Velikiye Luki

Velikiye Luki (Russian: Вели́кие Лу́ки, IPA: [vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪjə ˈlukʲɪ]; lit. great meanders[10] or longbows) is a town in Pskov Oblast, Russia, located on the meandering Lovat River. It is the second largest town in Pskov Oblast; population: 98,778 (2010 Census);[4] 104,979 (2002 Census);[11] 113,745 (1989 Census).[12] Velikiye Luki is a City of Military Glory, an honor bestowed on it because of the courage and heroism its citizens displayed during World War II.

Velikiye Luki
Великие Луки
Panorama of Velikiye Luki
Panorama of Velikiye Luki
Flag of Velikiye Luki
Coat of arms of Velikiye Luki
Location of Velikiye Luki
Velikiye Luki is located in Russia
Velikiye Luki
Velikiye Luki
Location of Velikiye Luki
Velikiye Luki is located in Pskov Oblast
Velikiye Luki
Velikiye Luki
Velikiye Luki (Pskov Oblast)
Coordinates: 56°20′N 30°32′E / 56.333°N 30.533°E / 56.333; 30.533Coordinates: 56°20′N 30°32′E / 56.333°N 30.533°E / 56.333; 30.533
Federal subjectPskov Oblast[1]
First mentioned1166[2]
Town status since1777
 • BodyCity Duma[3]
100 m (300 ft)
 • Total98,778
 • Estimate 
91,435 (−7.4%)
 • Rank169th in 2010
 • Subordinated toTown of Velikiye Luki[1]
 • Capital ofVelikoluksky District, Town of Velikiye Luki[1]
 • Urban okrugVelikiye Luki Urban Okrug[6]
 • Capital ofVelikiye Luki Urban Okrug[6], Velikoluksky Municipal District[6]
Time zoneUTC+3 (MSK Edit this on Wikidata[7])
Postal code(s)[8]
Dialing code(s)+7 81153[9]
OKTMO ID58710000001


Church of St. Paraskeva
The obelisk of glory in the former Velikiye Luki fortress

Velikiye Luki is first mentioned in a chronicle under the year of 1166 as Luki.[2] From the 12th century, Luki was a part of the Novgorod Republic. After the construction of a fortress in 1211, Velikiye Luki gained strategic importance, defending the approaches to Pskov and Novgorod. It was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Moscow by Ivan the Great in 1478. During the Livonian War, it played an important role.[2] In the course of the administrative reform carried out in 1708 by Peter the Great, Velikiye Luki was included into Ingermanland Governorate (known since 1710 as Saint Petersburg Governorate). It was explicitly mentioned as one of the towns the governorate comprised. In 1727, separate Novgorod Governorate was split off, and in 1772, Pskov Governorate (which between 1777 and 1796 existed as Pskov Viceroyalty) was established. After 1777, Velikiye Luki was the seat of Velikolutsky Uyezd (later known as Velikoluksky Uyezd). At the beginning of the 20th century, it evolved into an important railway hub following the construction of the railway connecting Moscow with Riga.

On 1 August 1927, the uyezds were abolished, and Velikoluksky District was established, with the administrative center in Velikiye Luki. Pskov Governorate was abolished as well, Velikiye Luki was the center of Velikiye Luki Okrug of Leningrad Oblast. On 17 June 1929 the okrug was transferred to Western Oblast. On 23 July 1930 the okrugs were also abolished. On 29 January 1935 Western Oblast was abolished, and the district was transferred to Kalinin Oblast, and on 5 February that year Velikiye Luki became the center of Velikiye Luki Okrug of Kalinin Oblast, one of the okrugs abutting the state boundaries of the Soviet Union. On 4 May 1938 the okrug was abolished again.[13]

From 19 to 21 July 1941 and again from 25 August 1941 to 17 January 1943, Velikiye Luki was occupied by German troops. During World War II, in 1941 and 1942, fighting took place in the vicinity between German and Soviet forces. During the Battle for Velikiye Luki (in late 1942), a German force of about 20,000 was surrounded in the town which had been turned into a fortress. After months of heavy fighting, the German defenders were finally defeated in January 1943. The town was almost completely destroyed.

A significant portion of the Soviet forces fighting on Velikiye Luki consisted of Estonians mobilized to the Red Army, and approximately 6000 of them died liberating the town.[14] The railroad system in Velikiye Luki was the target of a mass air raid on 19 July 1944 by Heinkel He 177 heavy bomber aircraft, the only documented mass raid utilizing this model of aircraft. Many streets are named after the heroes of the War. One such street is named after Yelizaveta Chaikina.

On 22 August 1944 Velikiye Luki Oblast was established, with the administrative center in Velikiye Luki. On 2 October 1957 Velikiye Luki Oblast was abolished, and Velikiye Luki was transferred to Pskov Oblast as the town of oblast significance.[13]

850th celebrationEdit

In 2016, Velikiye Luki celebrated the 850th anniversary of the town's first appearance on historical sources, which is dated to 1166.

The town marked the event with festivals and historical exhibitions, as well as making long-term improvements. In 2013, town planners began the preparations to improve the infrastructure and quality of life for residents. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev offered federal support to the anniversary, and recommended the Ministry of Transport fund a much-needed overpass connecting the two busiest parts of Velikiye Luki.[15] The majority (70%) of the buildings in the town, including the schools, were built in the 1950s and 1960s and needed modernisation. New sports and leisure facilities were needed. Town officials stated the overall aim is to preserve the historical aspects of the city.[16]

Among the improvements planned was the remodel of a large obelisk in Jubilee Square, which was erected on the city's 800th anniversary in 1966 but never finished (and had been dubbed a "white elephant"). A contest was held to solicit designs for the remodel of the obelisk, as well as logos and slogans for the festivities.[17][18][19] The winning design for the obelisk features elements symbolising the town's history, including Viking and Greek features.[20]

Administrative and municipal statusEdit

Within the framework of administrative divisions, it serves as the administrative center of Velikoluksky District,[citation needed] even though it is not a part of it.[1] As an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as the Town of Velikiye Luki—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts.[1] As a municipal division, the Town of Velikiye Luki is incorporated as Velikiye Luki Urban Okrug and serves as the administrative center of Velikoluksky Municipal District.[6]



Velikiye Luki is an industrial city, with several enterprises in machine building industry. They produce machines for timber industry, electrotechnical equipment, and batteries. There is a workshop to repair railway carriages and locomotives. There are also enterprises of timber, textile, and food industries, as well as production of brickstones. Food industry in 2010 was responsible for production of 24.8% of all industrial output, and electrotechnical industry produced 15% of the output.[21]


Kalinin Square

Velikiye Luki is an important railway hub. One railway connects Moscow via Velikiye Luki with Riga and runs in the east-west direction. Another railway, running to the northwest, connects Velikiye Luki via Toropets and Ostashkov with Bologoye. One more railway connects Velikiye Luki to Nevel, where it splits into two railway lines, both running southeast into Belarus: One line to Vitebsk, and another one to Grodno via Polotsk and Molodechno.

The M9 highway which connects Moscow and Riga bypasses Velikiye Luki, which has an access to the highway. Other roads connect Velikiye Luki with Novosokolniki, with Nevel, and with Porkhov via Loknya. There are also local roads.

The town is served by the Velikiye Luki Airport.

Culture and recreationEdit

The district contains seven objects classified as cultural and historical heritage of federal significance and thirty-three monuments of local significance.[22] The federal monuments include the Kazan Church built in the 19th century, and the ramparts, the oldest of which originate from the 12th century.

The two museums in Velikiye Luki are the Velikiye Luki Local Museum, which exhibits collections of local interest,[23] and Ivan Vinogradov Museum-House, located in the house which belonged to the parents of mathematician Ivan Vinogradov. The house was restored in the 1970s with the help of Vinogradov himself. He lived here before moving to study in Saint Petersburg.[24]


There are several institutions of higher education in the city:


Velikiye Luki is notable for ballooning competitions, which are held in the town annually since 1996. Since 1999, the competitions have been internationally recognized.[25]


Climate data for Velikiye Luki
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 10.7
Average high °C (°F) −2.9
Daily mean °C (°F) −5.5
Average low °C (°F) −8.6
Record low °C (°F) −45.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 39
Average snowfall cm (inches) 12
Average rainy days 6 4 8 11 14 16 15 14 16 15 11 6 136
Average snowy days 21 19 12 5 0.3 0.1 0 0 0.3 3 12 20 93
Average relative humidity (%) 84 81 76 69 69 75 77 79 83 84 86 86 79
Mean monthly sunshine hours 37.2 67.2 133.3 180.0 286.8 273.0 257.3 248.0 172.5 102.3 34.5 15.5 1,807.6
Source 1:[26]
Source 2: Climatebase (sun, 1881–2008)[27]


Velikiye Luki has been claimed as the birthplace of Soviet Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky. The Hero of the Soviet Union Alexander Matrosov is buried in this city. Modest Mussorgsky's memorial house in Kunyinsky District, standing on the bank of a large picturesque lake, is within easy range of the town.

Other people from Velikiye Luki include:

Twin towns and sister citiesEdit

Velikiye Luki is twinned with:


  1. ^ a b c d e f Law #833-oz
  2. ^ a b c Энциклопедия Города России. Moscow: Большая Российская Энциклопедия. 2003. p. 63. ISBN 5-7107-7399-9.
  3. ^ "Великолукская городская дума". Town of Velikiye Luki. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1 [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года [2010 All-Russia Population Census] (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c d Law #419-oz
  7. ^ "Об исчислении времени". Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации (in Russian). June 3, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "List of postal codes" (in Russian). Russian Post. Archived from the original on December 12, 2006. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  9. ^ Телефонный код города Великие Луки (81153) (in Russian). city-code. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  10. ^ ISBN 530900257X. Г. П.  Смолицкая. "Топонимический словарь Центральной России". "Армада-Пресс", 2002 (G. P. Smolitskaya. Toponymic Dictionary of Central Russia. Armada-Press, 2002)
  11. ^ Russian Federal State Statistics Service (May 21, 2004). Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек [Population of Russia, Its Federal Districts, Federal Subjects, Districts, Urban Localities, Rural Localities—Administrative Centers, and Rural Localities with Population of Over 3,000] (XLS). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года [All-Russia Population Census of 2002] (in Russian).
  12. ^ Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров [All Union Population Census of 1989: Present Population of Union and Autonomous Republics, Autonomous Oblasts and Okrugs, Krais, Oblasts, Districts, Urban Settlements, and Villages Serving as District Administrative Centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года [All-Union Population Census of 1989] (in Russian). Институт демографии Национального исследовательского университета: Высшая школа экономики [Institute of Demography at the National Research University: Higher School of Economics]. 1989 – via Demoscope Weekly.
  13. ^ a b Герасимёнок, Т. Е.; Н. В. Коломыцева, И. С. Пожидаев, С. М. Фёдоров, К. И. Карпов (2002). Территориальное деление Псковской области (in Russian). Pskov. ISBN 5-94542-031-X.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ Charles C. Sharp, "Red Swarm", Soviet Rifle Divisions Formed from 1942 to 1945, Soviet Order of Battle World War II, Vol. X, George F. Nafziger Publishing, 1996. On 25 July 1942 the 7th Estonian Rifle Division had a total of 12,676 personnel; by 1 February 1943, in spite of reinforcements, it had just 6,142 officers and men remaining. (page 6). 249th Estonian Rifle Division entered combat in late November 1942, but despite reinforcements in December, on 1 February 1943 it had only 4,213 officers and men left, representing 50% casualties in less than two months. (page 97)
  15. ^ "Дмитрий Медведев поддержал идею придания федерального статуса 850-летию Великих Лук (Псковская область)". REGNUM. January 25, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  16. ^ "План подготовки к 850-летию Великих Лук призван улучшить качество жизни великолучан". January 18, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  17. ^ "В Великих Луках объявлен конкурс на лучший слоган к 850-летию города". Pskovskaya Lenta Novostey. September 28, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  18. ^ "Памятный знак в честь 800-летия города Великие Луки". March 25, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  19. ^ "Определен победитель конкурса на новый памятный знак Великих Лук (фото)". March 18, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  20. ^ "Псковская область: К 850-летию Великих Лук реконструируют памятный знак". REGNUM. April 13, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  21. ^ Промышленность (in Russian). Портал муниципальных образований Псковской области. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  22. ^ Памятники истории и культуры народов Российской Федерации (in Russian). Russian Ministry of Culture. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  23. ^ Великолукский краеведческий музей (in Russian). Российская сеть культурного наследия. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  24. ^ Мемориальный дом-музей академика И.М.Виноградова (in Russian). Российская сеть культурного наследия. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  25. ^ Воздухоплаватели со всего мира соберутся в Великих Луках (in Russian). RIA Novosti. June 8, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  26. ^ "Weather and Climate- The Climate of Velikiye Luki" (in Russian). Weather and Climate (Погода и климат). Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  27. ^ "Velikiye Luki, Russia Climate Normals". Climatebase. Retrieved May 15, 2015.


  • Псковское областное Собрание депутатов. Закон №833-оз от 5 февраля 2009 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Псковской области». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Псковская правда", №20, 10 февраля 2009 г. (Pskov Oblast Council of Deputies. Law #833-oz of February 5, 2009 On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Pskov Oblast. Effective as of the official publication date.).
  • Псковское областное Собрание депутатов. Закон №419-оз от 28 февраля 2005 г. «О границах и статусе действующих на территории области муниципальных образований». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Псковская правда", №41–43, 4 марта 2005 г. (Pskov Oblast Council of Deputies. Law #419-ы. of February 28, 2005 On the Borders and Status of the Municipal Formations Existing on the Oblast Territory. Effective as of the official publication date.).
  • Griehl, Manfred. Heinkel He 177 'Greif': The only long-range bomber in Luftwaffe service. Erlangen, Germany: AirDOC 2008. ISBN 978-3-93568-747-8.

External linksEdit