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Coat of arms of Pytalovo
Coat of arms
Location of Pytalovo
Pytalovo is located in Russia
Location of Pytalovo
Pytalovo is located in Pskov Oblast
Pytalovo (Pskov Oblast)
Coordinates: 57°04′N 27°55′E / 57.067°N 27.917°E / 57.067; 27.917Coordinates: 57°04′N 27°55′E / 57.067°N 27.917°E / 57.067; 27.917
Federal subjectPskov Oblast[1]
Administrative districtPytalovsky District[1]
Known sincethe end of the
18th century
Town status since1933[2]
80 m (260 ft)
 • Total5,826
 • Estimate 
5,348 (-8.2%)
 • Capital ofPytalovsky District[5]
 • Municipal districtPytalovsky Municipal District[6]
 • Urban settlementPytalovo Urban Settlement[6]
 • Capital ofPytalovsky Municipal District[7], Pytalovo Urban Settlement[6]
Time zoneUTC+3 (MSK Edit this on Wikidata[8])
Postal code(s)[9]
Dialing code(s)+7 81147
OKTMO ID58653101001

Pytalovo (Russian: Пыта́лово; Latvian: Pitalova) is a town and the administrative center of Pytalovsky District in Pskov Oblast, Russia, located on the Utroya River (a tributary of the Velikaya), 102 kilometers (63 mi) southwest of Pskov, the administrative center of the oblast. Population: 5,826 (2010 Census);[3] 6,806 (2002 Census);[10] 7,166 (1989 Census).[11]

It was previously known as Pytalovo or Novo-Dmitrovskoye (until 1925),[12] Jaunlatgale (until 1938),[2] Abrene (until 1945).[2]


Accounts of the origin of Pytalovo's name reflect the region's dichotomy. The unofficial Pytalovo website offers two possibilities for the origin of the town's name,[13] neither based in any verifiable historical facts.[citation needed] One is that it was named for Lieutenant Pytalov, a guard to Catherine the Great, who received the lands in 1766 for reasons unknown, that estate subsequently being sold off by his descendants.[13] The other is that the name "speaks for itself" (i.e., it is derived from the Russian verb "пытать", to torture), named for a church courtyard with a large iron cross used to torture and execute people.[13]

A viable historical explanation is that Pytalovo is Russified Latvian for "Pietālava" (Latvian "pie Tālavas", or Latgalian "pī Tuolavas"), meaning "near Tālava", with Tālava being the name of an ancient Latvian feudal state.[14] Russophones comprised the majority of the population in a number of parishes during Latvia's initial independence, with further Russification ongoing. Nevertheless, the older generation testified to their Latvian heritage.[15] Historian Carl von Stern wrote of a cultural awakening amongst the region's inhabitants in the 1930s despite generations of Russification. Two thousand inhabitants from across Pskov gathered in September 1934 and proclaimed: "We are not Russian, but, indeed, Latvian. We are returning to our Latvian heritage. Latvians, lend us your helping hand, support and hasten our return!"[15] Audiences wept as they heard old familiar folk songs sung with words and a language lost over time.[15] A more concrete testament to Pytalovo's Latvian heritage is that the Latvian folk costumes of the region are the only ones which still preserve the most ancient tradition of white dress, once used in both daily life and for festive occasions.[16]


Historical affiliations

 Russian Empire 18th century–1917
 Republic of Latvia 1920–1940
 Soviet Union 1940–1991
 Russian Federation 1991–present

Pytalovo, alternatively known as Novo-Dmitrovskoye (Ново-Дмитровское),[12] a rural locality in Vyshgorodok volost, Ostrovsky Uyezd, Pskov Governorate, had been known since the end of the 18th century.[citation needed] In the last quarter of the 19th century, it had a population of 59.[12] It grew significantly after gaining a railway station by a newly constructed railway branch.

In February 1918 the German Army advances on Pskov and Petrograd capturing Pytalovo until fall 1918, when the Red Army retakes it.[17] In May 1919 г. advancing pro-czarist Russian North-Western Army of Gen. Nikolai Yudenich supported by Estonian and Latvian republican units recaptures westernmost part of the Pskov Governorate. The frontline as of noon the 1st of February 1920 was stipulated as the border demarcation line by the Latvian–Soviet Peace Treaty of 1920 between Latvian Republic and Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.[18]

By the Latvian–Soviet Peace Treaty of 1920, a part of Ostrovsky Uyezd, including Pytalovo, was passed to Latvia.[citation needed] In 1925, Latvians renamed it Jaunlatgale, which it was known as until 1938, when the name was changed to Abrene.[2] In 1933, it was granted town status.[2] During the interwar period, it was the administrative center of Abrene District.[citation needed] After the annexation of Latvia by the Soviet Union in 1940, the town originally remained a part of the Latvian SSR. During World War II, the town was occupied by the German Army from July 5, 1941 until July 22, 1944.[2] On January 16, 1945,[2] the town and the surrounding areas were transferred to Pskov Oblast of the Russian SFSR and Pytalovsky District was established.[19] At the same time, the town's original name (Pytalovo) was restored.[2]

Whether the region is historically Russian or Latvian became a highly politicized issue after Latvia restored its independence in 1991 and a border dispute erupted with Russia over the region. The Abrene District, constituting roughly 2% of Latvia's territory, was transferred to the Russian SFSR in 1945, but it had originally been a part of Russia and ceded to Latvia only a quarter century earlier, in 1920. Russian President Vladimir Putin famously uttered in 2005 that Latvia "will get the ears of a dead donkey but not Pytalovo [Abrene]".[20] The border dispute was not resolved until 2007, when a treaty between Latvia and Russia recognizing the existing border was signed.[21]

Administrative and municipal status[edit]

Within the framework of administrative divisions, Pytalovo serves as the administrative center of Pytalovsky District,[5] to which it is directly subordinated.[1] As a municipal division, the town of Pytalovo is incorporated within Pytalovsky Municipal District as Pytalovo Urban Settlement.[6]



As of 2003, only two industrial enterprises survived in Pytalovo—a textile factory and a printing house. A milk factory and a flax production factory, previously the biggest enterprises in the district, were defunct.[22]


Railway station

Pytalovo is an important railway station on the railway from St. Petersburg via Pskov to Rēzekne in Latvia and further to Vilnius. In Pytalovo, another railway to Gulbene and Riga branches off west. As of 2012, there was passenger traffic on the railway.

Pytalovo has an easy access to the European route E262, from Ostrov to Kaunas via Rēzekne and Daugavpils.


Among places of interest in town Pytalovo there is a railway station building built in the modernist style in the early 20th century, the wooden building of the functioning St. Nicholas Church built in 1931, the post office building (early 20th century), and the house of merchant Ilyin (built in the 1920s).

Pytalovo is home to an ethnographic museum focusing on Russian and Latgalian cultures.[23]



  1. ^ a b c d Law #833-oz stipulates that the borders of the administrative districts are identical to the borders of the municipal districts. The Law #420-oz, which describes the borders and the composition of the municipal districts, lists the town of Pytalovo as a part of Pytalovsky District.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Энциклопедия Города России. Moscow: Большая Российская Энциклопедия. 2003. p. 371. ISBN 5-7107-7399-9.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "26. Численность постоянного населения Российской Федерации по муниципальным образованиям на 1 января 2018 года". Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Государственный комитет Российской Федерации по статистике. Комитет Российской Федерации по стандартизации, метрологии и сертификации. №ОК 019-95 1 января 1997 г. «Общероссийский классификатор объектов административно-территориального деления. Код 58 253», в ред. изменения №278/2015 от 1 января 2016 г.. (State Statistics Committee of the Russian Federation. Committee of the Russian Federation on Standardization, Metrology, and Certification. #OK 019-95 January 1, 1997 Russian Classification of Objects of Administrative Division (OKATO). Code 58 253, as amended by the Amendment #278/2015 of January 1, 2016. ).
  6. ^ a b c d Law #420-oz
  7. ^ Федеральная служба государственной статистики. Федеральное агентство по технологическому регулированию и метрологии. №ОК 033-2013 1 января 2014 г. «Общероссийский классификатор территорий муниципальных образований. Код 58 653». (Federal State Statistics Service. Federal Agency on Technological Regulation and Metrology. #OK 033-2013 January 1, 2014 Russian Classification of Territories of Municipal Formations. Code 58 653. ).
  8. ^ "Об исчислении времени". Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации (in Russian). June 3, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  9. ^ Почта России. Информационно-вычислительный центр ОАСУ РПО. (Russian Post). Поиск объектов почтовой связи (Postal Objects Search) ‹See Tfd›(in Russian)
  10. ^ 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).
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ a b c Поспелов, Е. М. (2001). Географические названия мира: Топонимический словарь (in Russian). АСТ.
  13. ^ a b c Unofficial website of Pytalovo. О названии города ‹See Tfd›(in Russian)
  14. ^ D. Eglitis quoting historian Edgars Andersons in Imagining the Nation: History, Modernity, and Revolution in Latvia. Penn State Press, 2002.
  15. ^ a b c Latviskā Jaunlatgale' Archived March 7, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, V. Krasnais, "Latviskā Jaunlatgale, Apgabala Vēsturiskie Likteņi, retrieved June 22, 2013; also available at [1]; local community leader A. Briedis recounted during the period: "Nevertheless, the older generation in these parishes completely confirms that in older times they had spoken Latvian and that the Russians had called them Latvians. But now, as the older generation passes on, children are being educating in Russian schools as Russians even under Latvia".
  16. ^ "Несколько столетий тому назад одежда белого цвета была широко распространена по всей территории Латвии. Теперь Абренский этнографический район остался единственным, где еще можно встретить такую одежду. Характерно, что здесь белыми были как праздничный наряд, так и рабочая одежда." from Abrene Women's Folk Costume, Latvian State Printing House, Riga. ca. 1960
  17. ^ "В годы первой Мировой войны | Официальный портал государственных органов Псковской области". www.pskov.ru. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  18. ^ "History of Pytalovo (in Russian)". Pytalovo Unofficial WEB-site. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  19. ^ Administrative-Territorial Structure of Pskov Oblast, p. 14
  20. ^ R. Mole. The Baltic States from the Soviet Union to the European Union: Identity, Discourse and Power in the Post-Communist Transition of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Routledge, 2012.
  21. ^ "Treaty puts legal stamp on EU external border". New Europe Online. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  22. ^ Никоноров, Николай (November 13, 2003). Не потопаешь - не полопаешь. Rossiyskaya Gazeta (in Russian). 2003 (29).
  23. ^ Пыталовский музей Дружбы Народов (in Russian). Российская сеть культурного наследия. Retrieved July 15, 2012.


  • 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 №420-оз от 28 февраля 2005 г. «Об установлении границ и статусе вновь образуемых муниципальных образований на территории Псковской области», в ред. Закона №1542-ОЗ от 5 июня 2015 г. «О внесении изменений в Закон Псковской области "Об установлении границ и статусе вновь образуемых муниципальных образований на территории Псковской области"». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Псковская правда", №41–43, №44–46, №49–51, 4 марта 2005 г., 5 марта 2005 г., 11 марта 2005 г. (Pskov Oblast Council of Deputies. Law #420-oz of February 28, 2005 On Establishing the Borders and the Status of the Newly Formed Municipal Formations on the Territory of Pskov Oblast, as amended by the Law #1542-OZ of June 5, 2015 On Amending the Law of Pskov Oblast "On Establishing the Borders and the Status of the Newly Formed Municipal Formations on the Territory of Pskov Oblast". Effective as of the official publication date.).
  • Архивный отдел Псковского облисполкома. Государственный архив Псковской области. "Административно-территориальное деление Псковской области (1917–1988 гг.). Справочник". (Administrative-Territorial Structure of Pskov Oblast (1917–1988). Reference.) Книга I. Лениздат, 1988

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