a city in Pskov Oblast, RSFSR. Located on the Lovat’ River (which flows into Lake Il’men’) at the intersection of the Moscow-Riga and Bologoe-Polotsk railroad lines. Population, 88,000 (1970; 35,000 in 1939). The main branches of industry are the machine-building and electric equipment industries, including a radio plant, plants producing electrical household appliances, rheostats, high voltage apparatus, peat machines, and a locomotive and railroad car repair plant; light industry including a flax combine and clothing and knitted goods factories; the woodworking industry; and the food industry. The educational institutions of Velikie Luki include agricultural and pedagogical institutes; a branch of the Leningrad Railroad Transport Engineering Institute; technicums of lumber technology, construction, and railroad transport; an evening electrical machine-building technicum; and a medical school. The city has a drama theater, a local lore museum, and the A. Matrosov Museum of Komsomol Glory.
The city of Velikie Luki was first mentioned in the chronicle under the year 1166. In early times it was of strategic importance as a fortress, which was built in 1211, protecting the approaches to Pskov and Novgorod. In 1478, Velikie Luki was annexed to Moscow. In 1777 it became a district city. During the Great Patriotic War (1941-45) it was heavily damaged and was restored after the war. Hero of the Soviet Union A. M. Matrosov is buried in Velikie Luki. A bronze bust of Marshal of the Soviet Union K. K. Rokossovskii, who was twice Hero of the Soviet Union and was a native of the city, has been erected in Velikie Luki.
REFERENCESVelikie Luki: 800 let.[Leningrad] 1966.
Ivanova, P. E. Velikie Luki.A collection. Leningrad, 1968.