Porkhov — Wikipedia

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Porkhov (Russian: Порхов) is a town and the administrative center of Porkhovsky District of Pskov Oblast, Russia, located on the Shelon River, 75 kilometers (47 mi) east of Pskov. Population: 10,608 (2010 Census);[1] 12,263 (2002 Census);[2] 14,170 (1989 Census).[3]

The fortress of Porkhov is believed to have been founded in 1239 by Alexander Nevsky. The timber fortress was sacked by Algirdas (Olgierd) in 1356 and fell in flames in 1387. The Novgorod Republic immediately rebuilt its fortifications in limestone 1300 metres downstream. In 1428, Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas destroyed the western wall by artillery fire and entered Porkhov. Two years later, the Novgorodians augmented the fortress and rebuilt its walls. After the fall of Novgorod to the Muscovites in 1478, the fortress lost its military importance.[4]

Porkhov was the second most important town of Shelon pyatina, after Russa. It was not a significant economical center though; there were only 76 homesteads there in 15th century and almost all of them were peasant ones. [5]

The fortress consists of a well-preserved encircling wall; two towers, one of which is half-ruined; a diminutive church from 1412, and a museum of local history. Inside the fortress there are a great many trees and plants. The church of the Virgin’s Nativity, a remarkable monumental erection of the 14th century, was disfigured during the Soviet period (picture). Other landmarks include the Savior church (1670) and the church of St. Nicholas at Verkhny Most (1450).

Within 17 km from Porkhov, on the bank of the Shelon River, is the Neoclassical manor of Princes Gagarin at Kholomki. In the early 1920s, Kholomki hosted an art colony that was frequented by Korney Chukovsky, Vladislav Khodasevich, Yevgeny Zamyatin, and Mstislav Dobuzhinsky. Volyshevo, the former manor of the Stroganovs, is close at hand.

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