Great Fortresses of Russia - list


For centuries, the borders of Russia have been subjected to changes many times due to all sorts of wars, invasions and other historical events. One of the most important tasks of Russia at all times was to protect its borders. Especially in the north-west, where there was a constant threat from Lithuania and Sweden, which many times tested the borders of the Russian state for strength. In this regard, in the Middle Ages, powerful defenses were built, which created a solid shield from enemies on the borders of our state. Many of the great fortresses of Russia are well preserved throughout the day, many are partially preserved, some are completely destroyed or for other reasons erased from the face of the earth over time. This article will discuss the greatest examples of ancient architecture that can be seen today.


The legacy of past eras

Most of the fortifications on the territory of our country was built in the Middle Ages. However, there are both earlier and later fortresses of Russia, which performed very important functions in the life of the country. They, of course, do not carry any protective functions, but are architectural monuments and cultural heritage, because they are a reflection of the heroic past of the Russian people. Most of the structures presented below are Russian military fortresses, but among them there are also monasteries-fortresses and other most valuable masterpieces of ancient architecture of the past centuries. The territory of our country is truly enormous, and on it is really a large number of different defensive fortifications. It is worth highlighting the most strategically important and well-known fortress in Russia. The list is as follows:

1. Staroladozhskaya fortress.

2. Fortress Nut.

3. Ivangorod fortress.

4. Koporskaya fortress.

5. Pskov fortress.

6. Izborsk fortress.

7. Porkhov fortress.

8. Novgorod fortress.

9. Kronstadt fortress.

10. Moscow Kremlin.

More details about each of them are written below.

Staraya Ladoga Fortress

The list should start with it, since in Staraya Ladoga, it is also called “the ancient capital of North Russia”, in the 9th century the Varyags built the first fortress in Russia. Important point: it was the first stone fortress on the territory of Ancient Russia. However, it was destroyed by the Swedes, and in the XII century. it was erected again, and in the XVI century. rebuilt. In later centuries, it fell into decay and collapsed, and only a part of the walls, two towers and a church have survived to this day.


Nutlet, or Shlisselburg, or Noteburg

This is the number of names of this fortress of Russia, which is also located on the territory of the present Leningrad region. It was founded in 1352, the remains of the first wall of boulders are still in the center of a more modern fortress. In the XV - XVI centuries it was rebuilt and became a model of a classical fortress, designed for all-round defense. In the 17th century, it belonged to Sweden until it was repulsed by Peter I. From the 18th century, the fortress became a prison, where members of the royal family, favorites, schismatics, Decembrists and many others were sent. During the siege of Leningrad, the Germans could not take it. At the moment there are many museum exhibits that once belonged to the prisoners of these walls.


Might of Ivangorod

In 1492, the foundation of this fortress-city of Russia was laid over the River Narva on the Maiden's Hill and named after the great Russian prince. Ivangorod fortress was built only seven weeks - an incredible speed for that time. Initially square with four towers, it was completed and expanded in the XV - XVI centuries. It was a strategically important center of Russia, which controlled the ships on the river and access to the Baltic Sea. The monument of military engineering art is very well preserved to our days, despite the damage during the Great Patriotic War.

Ancient Koporye

First mentioned in the annals of 1240 as a fortress, which laid the Crusaders. They retreated thanks to the army of Alexander Nevsky, with his son in 1297, they completed the construction of the Koporsky fortress. In the XVI century, it was thoroughly rebuilt. In the 17th century, it, like some other fortresses of northwestern Russia, was swept away by the Swedes, and only in 1703 was it able to be beaten off. For some time it was the military-administrative center of the Ingermanland province (the first province of Russia). Only fragments of walls and 4 towers have survived to this day, but at the same time underground passages have been remarkably preserved. In the very Koporye is "Rusich" - a glacial boulder, one of the largest of the now existing.


Great Pskov

It was the first walled city on the northwestern border of Russia. In the annals mentioned since 903 years. And from 1348 to 1510 it was the center of the Pskov Veche Republic - a small boyar state. In the center of the ensemble of the Pskov fortress was Krom (Kremlin), built in 1337 on a promontory at the confluence of two rivers, inside of which were: Trinity Cathedral, government, treasury, archive, the same court decided, collected veche and stored weapons and supplies. The second line of fortifications - Dovmontov city - was built in the XIV - XV centuries. To the south of Dovmotnov city another wall was erected, and in the resulting so-called jail was Torgovishche. In 1374 - 75 years. the city was surrounded by another wall - Middle City.

The defense of the city consisted of four belts of stone fortifications. The total length of the walls was 9.5 km, along the entire length of which there were 40 towers. In times of sieges and battles, even women fought on the walls of this fortress of Russia. Mostly the cities of Ancient Rus were wooden, but Pskov was built from the 12th century with stone temples, many of which still exist today.

The Pskovo-Pechersky Monastery is unique in its serf ensemble, its center is located between the hills, and the edges are hidden by ravines. Despite the fact that the monastery did not perform precisely the military function, it was able to withstand the attack of the Swedes. In addition to the ground part with the usual churches and outbuildings, this monastery also has a cave church - the Assumption. It appeared in 1473, at the same time and consecrated the monastery itself. At the moment, the monastery is open to the public.

One of the first

In the Pskov region is Izborsk, which was one of the first cities in Russia and is listed in the annals from 862 years. In 1330 a stone fortress was erected, which in its history was rebuilt and changed several times, and fragments of which have survived to this day, although they have been thoroughly destroyed by time. The length of the fortress walls was about 850 meters. In the XIV century, one of the participants in the siege dubbed Izborsk "iron hail", and until World War II no one could take the fortress. Nowadays, a festival of military-historical reconstruction called “Iron City” is held in these places. Practically from under the walls of this fortress, Russia are beaten by keys, the waters of which are considered healing, and in spring they become whole waterfalls flowing into the lake.


Small porkhov

Another of the fortresses of the Pskov region is Porkhovskaya. Relatively small, it had only three towers, a church and a bell tower. It was mortgaged as early as 1387, later completed, like many other ancient fortresses of Russia. According to the chronicles, the city of Porkhov itself was founded during the reign of Alexander Nevsky to cover the waterway from Pskov to Novgorod. Under Catherine II, a botanical garden was laid in the walls of the fortress. In its place now there is a small cozy corner where medicinal plants grow, and inside the fortress itself there is a museum post. The city of Porkhov is interesting even more other monuments of architecture, such as merchant houses, historic estates and unusual temples.

Detinets of Veliky Novgorod

One of the largest and richest cities in Russia of the XI-XV centuries is Novgorod. From 1136 to 1478, he was the center of the Novgorod Republic, then joined the Moscow principality. Located on the banks of the Volkhov River, near the lake Ilmen. In the center of the city from 1333 there was a wooden Detinets (Kremlin), which was later burned. At the end of the 15th century, it was rebuilt in stone form. At the moment, the entire stunning architectural ensemble of the Kremlin is a UNESCO monument. The complex consisted of twelve towers (round and square), and the length of the walls was more than one and a half kilometers. Many of the fortifications, unfortunately, have not survived to this day.


The newest history of Russia

The Kronstadt fortress belongs to a later epoch of the country's history than the above-mentioned fortresses of Russia. The fortress city of Kronstadt, located on the island of Kotlin, on the periphery of which there are numerous forts of the complex, is the largest fortification in Europe and is also a UNESCO monument. Despite this, many of the fortifications today are in a very neglected state. The forts “Grand Duke Konstantin”, “Kronslot”, “Konstantin” and “Emperor Alexander I” are currently the most accessible and visited. In Kronstadt there are also quite a lot of old and interesting buildings: the palace, Gostiny Dvor, the Admiralty complex, Tolbukhin Lighthouse, Naval Nikolsky Cathedral and many others.

The most important


At different periods in the history of our country, various fortresses played an important, if not decisive role. Today we can say that this function is performed by the Moscow Kremlin. This main fortress of Russia is located on the banks of the Moscow River on Borovitsky Hill. As early as in 1156, the first wooden fortifications were built on this site, which were replaced by stone in the XIV century (they used local white stone). It is believed that this is why Moscow was called white stone. However, this material, though it withstood a lot of enemy attacks, turned out to be short-lived.

During the reign of Ivan III Vasilyevich, the restructuring of the Kremlin began. Invited Italian masters erected palaces, churches and other buildings. In the 16th century, new temples continued to be built: the Cathedral of the Ascension Monastery, the Cathedral of the Chudov Monastery, and others. In parallel with this, new walls and towers of the Moscow Kremlin were built, and the area of ​​the fortress was increased. At the time of Peter the Great, when Moscow ceased to be the royal residence, and the great fire of 1701 took many wooden buildings, it was forbidden to build wooden buildings inside the Kremlin. At the same time, the construction of the Arsenal began.

Later, the Kremlin was not only once completed and rebuilt, and a single architectural ensemble appeared in 1797. In 1812, Napoleon entered Moscow and the Kremlin, respectively, and when he left his walls through a secret passage, he ordered all buildings to be blown up. Fortunately, most of the buildings survived, but still the damage was significant. For 20 years, much has been restored, reconstructed and eliminated traces of explosions.

Subsequently, the Moscow Kremlin was subjected to various changes many times, most of all its architectural ensemble suffered during the time of the Bolsheviks coming to power. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1990, and since 1991 it has become the residence of the President of the Russian Federation. Since then, periodically restored. More than 2 km - the length of the walls of the Kremlin, along them there are 20 towers. Cathedrals and churches: Arkhangelsk, Blagoveshchensk, Assumption, Verkhospassky and others. On the territory there is the Grand Kremlin Palace, the Golden Tsaritsyn Chamber, Arsenal, the Armory and other buildings. Four squares, a garden and a square, as well as two monuments - the Tsar Cannon and the Tsar Bell, and many other buildings are located on the territory of this important historical, artistic, social and political complex of our country.

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