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The XII-XIII centuries

According to archive data, a settlement on the cape at the influx of the Tmaka River into the Volga River existed already in the ninth and tenth centuries. In the non-chronicle sources Tver is mentioned for the first time between 1127 and 1135 and in 1160. In the chronicles Tver was mentioned for the first time in 1208-1209. The birch bark manuscripts found on September 26 of 1983 and on August 23 of 1985 on the territory of the Kremlin of Tver are dated by the end of the 12th century or beginning of the 13th century.

In the second half of the 12th century, Tver was a small fortress on the western border of the Suzdal Principality and in the first third of the 13th century it was a part of the Pereyaslavl Principality.

In 1238, the city was devastated by the Mongol-Tatars but it recovered from the destruction quickly. The Voskresenskaya Chronicle (the chronicle named after the Resurrection Monastery) said that restoration of Tver after the devastation by Batu Khan was supervised by Prince Yaroslav Vsevolodovich. Around 1247, Tver was given to Prince Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky as a domain, between 1252 and 1255 it went to his brother Yaroslav Yaroslavich (founder of the dynasty of Tver princes). In 1247, Tver became the capital city of the Tver Principality. The Kremlin of Tver was the historic core of ancient Tver.

Geographic location of Tver on an important trade route that connected Novgorod with Northeastern Rus and relative remoteness from the Horde contributed to inflow of population from other Russian lands to the region. The city was growing quickly. In 1265, Tver became a center of a diocese. Even devastating fires of 1276 and 1282 typical for the wooden ancient Russian cities could not hinder growth of the city. First of all, growth of the city is explained by changing of the political role of Tver. In 1264, Prince of Tver Yaroslav became Great Prince of Vladimir but he kept living in Tver.

Composition of chronicles and stone construction was restarted in Tver during the rule of Yaroslav's successor Mikhail Yaroslavich for the first time in Rus after a 50-year break. Stone three-dome Dormitory Church in Otroch Monastery (Monastery of the Fathers, 1269) and Savior Transfiguration Cathedral were built there. Suburbs populated mostly by craftsmen were growing together with the Kremlin. Growth of the might of Tver was confirmed by the fact that in 1293 Mongol-Tatar war chief Dyuden did not dare to storm the city. Transition of the throne of the Great Prince of Vladimir Mikhail Yaroslavich Tverskoy in 1305 confirmed that by that time Tver became the capital of the most powerful principality in Northeastern Rus. The princes of Tver struggled against the Horde and for the throne of the Great Prince of Vladimir and were reinforcing the city diligently.