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THE HISTORY OF IZBORSK

Аниканова Татьяна Александровна
Учитель английского и испанского языков
ГБОУ СОШ № 263
Санкт-Петербург

Izborsk lies thirty kilometers to the west of Pskov and to the east of the Estonian border. It contains one of the most ancient and impressive fortresses of Western Russia. According to the Russian Primary Chronicle, the town was the seat of Rurik’s brother Truvor from 862-864. The next mention of the town in Slavonic chronicles dates back to 1233, when the place was captured by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword. Pskov moved the fortress to a more convenient site in 1302. The most ancient extant structure is the Tower Lukovka (literally, "Onion Tower"), constructed in 1330. At that time it was the only stone building west of Pskov and adjoined a wooden wall. After seven other stone towers and the new stone wall were completed, Lukovka became a watch-tower. The Nativity church within the fortress was built in the XVI century. Until the XV century the fortress stood many sieges, even enemies called it “The Iron Town”.
In 1510 Izborsk and Pskov were joined to Moscow. In the later 1500s Izborsk was a strategically important fortress which protected the northwest Russian borders from invasions. The fortress was supposed to be impregnable, that is why the seizure of it in 1569 by a small Lithuanian regiment was a shock to Ivan the Terrible. In 1581, during the siege of Pskov, Izborsk was captured by the Poles, but in 1582 it was given back to Russia. According to the Treaty of Tartu, the town was a part of Estonia from 1920 to early 1945. During the World War II – from August 1941 till August 1944 – Izborsk was occupied by Nazi Germany, but in January 1945 it became a free town of Pskovskaya Oblast of RSFSR.
Now Izborsk is a State historical-cultural and nature reserved tourist centre, well-known not only for its ancient fortress, but for “Slovenian keys” – 12 sacred springs of natural water.

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