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Church of St. Varlaam of Khutyn

Church of St. Varlaam of KhutynThe Church of St. Varlaam of Khutyn with its militant dome, medium-sized belfry over the entrance, and later additions "in the Russian style" stands near the forti-fied wall and faces ruins of a tower (where the St. Varlaam Gates were once located). The stone church was built in 1485 by the city's stone wall. Before this there was a wooden church by a wooden wall, built in one day "as vowed" during the plague of 1466. The Zapskovye (Beyond Pskova) district where this church is situated is the part of the city located beyond the Pskova River, on its left bank at Sovetsky (Trinity) Bridge. A broad pan-orama of the Zapskovye area opens up from here. Directly opposite the bridge you can see the Church of Sts. Cosmas and Damian "on Prirnostye" (next to the bridge). The road leading across the bridge breaks into two at the corner of the mighty cube remaining from this church's belfry. The Church of the Epiphany stands to the right on the Pskova's high green bank. Bright and rounded, it seems to move out towards us on its large, multi-spanned belfry, accompanied by small side-chapels. Further to the right is the white cube of the Church of Sts. Cosmas and Damian "on Gremyachaya Hill". Behind it rises the grey, massive Gremyachaya Tower, the foot of which goes straight into the waters of the Pskova. This is the end of the ancient city. The Pskova River is the city's living soul. There is good reason for the city to be named after its smaller river, for the Pskova not only adds to the town's beauty, but also saved it during many wars: the constant water supply furnished by the Pskova to the fortress helped Pskov withstand many sieges. The Pskova's green banks with its cur-ves and steep hillocks would seem spe-cially designed for small separate build-ings with picturesque tops that seem to melt into the air. At the end of the 16th century the Pskova River banks within the city walls were covered with chur-ches. However, eight of them on the Pskova's left bank were "beheaded" by Peter the Great when he had them turned into bastions in preparation for the Northern War. One of these bastions - "Lapin Hill" - has been pre-served behind the Maltmakers' House. After crossing the bridge over the Pskova River, you find yourselves in Zapskovye. There's a lovely view of the Krom with Trinity Cathedral and the mouth of the Pskova with two restored towers on both banks. The Lower Gates which controlled the river's flow used to be located between these two towers.

Pskov, Russia

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