|Velikiye Luki (English)
Великие Луки (Russian)
|- Town -|
Panorama of Velikiye Luki
Location of Pskov Oblast in Russia
|Administrative status (as of February 2009)|
|Federal subject||Pskov Oblast|
|Administratively subordinated to||Town of Velikiye Luki|
|Administrative center of||Velikoluksky District, Town of Velikiye Luki|
|Municipal status (as of February 2005)|
|Urban okrug||Velikiye Luki Urban Okrug|
|Administrative center of||Velikiye Luki Urban Okrug, Velikoluksky Municipal District|
|Population (2010 Census)||98,778 inhabitants|
|- Rank in 2010||169th|
|Time zone||MSK (UTC+04:00)|
|Dialing code(s)||+7 81153|
Velikiye Luki (Russian: Великие Луки; IPA: [vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪjə ˈlukʲɪ]; lit. great meanders) is a town in Pskov Oblast, Russia, located on the meandering Lovat River. It is the second largest town in Pskov Oblast; population: 98,778 (2010 Census); 104,979 (2002 Census); 113,745 (1989 Census).
It was first mentioned in a chronicle under the year of 1166 as Luki. From the 12th century, Luki was a part of the Novgorod Republic. After the construction of a fortress in 1211, Velikiye Luki gained strategic importance, defending the approaches to Pskov and Novgorod. It was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Moscow by Ivan the Great in 1478. During the Livonian War, it played an important role. In the course of the administrative reform carried out in 1708 by Peter the Great, Velikiye Luki was included into Ingermanland Governorate (known since 1710 as Saint Petersburg Governorate). It was explicitly mentioned as one of the towns the governorate comprised. In 1727, separate Novgorod Governorate was split off, and in 1772, Pskov Governorate (which between 1777 and 1796 existed as Pskov Viceroyalty) was established. After 1777, Velikiye Luki was the seat of Velikolutsky Uyezd (later known as Velikoluksky Uyezd). At the beginning of the 20th century, it evolved into an important railway hub following the construction of the railway connecting Moscow with Riga.
On August 1, 1927, the uyezds were abolished, and Velikoluksky District was established, with the administrative center in Velikiye Luki. Pskov Governorate was abolished as well, Velikiye Luki was the center of Velikiye Luki Okrug of Leningrad Oblast. On June 17, 1929, the okrug was transferred to Western Oblast. On July 23, 1930, the okrugs were also abolished. On January 29, 1935, Western Oblast was abolished, and the district was transferred to Kalinin Oblast, and on February 5 of the same year, Velikiye Luki became the center of Velikiye Luki Okrug of Kalinin Oblast, one of the okrugs abutting the state boundaries of the Soviet Union. On May 4, 1938, the okrug was abolished again.
Between 1941 and 1944, Velikoluksky District was occupied by German troops. During World War II, in 1941 and 1942, intensive fighting took place in the vicinity between German and Soviet forces. During the Battle for Velikiye Luki (in late 1942), a German force of about 20,000 was surrounded in the town which had been turned into a fortress. After months of heavy fighting, the German defenders were finally wiped out in January 1943. As a result of this siege, the town suffered almost total destruction.
On August 22, 1944, Velikiye Luki Oblast was established, with the administrative center in Velikiye Luki. On October 2, 1957, Velikiye Luki Oblast was abolished, and Velikiye Luki was transferred to Pskov Oblast as the town of oblast significance.
Administrative and municipal status 
Within the framework of administrative divisions, it serves as the administrative center of Velikoluksky District, even though it is not a part of it. As an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as the Town of Velikiye Luki—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, the Town of Velikiye Luki is incorporated as Velikiye Luki Urban Okrug and serves as the administrative center of Velikoluksky Municipal District.
Velikiye Luki is an industrial city, with several enterprises in machine building industry. They produce machines for timber industry, electrotechnical equipment, and batteries. There is a workshop to repair railway carriages and locomotives. There are also enterprises of timber, textile, and food industries, as well as production of brickstones. Food industry in 2010 was responsible for production of 24.8% of all industrial output, and electrotechnical industry produced 15% of the output.
Velikiye Luki is an important railway hub. One railway connects Moscow via Velikiye Luki with Riga and runs in the east-west direction. Another railway, running to the northwest, connects Velikiye Luki via Toropets and Ostashkov with Bologoye. One more railway connects Velikiye Luki to Nevel, where it splits into two railway lines, both running southeast into Belarus: One line to Vitebsk, and another one to Grodno via Polotsk and Molodechno.
The M9 highway which connects Moscow and Riga bypasses Velikiye Luki, which has an access to the highway. Other roads connect Velikiye Luki with Novosokolniki, with Nevel, and with Porkhov via Loknya. There are also local roads.
The town is served by the Velikiye Luki Airport.
Culture and recreation 
The district contains seven objects classified as cultural and historical heritage of federal significance and thirty-three monuments of local significance. The federal monuments include the Kazan Church built in the 19th century, and the ramparts, the oldest of which originate from the 12th century.
The two museums in Velikiye Luki are the Velikiye Luki Local Museum, which exhibits collections of local interest, and Ivan Vinogradov Museum-House, located in the house which belonged to the parents of mathematician Ivan Vinogradov. The house was restored in the 1970s with the help of Vinogradov himself. He lived here before moving to study in Saint Petersburg.
Notable people 
Velikiye Luki has been claimed as the birthplace of Soviet Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky. The Hero of the Soviet Union Alexander Matrosov is buried in this city. Modest Mussorgsky's memorial house in Kunyinsky District, standing on the bank of a large picturesque lake, is within easy range of the town.
International relations 
Twin towns and sister cities 
Velikiye Luki is twinned with:
- Law #833-oz
- Law #419-oz
- "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. 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- Правительство Российской Федерации. Постановление №725 от 31 августа 2011 г. «О составе территорий, образующих каждую часовую зону, и порядке исчисления времени в часовых зонах, а также о признании утратившими силу отдельных Постановлений Правительства Российской Федерации». Вступил в силу по истечении 7 дней после дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Российская Газета", №197, 6 сентября 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Resolution #725 of August 31, 2011 On the Composition of the Territories Included into Each Time Zone and on the Procedures of Timekeeping in the Time Zones, as Well as on Abrogation of Several Resolutions of the Government of the Russian Federation. Effective as of after 7 days following the day of the official publication.).
- Энциклопедия Города России. Moscow: Большая Российская Энциклопедия. 2003. p. 63. ISBN 5-7107-7399-9.
- "List of postal codes" (in Russian). Russian Post. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- "Телефонный код города Великие Луки (81153)" (in Russian). city-code. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- ISBN 530900257Х. Г. П. Смолицкая. "Топонимический словарь Центральной России". "Армада-Пресс", 2002 (G. P. Smolitskaya. Toponymic Dictionary of Central Russia. Armada-Press, 2002)
- "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]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. May 21, 2004. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Demoscope Weekly (1989). "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). Institute of Demographics of the State University—Higher School of Economics. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Герасимёнок, Т. Е.; Н. В. Коломыцева, И. С. Пожидаев, С. М. Фёдоров, К. И. Карпов (2002). Территориальное деление Псковской области (in Russian). Pskov. ISBN 5-94542-031-X.
- "Промышленность" (in Russian). Портал муниципальных образований Псковской области. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- "Памятники истории и культуры народов Российской Федерации" (in Russian). Russian Ministry of Culture. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- "Великолукский краеведческий музей" (in Russian). Российская сеть культурного наследия. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- "Мемориальный дом-музей академика И.М.Виноградова" (in Russian). Российская сеть культурного наследия. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- "Воздухоплаватели со всего мира соберутся в Великих Луках" (in Russian). RIA Novosti. June 8, 2012. Retrieved 14 October 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 №419-оз от 28 февраля 2005 г. «О границах и статусе действующих на территории области муниципальных образований». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Псковская правда", №41–43, 4 марта 2005 г. (Pskov Oblast Council of Deputies. Law #419-ы. of February 28, 2005 On the Borders and Status of the Municipal Formations Existing on the Oblast Territory. Effective as of the official publication date.).