Tikhvin is a town and the administrative center of Tikhvinsky District
Tikhvinsky District
Tikhvinsky District is an administrative district , one of the 17 in Leningrad Oblast, Russia....

 of Leningrad Oblast
Leningrad Oblast
Leningrad Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . It was established on August 1, 1927, although it was not until 1946 that the oblast's borders had been mostly settled in their present position...

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, located on both banks of the Tikhvinka River in the east of the oblast, 200 kilometres (124.3 mi) east of St. Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

. Tikhvin is also an industrial and cultural center of the district, as well as its transportation hub. Population:

Origin of Tikhvin's name

The name of the town originates from a combination of two words from the Veps language
Veps language
The Veps language , spoken by the Vepsians , belongs to the Finnic group of the Uralic languages...

: "tikh" and "vin" mean "road" and "market" respectively; i.e., road to the market. The town is located on an ancient commercial river way.


The first mention of Tikhvin dates from 1383, when a chronicle reported that a wooden Church of the Dormition was built here. Later, in 1495-1496, Y. K. Saburov, a clerk in the Novgorod Cadastre
A cadastre , using a cadastral survey or cadastral map, is a comprehensive register of the metes-and-bounds real property of a country...

, mentioned the "...Tikhvin parish and in it, a wooden church..."

Its location at the intersection of trade routes which connected the Volga River
Volga River
The Volga is the largest river in Europe in terms of length, discharge, and watershed. It flows through central Russia, and is widely viewed as the national river of Russia. Out of the twenty largest cities of Russia, eleven, including the capital Moscow, are situated in the Volga's drainage...

 with Lake Ladoga
Lake Ladoga
Lake Ladoga is a freshwater lake located in the Republic of Karelia and Leningrad Oblast in northwestern Russia, not far from Saint Petersburg. It is the largest lake in Europe, and the 14th largest lake by area in the world.-Geography:...

 and the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 ensured its rapid development. At the beginning of the 16th century it was already a widely-known commerce and trade center. In 1507-1515, funded by prince Vasili III of Moscow, on the spot of the burnt wooden church, Dmitry Syrkov of Novgorod constructed the monumental stone Cathedral of Dormition, which stands to this day.

In 1560, by order of Tsar Ivan the Terrible, the Monastery of Dormition was built on the left bank of Tikhvinka river. Management of the construction project was entrusted to Fyodor Syrkov, the son of Dmitri Syrkov. Special importance was placed on the haste of its construction; therefore tsar permitted the use of peasants from twenty rural districts to assist in building it.
In the spring and summer of 1560, the large Monastery of Dormition and the smaller Vvedenskiy convent were simultaneously built, as well as two trade and industrial settlements with various buildings for residential, economic and religious purposes. The monastery was initially surrounded by a stockade of sharpened poles. Later, in the middle the 17th century, it was replaced by two parallel log walls, filled in between with earth and stones. A covered walkway with arrow slits went along the top of walls, and above the walls nine powerful towers were raised. Thus, on the spot of an ancient settlement, an important fortified stronghold was created, which would play a large role in the defense of the north-western borders of Russia.

At the beginning of the 17th century the Russian state underwent a deep internal crisis. During the Swedish-Polish incursion, the Swedes occupied and devastated the region around Novgorod. In 1613, Tikhvin was captured, ransacked and burned. Tradespeople, sheltering behind the fortress walls of the monastery, survived a prolonged siege and numerous attacks before routing the Swedish army. The fight ended with the expulsion of the Swedes from the area, marking the beginning of the liberation of the Novgorod region from Swedish and Polish forces.

Tikhvin blossomed economically during the 17th and 18th centuries. The products of Tikhvin's blacksmiths enjoyed special demand, and they were bought not only in Russian cities, but also abroad. Tikhvin became one of the points for foreign trade in Russia, and Tikhvin's fair was one of the largest in Russia. The bloom in trade and crafts in the 17th century contributed to an increase in the settlement, which grew to a significant size.

Stone buildings were permitted only on the territory of the monastery. In the 16th century, in addition to the cathedral, a stone refectory was built, along with a church dedicated to the birth of the Mother of God in 1581. In 1600, a five-roofed belfry was constructed. An especially intense period of stone construction occurred in the second half of the 17th century, when all the wooden buildings in the monastery were replaced by ones of stone. As a result of these works, a highly artistic ensemble of historical and architectural monuments was created on the territory of the monastery, which is mostly preserved to this day, although in the 18th and 19th centuries some of the cloister buildings underwent reconstruction, which altered their original appearance.

Since their construction in 1560, Tikhvin owed its allegiance to the monastery and convent. In 1723, after a prolonged fight, the inhabitants of Tikhvin were freed from monastery control, and they obtained their own administration, a magistrate who answered to the Novgorod province office. The settlement was not totally separated from the monastery until 1764, after an edict concerning the transfer of the monastery's property to the state. In 1773, Tikhvin was granted town status.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Tikhvin was occupied by Nazi troops from November 8, 1941 to December 9, 1941. Due to counterattacks on the part of Soviet forces, it had to be abandoned after one month, but many architectural monuments were destroyed during that time. The re-capture of Tikhvin is considered to have been extremely vital in the execution of the Road of Life during the Siege of Leningrad, thanks to its railroad. It allowed the Soviets to provide much more foodstuffs in comparison to the makeshift land road previously used.

Layout of the town

Today, Tikhvin is divided into two parts: the old town, which preserves the look of a small provincial town, and the new town, consisting of apartment blocks built after World War II in the typical Soviet style, similar to what can be found in any modern Russian town. The majority of the population lives in the new town. The houses and buildings of the old town are mostly wooden; in the center square, which prior to the beginning of the 20th century was the commercial heart of the town, stands a restored cathedral, Savior of the Transfiguration, which is the main church in the town. In addition to the cathedral, a number of remarkable buildings are preserved around the square, including the hotel "Saint Petersburg" (now Sberbank
Sberbank Rossii is the largest bank in Russia and Eastern Europe. The company's headquarters are in Moscow and its history goes back to Cancrin's financial reform of 1841...

) and the "Guest Court", which was closed for many years after the fall of Communism, but has been completely restored and now functions as a shopping center.


In Soviet times, the largest employer in Tikhvin was a heavy machine factory, where tractors and defense equipment were manufactured. In its heyday, 20,000 people were employed there. Currently, it is the largest producer of railroad rolling stock and military equipment in the region.

Other industrial enterprises in the town include the manufacturing of furniture for IKEA
IKEA is a privately held, international home products company that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture such as beds and desks, appliances and home accessories. The company is the world's largest furniture retailer...

, a construction company, a wood-chemical plant (producing rosin
.Rosin, also called colophony or Greek pitch , is a solid form of resin obtained from pines and some other plants, mostly conifers, produced by heating fresh liquid resin to vaporize the volatile liquid terpene components. It is semi-transparent and varies in color from yellow to black...

, resin
Resin in the most specific use of the term is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, particularly coniferous trees. Resins are valued for their chemical properties and associated uses, such as the production of varnishes, adhesives, and food glazing agents; as an important source of raw materials...

, turpentine
Turpentine is a fluid obtained by the distillation of resin obtained from trees, mainly pine trees. It is composed of terpenes, mainly the monoterpenes alpha-pinene and beta-pinene...

, and other such wood-based chemicals), a meat-packing plant, a dairy plant, a bread factory, and other light enterprises.


The main architectural and historical sight of town is the Monastery of Dormition, founded in 1560. The monastery is famed for the Theotokos of Tikhvin
Theotokos of Tikhvin
The Theotokos of Tikhvin is one of the most celebrated Orthodox Christian icons. It is said to be one of the icons painted by St. Luke the Evangelist. According to tradition, in the 5th century, the icon was transferred from Jerusalem to Constantinople, where a church was built specially for it...

 icon. According to legend, it appeared on the shore of the Tikhvinka river on June 26 (Gregorian July 9) 1383; later at this place the monastery and town would be built.

An additional point of interest is the historical part of the town with old wooden buildings and planning characteristic of the 18th century. The ruins of wooden sluices from the 19th century has been preserved as well; these are the remains of the Tikhvin water ways.

The famous Russian composer, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov was a Russian composer, and a member of the group of composers known as The Five.The Five, also known as The Mighty Handful or The Mighty Coterie, refers to a circle of composers who met in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in the years 1856–1870: Mily Balakirev , César...

, was born in Tikhvin. His house has been converted into a museum.


  • "Tikhvin Lel": begun in 1991, a yearly children's artistic competition and festival of traditional dance associations. In 2000 more than 80 associations from different cities of Russia and countries of the CIS
    CIS usually refers to the Commonwealth of Independent States, a modern political entity consisting of eleven former Soviet Union republics.The acronym CIS may also refer to:-Organizations:...

     participated, with more than 1000 participants. There are three categories of competition: classical dance, folk dance, and variety dance. Many associations attend the festival several years in a row. Since 1998, players of folk instruments have been able to take part in the competition as soloists, duets, ensembles and orchestras. In 2000, 76 contestants participated in this portion of the festival.
  • "September in Tikhvin": an open festival of wind and jazz music that began in 2000 and is organized in part by the Rimsky-Korsakov School of Arts. The festival's aims are to encourage connections between musicians of different countries, train young people with the best examples of world jazz, and raise the level of musical education in art and music schools. Famous jazz musicians and jazz associations from Russia and abroad have participated in the festival throughout the years; participants from other countries have included those from Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and Great Britain. One of the initiators of the festival was the Tikhvin jazz quartet (created in 1994), which has repeatedly represented Tikhvin in festivals in France, Germany, and Finland.

Notable residents

  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov was a Russian composer, and a member of the group of composers known as The Five.The Five, also known as The Mighty Handful or The Mighty Coterie, refers to a circle of composers who met in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in the years 1856–1870: Mily Balakirev , César...

     (1844–1908), composer
  • Voin Rimsky-Korsakov
    Voin Rimsky-Korsakov
    Voin Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov was a Russian navigator, hydrographer and geographer. He was an elder brother of composer and conductor Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov....

     (1822–1871), his brother, naval figure

Twin towns/sister cities

Tikhvin is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Imatra
Imatra is a town and municipality in eastern Finland, founded in 1948 around three industrial settlements near the Finnish–Russian border. In the course of the last 50 years, this amorphous group of settlements has grown into a modern industrial town dominated by Lake Saimaa, the Vuoksi River and...

, Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

Hérouville-Saint-Clair is a commune in the Calvados department in the Basse-Normandie region in northwestern France.It is a suburb of the city of Caen, and lies adjacent to it in a northeasterly direction, along the west side of the Canal de Caen à la Mer...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

Trosa is a locality and the seat of Trosa Municipality, Södermanland County, Sweden with 4,633 inhabitants in 2005 and 11,417 in 2010 ....

, Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.