The western outskirts of the Russian state, land of Sebezh has been a borderland for many centuries. Moreover, it marked the whole history of Sebezh. In the poem about Ilya Muromets there is a mention of how he defeated the army of three tsareviches under the town of Sebezh.
There is an evidence of a Polish chronicler in 1414 about Sebezh as a settlement, which was taken and burnt during Duke Vitovt’s military expedition to Pskov. Nevertheless, the official date listed for the founding to be 1535, when the wooden fortress was built on the northern shore of Lake of Sebezh in order to strengthen the borders with the Great Duchy of Lithuania. It should be said the fortress passed testing for failure in 1536. It was besieged by King Sigismund’s troops when defenders of the city repeated the heroic deed of Alexander Nevsky: they pounded Polish-Lithuanian troops into the Lake of Sebezh covered with ice, where the enemy troops drowned. Since that time, Sebezh has become one of the strongest points on the western borders of the Russian State. During the Northern War, Peter the Great, after his arrival at Sebezh, personally supervised the construction of fortifications, preparing for the battle with the army of the Swedish King Charles XII. “Peter’s Mountain” is one of the fortified positions that reminds about those ancient times.
The history of the region includes the names of many remarkable people, whose activities were of a great importance in the development of science and culture of the Russian State. The Russian poet G. Derzhavin had the village of Prihaby in his ownership; D. Fonvizin, a writer, had an estate in Telezhniki. The future Decembrist P. Pestel visited his father in the village of Lomy. The painter Mark Chagall visited Sebezh several times and many of his paintings were inspired by the Sebezh landscapes. The Russian filmmaker Eisenstein dreamed of building a “Russian Hollywood” here, but Stalin rejected this proposal. The famous film actor Zinovy Gerdt was born and grew up in Sebezh. For those people who love history, it will be interesting here, because it is possible to combine recreational activities with cultural recreation.