Staritsa (Russian: Старица) is a town and the administrative center of Staritsky District of Tver Oblast, Russia, located on the Volga River, 77 kilometers (48 mi) from Tver. Population: 8,607 (2010 Census); 9,125 (2002 Census); 9,120 (1989 Census).
The town was established in 1297 under the name of Gorodok (Городо́к), lit. small town). In 1365, it was moved from the more elevated right to the lower left bank of the Volga River. The new settlement was called Novy Gorodok (Но́вый Городо́к, lit. new small town).
Since the 15th century, the town has been called Staritsa (lit. former river-bed). The name was misinterpreted by heraldists who represented on Staritsa’s coat of arms an image of aged nun, which is another meaning of the Russian word «staritsa». In 1485, the town fell under the Muscovy rule with the rest of the Principality of Tver. The Golden Age of the town began.
In the 15th century, the local principality was ruled by Ivan III’s son Andrey, and then by Andrey’s son Vladimir. While Ivan the Terrible had no children, Vladimir was regarded by boyars as his only heir. As the Tsar suspected Staritsa’s ruler of plotting against him, Vladimir and his children were forced to take poison. The opulence of Staritsa during Vladimir’s reign can be seen in the Assumption abbey.
In 1775, Staritsa became a center of an uyezd. From October 1941 till January 1942 the town was occupied by the German army.