State historical-architectural, landscape and natural museum-preserve «Izborsk»

23 July 2016

This July Izborsk has become one of the locations for shooting a film entitled “Sofia” (Directed by Vyacheslav Ross). Shooting took place on Truvor’s ancient Settlement Site and inside 14th century Izborsk fortress. The film is dedicated to Byzantine princess Sophia Palaiologina and Grand Prince Ivan III. Maria Andreyeva acts the part Sophia, Evgeniy Tsyganov acts the part of the Grand Prince of Moscow. As the creators of the film say this project will become one of the most expensive Russian film series.

Sophia Palaiologina was by marriage Grand Princess of Moscow as the second wife of Grand Prince Ivan III. She was the mother of Vasili III and the grandmother of Ivan IV. Sophia Palaiologina was born around 1455. She was a Byzantine princess member of the Imperial Palaiologos family. The marriage between Sophia and Ivan III was proposed by Pope Paul II in 1469, with the hope of strengthening the influence of the Catholic Church in Russia.

However, these plans to make Sophia represent Catholicism failed as was soon demonstrated when after her wedding she returned to the faith of her ancestors.

Sophia left Rome in June 1472. Travel itinerary was as follows: to the north of Italy through Germany, then across the Baltic Sea to Russian lands. For a week Pskov posadniks and boyars were living in Izborsk expecting her, but then received an order to meet her in on the bank of the Baltic Sea. Sophia continued her trip for Moscow via Pskov, where she was given a warm welcome. On October 13, the princess arrived at Snetogorskiy monastery, located not far from Pskov, where the Father Superior and the monks held a service in her honor. Having received a blessing from the priests the princess left for Moscow on October 17.  

The marriage of Ivan III and Sophia Palaiologina undoubtedly strengthened the Moscow State.

Sophia Palaiologina lived in Russia for 30 years, giving birth to 12 children.

Sophia invited various artists and doctors to Moscow. The creations of Italian  architects made Russian capital equal to European capitals in its and splendor beauty. This contributed to strengthening the prestige of Moscow State.   

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