[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]
Torzhok (Russian: Торжо́к) is a town in Tver Oblast, Russia, located on the Tvertsa River along the federal highway M10 and a branch of the Oktyabrskaya Railway division of the Russian Railways. The town is famous for its folk craft of goldwork embroidery. Population: 47,644 (2010 Census); 48,967 (2002 Census); 49,982 (1989 Census).
Torzhok was first mentioned in a chronicle in 1139. The Mongols burned it in 1238, but did not proceed northward to Novgorod. At that time, the town commanded the only route whereby grain was delivered to Novgorod. Once Torzhok blocked the route, a great shortage of grain and famine in Novgorod would follow. Consequently, Torzhok was known as a key to the Novgorod Republic and frequently changed hands during feudal internecine wars.
The town was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Moscow with the rest of the Novgorod Republic in 1478. The Polish army frequently ravaged it during the Time of Troubles. During the imperial period, Torzhok was known as an important post station on the highway from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Alexander Pushkin, for instance, used to pass through Torzhok on a number of occasions, and there is a museum dedicated to him in the town.
Torzhok was granted town status in 1775