Izborsk ( _ru. Избо́рск; _et. Irboska) is a village in Pechorsky District of Pskov Oblast, Russia. It contains one of the most ancient and impressive fortresses of Western Russia.

The village lies thirty kilometers to the west of Pskov and just to the east of the Estonian border. According to the Russian Primary Chronicle, the town was the seat of Rurik's brother in 862. Although his burial mound is still shown to occasional tourists, archaeological excavations of long barrows abounding in the vicinity did not reveal the presence of the Varangian settlement at the site, indicating that Izborsk was an important centre of the early Krivichs.

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 16th century. Near the fortress is a museum of stone crosses.

According to the Treaty of Tartu, the Russian-Estonian state boundary went eastwards of Izborsk and thus the town was part of Estonia from 1920 to early 1945 when, both Russia and Estonia being part of Soviet Union, the Russian SFSR/Estonian SSR boundary was moved westwards and thus Izborsk became part of Russian SFSR. [http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Asia/Russia/Northwest/Pskov/Izborsk/photo393136.htm]

External links

*en icon [http://www.nortfort.ru/izborsk/index_e.html Detailed description and photos of Izborsk]

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