries and churches, enjoying unique Pskov religious architecture, old frescos, monuments, or tasting local cuisine. Then, the evening is an excellent time to slow down, relax and appreciate the harmony of nature, history and architecture in the heart of the city. The easiest way to do this is by going on a dreamy evening stroll around Pskov Kremlin.
Many old Russian cities have their kremlins (citadels). Almost all of them were rebuilt on the model of the Moscow Kremlin, but that's not the case with Pskov Kremlin. Built of local flagstone, it preserves its medieval appearance. The Pskov Kremlin is also called Pskov Krom. The word 'krom' derives from the obsolete word “end”. Pskov Krom stands at the end of the long and narrow semi-island, where two rivers Velikaya and Pskova meet. A small slip of ground between the tall rough wall of Kremlin and smooth water of the rivers is a favourite place of promenaders, cyclists and street musicians.
Having a stroll around the Kremlin, we are making a journey to the remote past. St. Olga Chapel across the river Velikaya reminds us of a story of Pskov creation. In 903, standing at this very place, Princess Olga got a vision of three rays of light and ordered to build a Trinity church and a city around it. Surrounded with water, it got the name Pleskov, "the city of purling waters".
Steep hill holding massive fortress walls, 30-meters high Kremlin towers, reminds us that in the middle ages, Pskov was a western outpost of Russia. The Pskov Kremlin withstood twenty-six sieges in the 15th century alone. Nowadays, the portcullis between the two towers, that was used for defending the Pskova River doesn’t exist. However, Ploskaya (Flat) and Vysokaya (High) towers still stand on the confluence of the rivers, like two unsleeping guards, fat and thin.
The Trinity Bridge across the Pskova River is one of the best photo spots in Pskov. From the bridge, you can see the Pskov Kremlin wall, the Trinity Cathedral, and the Bell Tower. In the evening, golden rays of sunset are reflected in the mirror waters of the river Pskova. They gild the old buildings on the embankment, and the river's nickname Zolotaya (Golden) becomes true.
You can prolong you stroll and go along the Pskova river through the Finsky Park (Finnish Park). Here you can sit on a bench listening sounds of a small waterfall, admire the picturesque view of the ruins of Gremyachaya Tower, and the old bakery hidden between lush vegetation and the white church of Cosmas and Damian on the hill. This place is one of the most scenic corners of the city. A legion of gulls and ducks trip over one another to get a piece of bread. You can also hire a rowboat or a pedal boat and enjoy the views of the town from the river.
The centre of Pskov, with its peaceful rivers, green parks, and architectural monuments, is the right place to relax after an active day of sightseeing. During the dreamy evening stroll around the Pskov Kremlin, you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the site, listen to street musicians, remember the history of the city, and take the best photos.
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