Located 180 kilometres (110 mi) northwest of Moscow, Tver was formerly the capital of a powerful medieval state and a model provincial town in the Russian Empire. It is situated at the confluence of the Volga and Tvertsa Rivers. The city was known as Kalinin from 1931 to 1990.
After a fire levelled most of the town in 1763, the architect Pyotr Nikitin replanned Tver’s centre on a three-ray system and built his patron, Catherine the Great, a ‘road palace’ to rest in on journeys between the then-Russian capital of St Petersburg and Moscow.
Picturesque 18th- and 19th-century townhouses and churches still line the main streets and riverbank, but the Soviet period was unkind to Tver. The authorities tore down the venerable Cathedral of the Transfiguration of our Saviour in 1935.
Tver is a good access point for historic Torzhok and Lake Seliger.