Структура Администрации  Портал Администрации г. Пскова
Комитет по реализации программ приграничного сотрудничества и туризму

Excavations of the Archeological Centre of the Pskov Region

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Excavations of the Archeological Centre of the Pskov Region

The southwestern part of the Pskov fortress represented a complicated system of stone, wood and earthen defensive constrictions.  Underground fortification designed to detect enemy underground passages and to counter them were one of the most important elements of this system.

Construction of the anti mine passages was due to the wide use of powder mines during sieges of fortresses. For both the defense and the siege sides, underground passages were necessary to lay and to remove mines. In order to be able to prevent a mine attack, many fortresses were built together with a system of underground passages.

Documents of the late XVII century demonstrate that there were three anti mine underground passages near the Intercession tower.

The underground fortifications played a significant role during the siege of Pskov by the army of Stephen Bathory in 1581, and Pskov won the lasting mine warfare. Several mine holes were tunneled near the southern fortification line, between Pskov and Svinuzskaya towers.

In the second half of XIX- XX centuries, attempts were repeatedly made to examine the anti mine passages near Pskov and Svinuzskaya towers. They were long underground galleries with vaulted overlaps connected by crossings with ground fortifications and buildings inside the fortress. The further examination was impossible due to critical condition of the passages. In the early 2000s, an architectural and archaeological study of the passage and the gaps at the Intercession tower was conducted.

The underground gallery was built outside the fortress. It was about 2 meters high and approximately about 1.5 meters wide. It was built with surface method of соnstruction of underground facilities. First, a trench was excavated, whose upper part was put under the ground, while its lower part of it was cut in a limestone rock. Then walls and vaulted overlaps were built. In the end the gallery was covered with earth and stones.

In the outer wall of the gallery there were two parts where gaps with ladders leading outside the tower were cut. One of the anti mine passages near the Svinuzskaya tower (at the intersection of the fortress wall and Kalinin Street) was discovered during the reconstruction of the street. Its corridor led towards the Intercession tower. Also, an underground corridor cut through a limestone rock was found. It led outside the tower towards the Church of Intercession and Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God.