Pskov is a very ancient city, it was mentioned as far back as the ancient chronicles of 903. Princess Olga, the first Russian Christian woman and a wise governor of Russia, founded the first settlement in Pskov. Later it became the strongest fortress (called Kremlin or Kron) on the western border of Russia. Pskov's historical past as a warrior intercessor is reflected in its monuments, and especially in its architecture, an extraordinary, permanent, genuinely popular epic in stone. As the capitol of its region, Pskov was surrounded by numerous fortified cities, impressive for their powerful defensive structures which blend harmoniously with the landscape. They include the fortress in Ostrov, Pokrhov and Izborsk, whose foundation is connected with the recruitment of Varangians in Russia.
Nowadays the city boasts one of the greatest number of existing historical monuments - over 300. The earliest ones date back to the 12th century, the latest to the early 20th century. There is a natural combination of ancient monuments (fortified walls with towers, churches and monasteries, and merchant's chambers) and modern buildings. The oldest part of the town is located where the Pskova and Velikaya Rivers join. Medieval architects selected the highest point, for the Trinity Cathedral. The present building of the cathedral dates back to the 17th century, but its architecture incorporates many of the features of earlier buildings. The cathedral can be seen from all points of the town. From a far this giant white building seems to be soaring into the sky.
The Pskov churches, though they are similar in technical and building aspects, are very different and individual in their architecture. Ancient craftsmen were able to find the best places for the church buildings, blending them well with the surroundings. That is why the location is often affixed to the church names – St Basil on-the-Hill, St Nikolas at the Stone Wall and The Assumption by-the-Ferry. Pskov's medieval architects were excellent craftsmen. Their buildings were strong and durable, but also beautiful and interesting in form. The ancient Pskov churches are all covered by an uneven layer of white plaster.