The ancient city of Torzhok is more than a thousand years old. It was founded by Novgorod merchants in the IX-X centuries. Torzhok is located on both banks of the Tvertsa river, 60 kilometers Northwest of Tver.
Once on this river lifted Volga goods. Under Peter I, a waterway connecting St. Petersburg and Moscow was laid along it, and later a road was built connecting the two main cities in Russia, which passed through Torzhok. The trade route was so important that Peter I ordered a system of canals to supply St. Petersburg with Volga bread.
Today Torzhok is connected in the very center of the city by two bridges – automobile and pedestrian. A suspension bridge leads to the main shopping area, where shopping malls and the magistrate are located.
The city owes its name to the ancient grain trade on the way to Novgorod. Once it was a crowded locality, which in the XIV century had 5 thousand inhabitants, most of them merchants. Here they sold bread, flax, honey, and morocco. Torzhok offered guests products embroidered in gold. According to legend, Catherine II ordered 300 beautiful girls to be brought to the city to learn gold embroidery, and today Torzhok is the only city in Russia where the craft of metal thread sewing has been preserved.
Torzhok was ruined many times, but it was revived again. There was a period when it was called the Noviy Torg. The rapid economic development of the city coincided with the era of the Novgorod Republic. In memory of this time, some residents of the city still call themselves Novotori.
Torzhok is a major center of carriage building. The only plant in Russia for the production of fire-fighting equipment is located here. One of the main Russian flax growing centers is located in the Torzhok District.
There is a gold embroidery factory in Torzhok, where the coats of arms and flags of Russia are embroidered, among other things. The Museum at the factory presents samples of gold embroidery. Gold embroidery products can be purchased in the shop at the factory.
Many ancient monuments and artifacts have been preserved in Torzhok. It ranks third in the number of birch bark letters found in it.
The Golden age of Torzhok coincided with the beginning of the XIX century. At this time, famous Russian architects worked on the creation of the city, who gave the city unique buildings that are not inferior in beauty to the best buildings in St. Petersburg. A huge contribution to the creation of a special appearance of Torzhok was made by the architect N. A. Lvov. The temples and manors built by him are an example of Catherine's classicism.
Torzhok attracts with its well-preserved architecture. This is one of the best County towns in Russia, where buildings of the late XVIII - early XIX centuries have been preserved.
On the left bank of Torzhok there are monuments of civil architecture. The area between the two bridges on the Tweretskaya embankment is built up with three-story mansions of the XVIII century. Above it rises a coastal mountain, on which stands the Entrance to the Jerusalem Church of the XVIII century. From the embankment you can go to the boulevard, also built up with mansions of the XVIII century, which in the Catherine era was a favorite place for walking. From the boulevard, you can get to Ilyinskaya square, to the Ilyinskaya (Elias) Church of 1822, next to which there is a bell tower.
On the left bank of the river you can also see the Travel Palace, built in 1777 and rebuilt in the XIX century; the building of Offices; the building of the former city prison and the ruins of the Pozharsky hotel, where once stayed A. S. Pushkin, V. A. Zhukovsky, N. V. Gogol, S. T. Aksakov, I. S. Turgenev. In the restaurant of this hotel, the recipe for the famous Pozharsky cutlets, immortalized in the lines of A. S. Pushkin, was invented.
In terms of the number of churches, Torzhok could compete with Suzdal. Almost all city churches are located on the right bank of the Tvertsy river and their silhouettes are an integral part of the beautiful city landscape. There are 22 Orthodox churches in Torzhok, including the Boris-Gleb monastery, Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, the Mikhailo-Arkhangelskaya and Spaso-Voskresenskaya churches, and others.
Among the ensembles of classical construction on the right bank, the Rotunda, built By N. A. Lvov in 1783 on the model of the Roman Pantheon, should be particularly noted. Next to it is a bust of its creator.