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Izborsk fortress

A good defensive location was found 400 meters (1312 ft) further from the initial place – on Zheravya Hill. A new fortress was built under guidance of the Pskov Prince Sheloga (Seloga) and was finished in 1330.

This triangular fortress had two immense towers and was completely impregnable from two out of three sides due to the peculiar relief of this region.

Thanks to its defensive capabilities, Izborsk Fortress withstood numerous sieges but was never seized by enemies!

With walls and towers situated on the highest hill of the picturesque Malskaya valley, the legendary Izborsk fortress once stood proudly.  It's insurmountable limestone walls reliably protected residents from all enemy attacks, a precipice not chosen by simple chance. No, the steep hills and deep ravines nearby made for ideal protection from siege on both sides of fortress located on Zheravi Mountain, which afforded the defenders an unimpeded panorama of approaching danger from ten kilometers or more. Even to this day Izborsk fortress looks proud and unapproachable.

The first time Izborsk was mentioned in " The Tale of Bygone Years " - the ancient chronicles, it was written in 862. This is the year where it was supposed the iconic three brothers administration in Rus' began. The names Rurik, Sineus and Truvor speak of a reign which would culminate in what is today modern Russia. Rurik began to reign in Novgorod, while Sineus established himself at Belo Ozero. As for the youngest of the three, Truvor came to Izborsk. And while his reign was short - only two years, after his death the descendants built a stone cross, which reminds us of him and those heady times when Russia was but a imagined dream.

The main walls and towers of the Izborsk fortress were built in 1330. These walls withstood a total of 9 sieges over the following 100 years. This was a century of unsusuceesful conquest for those besieging the city, of the Crusaders who fiercely wanted to get that piece of land they called the fortress "Iron town". And it was the courage and bravery of its defenders that made the attackers attribute the honorary title of " The Russian Land Stronghold ".
From this rigid stronghold Russia graudally expanded its borders of to the West, so the fortress lost its border protective function during Peter I's reign, the settlement becaming simply a county town of the Pskov region. St. Nicholas Cathedral, located inside the fortress, was built in the 14th century as a place of consolation and where locals could pray. Here ancient crosses with illegible inscriptions look out over the magnificent valley and the Gorodischenkoe Lake below.