The City & It's History
Tver is an important regional seat. It lies on the Upper Volga and is also an ancient trading port. Called Kalinin from 1931 to 1990, after Mikhail Kalinin, the president of the Soviet Union from 1919 to 1946, its name has now reverted back to the pre-Revolutionary Tver.
Throughout the 14th and 15th centuries Tver competed with Moscow for leadership in association of Russian territory. In the Middle Ages, Tver was one of the main centers of craft manufacture and international trade in Russia. Skilled builders, gun makers, and painters glorified the city. The parameter of breadth of foreign economic relations of Tver was well-known by traveler and merchant Afansiy Nikitin. His journey to India was the first of the European ships that had visited that country. During all its history, Tver's strengths were tested by attacks of Tatars, pogroms and fires.
The biggest fire in 1763 almost destroyed the city. Because of a strong wind, in a total of 4 hours, fire engulfed the whole city; it destroyed the ancient Kremlin, about a thousand houses and a lot of churches. The disaster which overtook the city, was so awful, that Empress Ekaterina the Second issued a decree on restoration of the city. Besides, Tver stood on the main transport highway connecting Moscow and Saint Petersburg; all trading routes between the two largest cities in Russia passed through Tver. The best architects of that time who were engaged in construction of houses in Saint Petersburg and Moscow were involved in work on the restoration of Tver. The new layout and new buildings of the city completely changed Tver. We have a saying, " Tver - small town - St. Petersburg corner ." The heart of the city was the Moscow-Petersburg highway (today called Sovietskaya Street), from which two avenues fanned out left and right. The Sovietskaya crosses three squares: the Pushkinskaya, the Pochtovaya, and Lenin Square. The last is octagonal.
The English traveler Cox, who visited Tver during the 80th years of the 17th century, in his travel notes he called the city majestic, and asserted that it will not concede to many West-European cities. The few monasteries and churches that survived in Tver, now serve as ornaments for the city; the most ancient the church constructed in 1564.
Tver Region is situated in the north-western part of Russia, between the two capitals Moscow & St.Petersburg. It is known for its beautiful lakes and rivers. Lake Seliger is the largest among them. The great river Volga starts its beginning in our region too.
Everything in Tver is connected with the Volga and its tributaries - the Tmaka & the Tvertsa, after which the city was named. Though some historians think, that its name comes from the Russian word "tverd", meaning a fortress. The banks of the river are very picturesque. Its wonderful scenery attracts a lot of tourists.
The largest city in our region is ancient Tver. It is worth sightseeing. The city stretches along both banks of the river Volga. The river is the city's soul and history.
Tver is an ancient city founded by the Novgorod people. It was first mentioned in the Russian chronicles in 1208. Tver was a wooden city and its buildings have not been preserved up to this time. Many of them were either burned down during the great fire in 1763 or destroyed later. The oldest building in the city is the White Trinity Church dating back to the 16th century, 1564. There are three more churches of different religions. But the White Trinity Church (founded in 1563-64 and built by Tushinsky during the reign of Ivan the Terrible) is still standing. The Transfiguration Cathedral, late-17th century and following the pattern of the Uspensky Cathedral in Moscow, has also survived; the belfry, dating from the middle of the 18th century, recalls that of the Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery in Sergiyev Posad.
The most impressive sight in Tver is the Putevoy Palace, that was designed by the famous architects Matvey Kazakox & Carlo Rossi in the 18-19th centuries. Today the palace houses a Picture Gallery. It contains a rich collection of Russian paintings. Portraits by outstanding masters Rocotov, Antropov, Borovikovsky are on display. Visitors are usually delighted with portraits of peasants by the Tver artist Venetsianov. There are many other museums in our city. Visitors like to go to the Museum of Local Lore. Its collections tell us stories about the history of our region. The Museum of Tver life is worth visiting too. The Stepan Razin Embankment is an architectural sanctuary, dating back to the 18th century.
Many famous people either visited or lived in our city. Now we can see monuments to the famous fabulist Krylov and writers Saltykov & Shchedrin. Shchedrin worked here as deputy governor of Tver in 1860-62, gathering material for several of his satirical works. Krylov spent his childhood in Tver. The greatest Russian poet Pushkin stayed more than 20 times in Tver in the famous Galyany Hotel. There are 2 fine monuments to Pushkin in our city. Ostrovsky, the Russian dramatist, lived here in 1856; in 1859, Dostoyevsky spent a few months at No. 1 Pushkin Street.
Among the town's outstanding architectural features are the Putyevoi Dvorets, the seat of the Municipal Council (built 1770-80), the building of the city Party Committee (formerly the Noblemen's Diet, 1766-70) and the Youth Theater (1786, originally a school). The Putyevoi Dvorets on Sovietskaya Street was erected as a palace for Catherine 2nd so that she could take a break on her journeys between Moscow and St. Petersburg. It was built by Kazakov in 1763-75; Rossi redesigned it in 1809. The Church of the Ascension (1813, designed by Lvov) today houses the local museum.
But the monument to Afanasy Nikitin is the most original. It is another symbol of Tver. Afanasy Nikitin was a Tver merchant. He was the first European man to visit India. His name is dear to every Russian man.
Tver people were the first to rise against the Tartars. But the rising was stained with blood. The Tver Prince, Michail Tverskoy, rallied the Tver warriors to fight against the tartar yoke. He perished in captivity but he saved Tver people from the tartar raid. The monument to Prince Michail Tverskoy is on the right bank of the river Volga in our city park.
The old established Tver industries are textile and heavy machinery. Tver plants produce railway carriages, excavators, synthetic fibers & thread, food products & drinks. In the last few decades, Tver became one of the largest centres for the Russian printing industry. It produces books on fine arts, encyclopaedic publications, postcards, magazines, school textbooks & literature for children.
In Tver Region we cultivate flax, rye, and wheat.
Cattle farming & pig breeding are the leading industries in animal husbandry though poultry & sheep farming are represented too.
Tver is a cultural centre, there are four Universities, many colleges, a Drama theatre, a Philharmonic Society, a circus, also, in our city there are Musical schools & Art schools.
Many thanks to Jack Keusters, aka:Moscow Jack, for the many wonderful pictures he donated for this site.
Coat of Arms of Tver as Validated
by Catherine II in 1780
Following the great fire of 1763 the city was rebuilt in Neoclassical style.
Flag of the Tver Region
The Volga in Winter with the new bridge donated by
Saint Petersburg in the background.
Statue of Lenin in Lenin Square the centre of the city.
Tver City Flag
Arabic Kitchen Restaurant
The Old Oasis Restaurant/Bar/Nightclub. Presently
being remodeled inside & out.
A downtown Streetcar now used as a kiosk.
Lenin Square, the other half.
Typical Tver apartment complex in the Rusland subdivision.
A typical Tver street in Winter.
A Local Cathedral.