The strength and power of the region's architecture is very impressive. Visitors are amazed by the heavy walls of the Pskov Krom and the Pskovo-Pechersky Monastery and the monumental churches dotted around the region. They contrast with the famous Pskov countryside; for example the Museum-Reserve of Alexander Pushkin "Mikhailovskoye".
Pskov was first mentioned in writing in 903, when Igor of Kiev married a local woman called Olga. However, according to archaeological research, Pskov appeared much earlier. This is a land full of history; Princess Olga was born here; Vladimir who Christianized Rus spent his childhood here; and the foundations of Russian democracy were laid on Veche Square.
When you visit Pskov Oblast, you are entering a place where the Teutonic Order was defeated; where the bloody Ivan IV the Terrible, just after destroying Novgorod, was shamed and brought to his senses by a holy fool; where Peter the Great built his own bastion; where Nicholas II abdicated fr om the Russian throne at the railway station with the stroke of a pen and brought to an end the era of the Russian Empire; and wh ere the Red Army was born in the battles of volunteers against the Kaiser's soldiers. Europe's best armies were regularly defeated under the powerful Pskov walls. By climbing to the top of the powerful Pskov and Izborsk towers, you can imagine yourself defending a medieval fort.
In the God-given caves of the Pskovo-Pechersky Monastery, rest coenobite and military relics, as well as relics of the famous statesmen and members of distinguished families. Philotheus of Pskov, the author of the concept of Moscow as the Third Rome, lived in the Yeleazarov Convent. In Pskov's monasteries and churches, you can see unique icons and frescoes of the Pskov School which, according to experts, stand out with their strong expression.
Lovers of food must try the "Royal" Pskov delicacy — smelt, a tender and wonderfully tasty fish that goes perfectly with beer. The Pskov smelt has long been considered to be a classic dish, it was served at the Royal table and supplied to other countries.
Pskov's museums contain exhibits that would honor the world's best museums. In the Pogankin Chambers, you can see exhibits that bring to life the fascinating times of Ancient Pskov, as well as collections of items from the revolution and Second World War and a beautiful art collection, including paintings by Vasily Tropinin, Karl Bryullov, Ivan Aivazovsky, Boris Grigoriev, Aristarkh Lentulov, Marc Chagall, Robert Falk, and Pyotr Ossovsky.
During the major military reconstructions, Battle on the Ice, Isaborg and Iron City, you can try out the amour of Russian and Teutonic knights, learn to shoot a bow and arrow and find out about the life of a blacksmith. At the All-Russian Maslenitsa festival, you can have fun and fill yourself up with pancakes. You can fly in a hot air balloon during the annual balloon festival in Velikye Luki. You can listen to famous artists at the Russian poetry festival in Pushkin Hills.Pskov Oblast has retained its original northern nature; blue fields of Pskov flax still grow and in autumn, the local forests show off their beauty. According to legend, if you drink from the Slovensky spring in Izborsk, you will strengthen your health and get an unprecedented blast of life force. Lake Alol and other lakes in Pustoshkinsky District are popular with fishermen, underwater hunters and photographers from all over Russia, while people who prefer a more peaceful rest can stay at the quiet and comfortable resorts and hotels on the banks of Chudskoe Lake.