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Old August 2nd, 2006, 02:15 PM   #1
Имперская морда
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Russian northern fortresses

This is the thread about nothern fortresses of Russia. Today I present you four of them, located in St. Peterburg and Pskov region. Below I post the map of main region fortresses made on Google maps' base. The following four i've marked with red.

Izborsk. According to the Russian Primary Chronicle, the town was the seat of Rurik's brother in 862. The most ancient extant structure is the Tower Lukovka (lit., "Onion Tower"), constructed in 1330. At that time it was the only stone building in the vicinity and adjoined a wooden wall. After seven other stone towers and the new stone wall were completed, Lukovka became a watch-tower. The Nativity church within the fortress was built in the 16th century. Near the fortress is a museum of stone crosses. [Wikipedia]

At the top of Lukovka tover:

Pskov. The name of the city, originally spelled Pleskov, may be loosely translated as "the town of purling waters". Its earliest mention comes in 903, which records that Igor of Kiev married a local lady, St. Olga. Pskovians sometimes take this year as the city's foundation date, and in 2003 a great jubilee took place to celebrate Pskov's 1,100th anniversary.

The first prince of Pskov was St. Vladimir's younger son Sudislav. Once imprisoned by his brother Yaroslav, he wasn't released until the latter's death several decades later. In the 12th century and 13th centuries, the town adhered politically to the Novgorod Republic. In 1241, it was taken by the Teutonic knights, but Alexander Nevsky liberated it several months later during a legendary campaign dramatized in Sergei Eisenstein's 1938 movie.

"It's amazing how the city reminds me of Paris", wrote one of the Frenchmen present at Batory's siege of Pskov.

In order to secure their independence from the knights, the Pskovians elected a converted Lithuanian prince, named Dovmont, as their military leader and prince in 1266. Having fortified the town, Dovmont routed the knights at Rakovor and overran much of Estonia. His remains and sword are preserved in the local kremlin, and the core of the citadel, erected by him, still bears the name of Dovmont's town. [Wikipedia]

So-called 'zahab' at the entrance to Krom, the Pskovian citadel:

Inside the Krom. The Troitsky cathedral:

Ivangorod. Ivangorod Fortress is a Russian medieval castle established by Ivan III in 1492 and since then grown into the town of Ivangorod.

The fortress sits near the Narva River, opposite the city of Narva castle and the Estonian city of Narva. The original castle was constructed in one summer, in the year 1492. It was named after Muscovite Grand Prince Ivan III. Its purpose was to fend off the Livonian Knights. The castle is strictly quadrilateral, measuring 1600 sq. ft., with walls 14 meters tall. During the Russo-Swedish War, 1496-1499, the entire population inside the fortress was destroyed after a seven-hour siege by Swedish forces. However, the Swedes fled after they learned that Muscovite forces were approaching to retake the castle.

Ivangorod was won back later in the year by Muscovite forces, under the command of Prince Ivan Gundar and Mikhail Klyapin. Three thousand troops arrived to retake the castle, rebuild it, and construct a new barracks and stronger bastions. For almost 10 years, the land around the castle was in constant warfare. The fortress and the land around changed hands repeatedly. The castle was reconstructed and fortified many times, becoming one of the strongest defensive structures in the 16th century. The castle was in development until the 17th century, becoming a large, sprawling fortress with several lines of defense. [Wikipedia]

Narva is so close, you can nearly touch it:

The border river Narva and Estonan land opposite:

Narva as it is seen from Ivangorod's embrasure:

Inside the Castle of Ivangorod. Ruins of original fortress are clearly visible:

During the Soviet time two fortresses were connected by the Bridge of Friendship. Since 1991 it is a border bridge between Russia and Estonia:

Pskovo-Pechorsky Monastery is a male monastery, located on the Pechora River in Pskov Oblast in Russia some 18 km from the Estonian border.

The monastery was founded in the mid-15th century, when the first hermits settled in local caves. The first cave Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary (церковь Успения Богородицы) was built in 1473 (its modern facade was constructed in the 18th century). After the monastery had been destroyed by the Livonian feudals, it was rebuilt by a Pskovian dyak Mikhail Munekhin-Misyur in 1519. A posad appeared next to the monastery, which would later grow into a town. In 1550s-1560s, Pskovo-Pechorsky Monastery and its posad were surrounded by a wall with towers (eventually, these fortifications were rebuilt in 1701). The monastery became an important outpost for defending the western border of Russia. In 1581-1582, it withstood the siege laid by Stefan Batory’s army. In 1611-1616, the monastery repelled the attack of the Polish army led by Jan Karol Chodkiewicz and Aleksander Józef Lisowski and Swedish army led by Gustav II Adolf. Pskovo-Pechorsky Monastery lost its importance after the Great Northern War of 1700-1721. In 1920-1940, Pskovo-Pechorsky Monastery belonged to Estonia. The monastery was one of the few acting male monasteries in the USSR. [Wikipedia]

The locaton of this fortress is unique: it is situated in a deep ravine between two hills. White walls, running up and down at ravine's sides are wery scenic.

Inside the abbey. The Uspensky cavern cathedral:

One of abbey's saint springs:

All pictures were made by me in june-july of 2006.

Last edited by sturman; August 2nd, 2006 at 04:10 PM.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 02:23 PM   #2
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Awesome thread!

Guto Magalhăes

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Old August 2nd, 2006, 02:36 PM   #3
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Wow,,,that is something!
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 02:38 PM   #4
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excellent thread!very beautiful places.
it would be nice if you could post a map with these places on it
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 03:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by sk
excellent thread!very beautiful places.
it would be nice if you could post a map with these places on it

agreed . with it being such a vast country its hard to picture their location.

Fantastic pics, and informative text. well done!
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 03:35 PM   #6
Имперская морда
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Sure I've added the map to my first post.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 05:04 PM   #7
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Those fortresses are great. Also the monasteries - fortresses in North (f.e. in Vologda district) are absolutely amazing.
Did not know that Pskov got old name Pleskovo. In Latvian Pskov is - Pleskava.

And... wonderful girl on Lukovka tower
Pictures are amazing - you have made art
Wondermondo - an armchair guide to world attractions - most interesting landmarks and attractions in the world!
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