Spectroscopic characterization of Czochralski grown Ho(0.2%-4%):PbWO4 crystals were performed over 0.2-8 μm spectral range. Polarized optical absorption, emission and kinetics of fluorescence of 5I8 ⇔ 5I7 holmium transitions were studied over 20-300 K temperature interval. The lifetime of 5I7 state in the Ho(0.5%):PbWO4 crystal was measured to be 5.0 ms. The stimulated Raman scattering at 2.5 μm was studied under 1.7 and 2.0 μm excitation. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.