One day trip to Pskov
First mentioned in the Chronicles in 903 the ancient Pskov is attractive for the tourists for two main reasons: it has a lot of monuments of the ancient Russian culture and is located conveniently close to St.Petersburg, the Russia’s major tourist centre. Although the city can be easily accessed from St.Petersburg either by bus or by train, the present tour offers customers a rather exotic way of getting to Pskov by MI-8 helicopter, which has a specially designed passenger cabin and covers the way in an hour.
After break up of the ancient Russian state Kiev Rus’ into several independent principalities (12th century) Pskov became the part of the Novgorodian land. It remained a part of Novgorod\'s domain as a semi-independent principality, and the capital of the Republic of Pskov at the same time, until the end of the 15thcentury, when both Novgorod and Pskov were annexed by the mighty Moscow principality. During its long history Pskov played repeatedly the role of the Russia’s stronghold in the North-West. Besides defending the country from many invasions, it was also the city where Peter the Great started his glorious campaigns. With foundation of St.Petersburg Pskov lost its trading and commercial importance, but nevertheless stayed the important cultural and religious centre, witnessing many significant events, including abdication of the last Russian Emperor Nicolas II. The present-day Pskov is renowned for the numerous 11th - 17th century architectural monuments including the Kremlin and majestic Trinity Cathedral. Especially attractive are the old churches that dot the city. Among the other highlights of the tour are Pechorsky Monastery of Assumption and suburban town of Izborsk, one of the ten of the Russian oldest towns.
The program of the tour:
Arrival to Pskov (before noon). Traditional Russian “Bread & Salt” welcome (a sort of folk show). Sightseeing tour of the city including the Kremlin and the Trinity Cathedral. Walking tour of the Kremlin, showing the oldest stone structures of the city. Visiting the Cathedral of St.John and the Cathedral’s icon-painting workshop. During the visit a priest of the Cathedral will give to the tourists an insight into present-day life of the Russian Orthodox monasteries. After that the group proceeds to the town of Pechory for the tour of the famous local monastery. We stop on the way for lunch in the town of Izborsk. The walking tour of the Pechorsky Monastery of Assumption. The adjective Pechorsky indicates the monastery’s location and originates from the word, which is Russian for “the caves”. The monastery received its name because the first hermits lived and prayed in the caves dug by the monks on the site of the future cloister. Owing to their unique preserving qualities the caves were also used by the monks as burial chambers. The monastery was founded on August 15, 1473, when the first built-in-the cave Church of Assumption of Virgin Mary was consecrated. By the late 16thcentury, when several stone churches and the wall around the monastery were built, the architectural ensemble was mostly completed. We also visit the Caves of the Holy Mountain, the burial ground of the monks, defenders of the monastery and its benefactors. Return to St.Petersburg.
The price of the tour is quoted by request.