November 23, 2015

1356, 2066 RUSSIA (Pskov Oblast) - Great Pskov (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

2066 Pskov Kremlin

Posted on 13.12.2014, 23.11.2015
Located on the Velikaya River, about 20km east from the Estonian border, Pskov is one of the oldest cities in Russia, its earliest mention coming from 903, when  Igor of Kiev married a local lady, St. Olga. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the town adhered politically to the Novgorod Republic. In 1241 it was taken by the Teutonic Knights, but Alexander Nevsky recaptured it several months later. In order to secure their independence from the knights, in 1266 the Pskovians elected a Lithuanian prince, Daumantas (known in Russia as Dovmont), as military leader and prince. Having fortified the town (the core of the citadel, erected by him, still bears his name), Daumantas routed the Teutonic Knights at Rakvere and overran much of Estonia.

1356 Pskov Kremlin and Trinity Cathedral

By the 14th century, the town functioned as the capital of a de facto sovereign republic, mainly due to the merchants who brought it into the Hanseatic League. For Russia, it was a bridge towards Europe; and for Europe a western outpost of Russia. Importance of the city made it a subject of numerous sieges throughout its history (26 in the 15th century alone). A local school of icon-painting flourished, and local masons were considered the best in Russia. Many peculiar features of Russian architecture were first introduced in Pskov. In 1510 the city fell to Muscovite forces. As the second largest city of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, Pskov still attracted enemy armies. Peter the Great's conquest of Estonia and Latvia during the Great Northern War in the early 18th century spelled the end of Pskov's traditional role as a vital border fortress and a key to Russia's interior.

Even if under Soviet government many ancient buildings were demolished, and during WWII it suffered substantial damage, it still preserves much of its medieval walls, built from the 13th century. Its medieval citadel is called either the Krom or the Kremlin (in the postcard). Within its walls rises the 78m-tall Trinity Cathedral, founded in 1138, but destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries, last time in 1690 (in the postcard). The cathedral contains shrines to two 13th century heroes of Pskov, Ss Vsevolod-Gabriel (died in 1138), the first prince of Pskov, and Prince Dovmont (died in 1299). St. Dovmont’s tomb is in a separate chapel, over which his two-handed style sword is hung. The sword was used during coronations of the Pskov princes.

About the stamps
On the postcard 1356
The first stamp, depicting Kolomna Kremlin (2.50 RUB), is part of a series dedicated to Russian Kremlins, about which I wrote here.


The last stamp was issued on April 26, 2013 for Europa Stamps 2014, with the theme Musical instruments - national musical instruments.

On the postcard 2066
The first stamp, depicting even Pskov Kremlin (6.00 RUB), is part of a series dedicated to Russian Kremlins, about which I wrote here. The second stamp is part of a set of four, issued in 2004 to mark the 200 birth anniversary of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (1804-1857). Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka was the first Russian composer to gain wide recognition within his own country, and is often regarded as the fountainhead of Russian classical music. The set is part of the series Opera (end of series). The last stamp is also part of a set of four, Arts and Crafts of Russia - Ceramic Tiles from Yaroslavl, designed by H. Betredinova and issued on August 4, 2015, part of a series depicting Arts and Crafts of Russia.

References
Pskov - Wikipedia
Great Pskov - UNESCO official website
Trinity Cathedral (Pskov, Russia) - Orthodox Wiki

Sender 1356, 2066: Olga Dorogova
Sent from Pskov (Pskov Oblast / Russia), on 20.10.2014
Sent from Pskov (Pskov Oblast / Russia), on 12.11.2015

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