Location of Gdov
Gdov (Pskov Oblast)
|Federal subject||Pskov Oblast|
|Administrative district||Gdovsky District|
|First mentioned||beginning of|
the 14th century
|Town status since||1780|
|Elevation||40 m (130 ft)|
| • Estimate |
|• Capital of||Gdovsky District|
|• Municipal district||Gdovsky Municipal District|
|• Urban settlement||Gdov Urban Settlement|
|• Capital of||Gdovsky Municipal District, Gdov Urban Settlement|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (MSK )|
|Dialing code(s)||+7 81131|
Gdov (Russian: Гдов; Estonian: Oudova) is a town and the administrative center of Gdovsky District in Pskov Oblast, Russia, located on the river Gdovka, just 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) from its outflow into Lake Peipus. Population: 4,379 (2010 Census); 5,171 (2002 Census); 6,009 (1989 Census).
It was first mentioned in the beginning of the 14th century, as an outpost guarding the city of Pskov. Between 1431 and 1434, Pskovians built a fortress there, the remains of which can still be seen. It was attacked on numerous occasions by Swedes and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (e.g., during the Russo–Swedish War (1590–1595) and the Ingrian War), captured by Swedes in 1614, but was finally returned to Russia in 1617 according to the Treaty of Stolbovo.
In the course of the administrative reform carried out in 1708 by Peter the Great, Gdov was included into Ingermanland Governorate (known since 1710 as Saint Petersburg Governorate). Gdov was mentioned as one of the towns into which the governorate was divided. In 1780, Gdov was granted town status; its coat of arms was granted on May 28, 1781. Between 1874 and 1912, Gdov issued Zemstvo stamps. The first stamp, worth two kopecks, appeared on April 16, 1874. Stamp production ceased, however, with the coming of World War I. In 1919, Gdov was an area where important events of the Russian Civil War and the Estonian War of Independence were taking place. Originally, the area east of Lake Peipus was under control of the revolutionary government. On May 15, 1919, the detachment under command of Stanisław Bułak-Bałachowicz (subordinate to General Aleksandr Rodzyanko) captured Gdov and the whole uyezd thus came under control by the White Army troops of Nikolai Yudenich. In November 1919, the Red Army recaptured Gdov.
On August 1, 1927, the uyezds and governorates were abolished and Gdovsky District, with the administrative center in Gdov, was established as a part of Luga Okrug of Leningrad Oblast. It included parts of former Gdovsky Uyezd. On July 23, 1930, the okrugs were also abolished and the districts were directly subordinated to the oblast. Between March 22, 1935 and September 19, 1940, Gdovsky District was a part of the restored Pskov Okrug of Leningrad Oblast, one of the okrugs abutting the state boundaries of the Soviet Union.
Between July 19, 1941 and February 4, 1944, Gdov was occupied by German troops and Waffen SS units from occupied Estonia. During the war two-thirds of Gdov's population died. The town was seriously damaged during the war, of 640 buildings that existed by 1941 all but 34 were destroyed. Most of the devastation was made just before the Nazi retreat, on January 28, 1944, when 37-th SS police battalion formed in Tartu set wooden buildings on fire and set explosives into those of stone. Among the perished historical constructions was the unique ensemble of two XV and XVI-century churches that has survived the Bolshevik anti-religion campaigns.
On August 23, 1944, the district was transferred to newly established Pskov Oblast. The town was reconstructed during 1950-1960-ties and continued to expand until the economic and demographic collapse of early 1990-ties. In 1993 the exact copy of St. Dmitry Solounskiy church was built in its original location within Gdov kremlin, financed exclusively by crowdfunding.
Within the framework of administrative divisions, Gdov serves as the administrative center of Gdovsky District, to which it is directly subordinated. As a municipal division, the town of Gdov, together with sixty-two rural localities, is incorporated within Gdovsky Municipal District as Gdov Urban Settlement.
The economy of Gdov is based on food and timber industries.
A railway line via Gdov that connected Narva and Pskov was built before WWI. Later a new line from Gdov to Slantsy and Veimarn was constructed and used for passenger and cargo connections to Leningrad. During the WWII the Gdov-Pskov stretch was destroyed, thus making Gdov the terminal station. There was one pair of passenger trains daily servicing St.Petersburg-Gdov route. In the mid-2010's the passenger traffic between Slantsy and Gdov has been discontinued due to commercial reasons. The railway between Slantsy and Gdov was deserted and, as of 2021, mainly demolished.
During 1950-1980-ties an unpaved airfield in Gdov was used for commuter air transit to the neighbouring town of Slantsy, Pskov and Tartu aboard An-2 passenger biplane.
Gdov is connected by paved roads with Pskov, Kingisepp via Slantsy, and Plyussa. There are daily bus services to Pskov, Slantsy, Saint-Petersburg, and neighbouring villages.
In the mouth of the Gdovka there is a harbour for the fishermen's and leisure boats. However, due to lack of customs and borderguard offices sailing to Estonia is not possible.
During World War II Gdov briefly hosted the headquarters of the Chudskoye Lake Flotilla (1941).
Russian Airforce base, Smuravyevo, now abandoned, was located northeast of the town.
Gdov is included into border security zone, intended to protect the borders of Russia from unwanted activity. Visits to the zone or transit through it are subject to the Frontier Regime Regulations set by the FSB that stipulate cases where permits are required or where holding a passport is enough. Permits may be obtained electronically via e-mail, four weeks ahead of the planned journey.
Gdov contains two cultural heritage monuments of federal significance and additionally twelve objects classified as cultural and historical heritage of local significance. The federal monuments are archaeological sites. Gdov has a kremlin, an ancient fortress built in the 14th century. Only fragments of the original fortress walls have survived. The St. Dimitry Solounskiy Cathedral was destroyed in 1944 and reconstructed in 1993.
The only state museum in the district is the Gdov Museum of Regional History. It was founded in 1919, destroyed during the German occupation of Gdov, and re-created after World War II. The museum hosts historical and local interest collections.