Pskovskaya oblast (Russia)
Velikiye Luki, Pskovskaya oblast’ (Russia)
According to Best Countries, the city of Velikiye Luki is located in the southeastern part of the Pskov region. It has been known since 1166. Velikiye Luki and its environs are associated with the names of many prominent Russian people. In the village of Polibino, the childhood of the famous Russian mathematician Sofya Vasilievna Kovalevskaya passed, the village of Stupino is the birthplace of the hero of the war of 1812, General Sergei Vasilyevich Nepeitsyn, the village of Pokarevo is the birthplace of the great travelers of the Laptev brothers, the village of Uspenskoye is the birthplace of the activists of the Narodnaya Volya party, the Karaulov brothers, and in In the graveyard of Klin, the future patriarch of Russia, St. Tikhon, was born. The Obelisk of Glory now stands on the site of the ancient Velikie Luki fortress.. It was erected in honor of the defenders of the city, who defended it from the Nazi invaders. The obelisk is a faceted column 26 m high. The obelisk is located on the highest point of the city – the ramparts. The events of the Great Patriotic War are immortalized in numerous monuments of the city, because the battles of 1942-1943 will forever remain in its history as one of the fiercest that have ever taken place on this earth. This is Stupinskaya Height, where the base of the German troops was located, and a monument to Private Alexander Matrosov, and a bust of Marshal K.K. Rokossovsky, and a monument to a soldier at the Fraternal Cemetery.
In addition to their heroic past, Velikiye Luki famous for the annual summer international aeronautics championship.
In the Kuninsky district, just south of the city of Velikiye Luki, in the village of Naumovo, there is a museum-reserve of M.P. Mussorgsky. Since the 17th century, the ancestors of the great composer lived here, and Mussorgsky himself was born in the Naumov estate. In the preserved manor interiors of the 19th century, in 1970, an exposition of the museum-reserve was opened, which tells about the life and work of the composer and about the life of landowners and peasants of the 19th century. In addition, the museum-reserve includes a picturesque park and Lake Zhizhecke.
Gdov, Pskovskaya oblast’ (Russia)
The city of Gdov is located in the very north of the Pskov region on the shores of Lake Peipsi, 125 km north of Pskov. The first mention of Gdov dates back to 1323, but its surroundings became known as early as 1242, when the legendary Battle of the Ice led by Alexander Nevsky took place not far from here near the present village of Kobylye Gorodishche. In 1992, in memory of this historical event, a monument to Alexander Nevsky was erected near the village.
In Gdov itself, the remains of an ancient defensive fortress – the Gdov Kremlin. It was built to protect the border areas between Russia and Livonia. The walls of the fortress were made of boulder stones and limestone and had a thickness of up to 4 m and a height of up to 8 m. Fragments of the southwestern, southeastern and northeastern parts of the Kremlin wall have survived to this day. On the site of the former towers and gates, earthen ramparts 4 to 6 m high now rise, which were poured under Peter I to strengthen the structures. Also on the territory of the Kremlin there is a cathedral in honor of the icon of the Sovereign Mother of God (end of the 20th century), built on the foundation of the temple of Demetrius of Thessalonica of the 16th century, destroyed during the Great Patriotic War. The cathedral was recreated as close as possible to the appearance of the lost temple.
The Gdov Museum of the History of the Region operates in the city. It is located in the building of a merchant’s mansion of the late 19th century. Here are materials on the history of the Gdov fortress and the history of the temple of Dmitry Solunsky, materials on the Battle of the Ice, and the life of the inhabitants of the Gdov district of past centuries is recreated. Trutnevo village is located 19 km from Gdov. In the local cave, according to legend, in the past, the Mother of God appeared with a baby in her arms and left her mark and the footprint of the baby on one of the stones that can be seen to this day. Since then, this place has been sacred and revered among the believing population. Every year a religious procession is held in the cave. The walls of the Trutnevskaya cave are filled with numerous inscriptions of pilgrims.