Facts About Ivangorod Fortress: One Of Russian’s Oldest Fortresses

Godwill By Godwill , 15th Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>Russia>Moscow & Around

Ivangorod Fortress is one of the Russian’s medieval castles established in 1492, opposing to the Herman Narva Castle on the other side of the Narva River. Situated on a high stratified rock known by the people as ‘Virgin’s Mountain’, it stands intimidating to the Narva Castle and both fortresses are only separated by the bed of the Narva River.

Ivangorod Fortress

The Ivangorod Fortress was constructed during the reign of Grand Prince Ivan III as a counter to the Teutonic Knights' Livonian fortress city. Ivangorod was named after Grand Prince Ivan III, during whose reign Moscow completed the incorporation of Russian lands which was concluded in the 15th Century. The Fortress has an area of 1600sq meters with walls measuring 14 meters high and was flanked with square towers. The most intriguing history about the Fortress is that the construction was carried out in the summer of 1492 exactly the same time Sweden, Poland, and the Livonian Order stopped, for a short while, their constant invasions on their neighbours. Suddenly, the Fortress sprang up literally one summer on the mountain top opposing to the Herman Narva Castle and strongly intimidated the German traders who used the root for their businesses with the West. If the Russians had tried to build the Fortress during winter, the snows would have covered the River Narva thus providing a walk way for the Livonian Knights to attack and disrupt the construction.
In 1946, the Swedish laid a seven hour’s siege that left all the Russians in the Fortress dead and they fled when they discovered that a re-enforcement of the Muscovites led by Voyvode Ivan Gundar and Mikhail Klyapin were approaching the Fortress. The Fortress was recovered back by the Russians and rebuilt within 12 weeks.
The administration of the Fortress changed hands several times as constant wars erupted by the Narva River and it’s environs and due to the pressure and invasions on the Fortress, much security re-enforcements was carried out on the structures to make it stronger by the different people who took control of the Fortress at each particular time; and subsequently, it became fortified that it turned out to be one of the strongest defensive points in Eastern Europe in the 16th Century.
In 1704, Peter the Great captured the Fortress from Swedish troops, bringing it back into Russian control. Inside the fortress, there are two churches: one is St. Nicholas which was built in the late 16th Century; this church served the Protestant faith, but was later converted back to the Orthodox Rite. The other church is dedicated to the Virgin's Assumption and was built in 1496.
In the 18th Century, the military strength of the Fortress began to dwindle and a lot of efforts were made by the Russians to revamp it which couldn’t bring it up to a fighting standard. Repairs were done to the Fortress in 1840, 1863 and from 1911 to 1914 but nevertheless, it could not meet the standard of the civilization in vogue before the World War 1. The Fortress was captured by the Germans during the World War1on 25th of February, 1918 and from 1919 to 1940, it belonged to Estonia.
During the World War11, the Germans took over the Fortress from the Russians who took control of the Castle from 1940 to 1941 and remained in control till 1944 when they retreated after destroying so many infrastructures of the Fortress. Today, the Fortress serves as a museum which has attracted many people from all over the world. The museum contains exhibits paintings like that of Ivan Bilibin and Alexandria Pototskaya; archeological findings and artifacts of the history of the Fortress and documents to confirm certain events in the history of the Fortress. The Ivangorod Fortress and the Herman Narva Castle stands at the opposite sides of the Narva River as great ancient contrast.

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author avatar Godwill
A Writer, Authour and Publisher based in Lagos. Freelance writing on Religion, History, Food & Nutrition, Self-help & Counselling, Addiction, Poems & Proses, and science, with online E books.

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