Pskov was the largest prigorod of Novgorod. Its population was equal to that of Novgorod and the area occupied by the city was even larger. Pskov was located on a rocky cape at the place where river Pskova merged with wide and deep river Velikaya. First it consisted only of a fortress, called detinets. Later, it was surrounded by an outer wall and some inner walls. Inside the fortress there was the main cathedral of Pskov, the St. Trinity cathedral, which had the same meaning for Pskov as the St. Sophia for Novgorod. There was a marketplace in the centre of the city. The city consisted of six self-governing "ends". The lands belonging to Pskov were small and spread in the meridional direction along the banks of river Velikaya and Chudskoye lake. Pskov had 12 prigorods. All they were fortified settlements surrounding the main city and were associated with its "ends": two prigorods for each "end".
Such network of fortifications was necessary on the western borders of Rus. Pskov faced Germans and Lithuanians and protected Novgorod and other Rus from their attacks. When trade routes connecting Rus with the Baltic sea developed, Pskov became an important trade centre. The growth of Pskov led to its independence from Novgorod in 1348, when the two cities signed a treaty in village Bolotovo. Pskov began to elect posadniks. Knyazes were appointed by Moscow. The only remaining link with Novgorod was the power of the archbishop.
The political system of Pskov was similar to that of Novgorod, but the social classes were not divided by the gap as wide as in Novgorod. So, the social landscape was much more peaceful. Boyars were not too rich and the chern' was not hopelessly poor. The political features specefic for Pskov were defined by the code of law called Pskovskaya sudnaya gramota, which substituted Russkaya pravda in Pskov.
The most respected knyazes of Pskov were Vsevolod-Gavriil Mstislavich, exiled from Novgorod, and knyaz Dovmont, who fled from Lithuania to Rus and defended Pskov from the enemies from the West. Both are buried in the St. Trinity cathedral. Both of them ruled in the times when the city was not independent yet, but they were autonomous in their actions and decisions. In the later years, the knyazes were sent to Pskov from Moscow and were simply the deputies of the grand prince.