All those who are interested in the history of Pskov must visit the Pogankin Chambers, an example of the 17 century architecture, now housing the main expositions of the Pskov Historical and Architectural and Art Museum.
Pogankin Chambers were built by Sergey Pogankin, a very rich and influential Pskov merchant, in 1670. This successful merchant controlled the mint and customs of Pskov. There are several legends about the origin of his surname. The most wide-spread legend related it to his active trade with foreigners, who were then called «pagans».
For that time Pogankin had a very significant fortune, so he decided to build for himself a huge dwelling. It consisted of three buildings. The main 3-floor building was occupied by the head of the family, Sergey Pogankin himself, the 2-floor building was occupied by his elder son and the small one-floor building was designed for kitchen. All three building were built using limestone slabs and mortar, and the walls were whitewashed.
After the death of Grigory Pogankin, the last representative of the family in 1711, all his property, including the Chambers, was given to the Church, and in 1747 the Chambers were bought out by the Treasury and used as warehouse. The Chambers were given to the Museum society only in 1900, and since that time they housed various museum expositions.
Several rooms are alloted for the collection of ancient icons of the Pskov school dating back to 14-17 century. It also houses an interesting collection of silverware, including that from the Pskov treasures, expositions of the local applied arts and crafts, a picture gallery and the exhibition «1100-year Pskov in the history of Russia». It will be interesting to have a look at the sword of the 13 century, which is called the «sword of the prince Dovmont».