In the Tver region there is a small town of Torzhok, which has an ancient and very interesting history. It was first mentioned in the Russian annals of 1139, but it was formed much earlier than this date. Back in the 9th-10th centuries, a settlement of the Slavs appeared on the banks of the Tvertsa River, where there was a large trading area. The place for trade was profitable: merchant caravans went along Tvertsa to Great Novgorod. And the settlement itself was named New Torg.
11 interesting facts about the city of Torzhok
- It is interesting that even now the inhabitants of the city call themselves "innovators". In the XII century, along with the old name, more and more often the city began to be called Torzhok. Gradually, this name stuck and became the main one. The city was large enough for that time, and now it is home to about 45, 000 people.
- The city was ravaged more than once by both foreign invaders and internecine wars. For example, Torzhok suffered greatly during the wars between Moscow and Tver. In 1372, the city was almost completely destroyed by Prince Mikhail of Tver, only the Borisoglebsk monastery remained intact. But, Torzhok was invariably restored, in 1478 it was finally annexed by Prince Ivan III to Moscow. For almost a century the city lived a quiet life, but in 1570 it was plundered by the guardsmen during a campaign against Novgorod.
- Thanks to the navigable Tvertsa, Torzhok retained its significance as a major shopping center. Three major fairs were held here every year. In addition, in the 18th century, the sovereign's road passed through the city, connecting St. Petersburg with Moscow. Before the advent of the railway, several thousand coachmen who delivered mail lived in Torzhok. Many hotels and taverns for travelers appeared in the city. Pozharsky cutlets were famous all over Russia. Even Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin mentioned them in his poems. In one of his letters to his wife, he also said that he had stopped to dine "at the glorious Pozharsky tavern."
- Local historians have calculated that Pushkin, during his trips from St. Petersburg to Moscow and back, visited Torzhok about 25 times. In addition to Pushkin, N.V. Gogol, V.A.Zhukovsky, S.T.Aksakov, I.S.Turgenev and other classics of Russian literature stayed at Pozharsky's hotel. The hotel was badly damaged during a fire in 2002 and is currently being restored.
- Anna Petrovna Kern, to whom Pushkin dedicated the poem "I remember a wonderful moment", survived the poet for 42 years. She died in 1879 in Moscow, and was buried in the churchyard of the village of Prutnya, just a few miles from Torzhok. Now no one can indicate the exact place of the grave, over time it got lost, therefore, a symbolic tombstone was erected at the cemetery.
- In the second half of the 19th century, massive construction of railways began in Russia. Initially, Torzhok stayed away from the "chugunka", as they were then called. The city has somewhat lost its significance as a transport hub and a trade center. And instead of merchants, artisans and peasants who came from villages to work here appeared. Many shoemakers and blacksmiths' workshops appear in the city.
- But, most of all, Torzhok was famous for its embroiderers. Local craftswomen decorated the robes of Russian tsars, emperors and metropolitans with gold embroidery. The highest quality of their work was known not only in Russia, the products have repeatedly received gold medals at the World Exhibitions in London, Paris and Turin. Now at the Torzhok Gold Embroidery Factory there is a Museum of Gold Embroidery.
- In 1767 Torzhok suffered greatly, but not from the raids of enemies, but from the strongest fire, which began after a lightning strike into the office building. The entire central part of the city was destroyed. 50, 000 rubles were allocated for the restoration work. Soon the city center underwent a significant transformation.
- The coat of arms of the city was officially approved by Empress Catherine II on October 10, 1780. It depicts six doves. Three are gold and three are silver. There is a legend that such a coat of arms was chosen by the empress herself. While visiting the city, she was surprised by the abundance of these birds. Count Franz Matveyevich Santi worked on the sketch.
- In Torzhok, by now, archaeologists have discovered 19 birch bark letters - pieces of birch bark that were used in Russia for writing. More than in Torzhok, the number of such letters was found only in two Russian cities - Novgorod and Staraya Russa.
- One of the most famous natives of the Novotorzhsky district is Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin, a revolutionary, one of the founders of anarchism. He was born in 1814 in the village of Pryamukhino. But, Bakunin spent many years away from Russia, in 1861 he escaped from Siberian exile and went abroad. Bakunin died in 1876 in Switzerland and was buried in the Bremgarten cemetery in the city of Bern.