Situated at the point where the Volga and Tvertsa rivers meet, Tver is the administrative center of Tver Oblast. The city originally started life as a minor settlement of Novgorodian traders but it soon became transformed into one of the richest and most populous Russian states. The surrounding woodlands and bogs were harvested and transformed into a beautiful city - a place that housed a number of princes in its heyday. Besides is booming industry, beauty and popularity, Tver also has the advantage of being virtually inaccessible to raiding Tartars. This saw a steady influx of refugees from the south whose homes had been devastated and whose lives had been shattered. The refugees brought with them skills which continued to help the city to grow until eventually it was on par with Moscow. For many years it battled for supremacy but its status as a beautiful and powerful city was not to be long lived.