Narva is a city municipality in Estonia, the third most populous city in the country and the largest city in Ida-Viru County. The city is mostly Russian-speaking. It has a rich history as the center of Prinarovye and of great political and economic importance for modern Russian-Estonian relations. Population - 54 409 people (as of January 1, 2020).



Narva Castle



In the era of the Normans and Varangians, the Baltic-Mediterranean river route, also known as the “Route from the Vikings to the Greeks”, passed through the area in which the modern city of Narva is located.

Its border location played an important role in the history of Narva. At the beginning of the 13th century, northern Estonia was conquered by the Danes, right up to the natural geographical border - the Narova River.

The Danish Land Register of 1241 mentions the village of Narvia on the site of part of the territory of the modern city. In ancient Russian sources, the fortified settlement was first mentioned by the Novgorod I Chronicle under 1256.

Under 1344, 1420, 1444 in the same Novgorod first chronicle, as well as in the "dangerous letter" of the Novgorod governors to the Hanseatic ambassadors in Dorpat in 1417, this settlement is called Rugodiv.

In the first half of the 14th century, Narva was given city rights. From 1223 to 1346, Narva belonged to Denmark, and then until 1558 - to the Livonian Order. At this time the castle of Hermann (XIII-XVI centuries) was being built, which is a clear evidence of the strategic importance of the city.

In 1492, to fight Livonia, the Grand Duke of Moscow Ivan III built the Ivangorod fortress opposite Narva (Rugodiva). During the Livonian War, Narva was taken by Russian troops on May 11, 1558. Tsar Ivan the Terrible planned to make Narva a large commercial and military port of Russia on the Baltic Sea. Orthodox churches were built in the city; during the 23 years of Russian rule, many Russian merchants and artisans moved to it. Narva trade with the cities of Northern Germany, Denmark, Holland, France and England became very profitable and developed rapidly. However, for the Kingdom of Sweden and the Commonwealth, the appearance of Russians in the Baltic Sea was extremely undesirable, which is why both states entered the war. In the battle of Wenden in the Livonian theater of operations, a turning point came. In August 1579, the Swedes made their first attempt to capture Narva, but retreated, losing about 4,000 people. During the siege of 1581, the Swedes, however, managed to capture the city, after which about 7000 Russian citizens were massacred in it.


In 1590 Narva was again besieged by the Russian army. In 1595, the Tyavzin peace was concluded between Russia and Sweden, according to which Russia forever renounced claims to the cities of Narva and Revel, but received all the lands east of the Narva River.

With an attempt to recapture Narva, Peter I began the Northern War. The Russian army laid siege to the city, but on November 19 (30), 1700, it was defeated by Swedish troops. Only on August 9 (20), 1704, Russian troops took Narva. As a result of the Northern War, Estland and Livonia were ceded to Russia, which was secured by the Nishtad Peace Treaty of 1721. In 1719, the Revel province was formed, while Narva remained in the Petersburg province. Later, Narva was removed from the provincial subordination, and in 1802 it again became part of the Petersburg province.

After the foundation of the fortresses of Kronstadt and Sveaborg, Narva lost its strategic importance. By the middle of the 19th century, Narva had become a major center of the textile industry thanks to the founding of cloth and flax factories by A.L. Stieglitz, as well as the emergence of the Krengolm manufactory. Among the founders of the manufactory were: Ludwig Knop, Kozma Terentyevich Soldatenkov, Alexey Ivanovich Khludov, Richard Vasilievich Barlov, Ernst Fedorovich Kolbe.

In 1870, the Baltic railway passed through the city, connecting the ports of Revel and the Baltic port on the Baltic with St. Petersburg and the line of the Nikolaev railway. A railway station and a bridge across the Narova were built.

Significant changes in the fate of the city took place as a result of the revolutionary events of 1917. On March 30, 1917, the Provisional Government of Russia adopted a decree "On the temporary structure of administrative management and local self-government of the Estland province", according to which the Estonian province (by ethnic composition) was transferred to the Estonian province (by ethnic composition) of the Livonia province: Tartu, Vyrusky, Viljandi, Pärnussky and Saarez counties. On July 2, the Narva Public Committee initiated a movement for joining Estonia.

After the overthrow of the Provisional Government, the Narva city government continued negotiations with the government of Soviet Russia and on November 14, 1917, sent a petition to Petrograd to separate Narva from the Yamburg district and transfer it to the Estland province. On November 16, 1917, the request was granted.