Tver is a city in Tver Oblast. It was the capital of the powerful medieval Tver Principality and one-time rival to Moscow as Russia's preeminent power base. The medieval center is long gone, a victim of centuries of fires, Nazis, and general rebuilding, but the downtown area is nonetheless quite attractive, dominated by neoclassical architecture erected during the reign of Catherine the Great.
Russians usually say "Tver-v Moskvu dver" (Tver is a door to Moscow). Since Saint Petersburg was founded, Tver has been a critical transit city on the road between two major cities. The main waterway for commerce in the region, the Volga, also passes through the city. Tver was famous for its merchants. One of them, Afanasiy Nikitin, reached India and was the first one of the first Europeans (after Marco Polo and Niccolò de' Conti) to travel to and document his visit to that land. He described his trip in a narrative known as The Journey Beyond Three Seas (Khozheniye za tri morya).
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