Pskov Kremlin - Beginning of a City

The city of Pskov began with Pskov Kremlin so to understand the beginnings of Pskov you have to investigate this site. The mighty walls of the Pskov Kremlin were built on a rocky, now crumbling cliff, between the Velikaya and Pskova rivers. The high walls can bee seen from the rivers and the road to Dovmont’s town was the only side to the Pskov Kremlin that was not protected by water, and enemy forces always approached from this angle. The Pskov men then carved a moat out of the cliff on which the Kremlin stands, and joined it to the rivers to fill the moat with water. Even though the moat was extremely deep, the walls still rose approximately twenty meters above the water. Unfortunately, the wall has sunk half into the ground and does not portray the intimidating sight it used to.

There were two gates for entrance into the Pskov Kremlin. The main gate, Holy Gates or Tyomny Gates as they were called, had a bridge across the moat, namely the Great Bridge. These gates are still the main entrance into the Kremlin today. The Smerdi Gates and Smerdi Bridge were for use by the common people or peasants. Also located within the wall was a belfry, where the two bells of Trinity Cathedral hung. The belfry was originally built in 1393, but had to be rebuilt several times following. The bells were extremely important in the Pskov Kremlin, as they were used to summon the state council or to assemble all the people. A second wall was built to protect the main gates and many state prisoners were held in cellars within the second wall.

After entering the main gates, a narrow road leads you to the centre of the Pskov Kremlin, and the narrow passageway creates an emotion of anticipation and of expectation. The Trinity Cathedral forms the division of the Kremlin in two parts. The most important part is located on the south side of the Cathedral, where legislative authorities used to meet in the Pskov veche. Here decisions were made in regard to the law, wars, taxes, punishments and construction. Final conclusions were made by way of voting, and voting was done by the entire male population from the city. At times these meetings would result into massive fist fights with some districts not agreeing with another. The podiums that the elders or mayors used to sit on, was uncovered in 1978 – 1979 by Vasily Beletsky, who was undertaking an archeological expedition on behalf of the Hermitage Museum. Crime was taken very seriously within the Pskov Kremlin, with crimes such as treason, horse theft and robbery were punishable by death.

 



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Admin - 2009-09-30 06:01:19

To M Williams, Thank you for your interest in Russia.com. Please refer to paragraph two above, where the names of the entrance gates are given. Alternatively, we suggest you join the Russia.com forums and post your question where other forums members may be able to assist you.

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M WILLIAMS - 2009-09-28 13:07:05

Please can you tell me the name for the main entrance of The Kremlin Thank you

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