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Koporye Castle

Image of Koporye

 

 

Location: 100 km (62 mi) West of St. Petersburg, Leningrad oblast Map

 

Constructed: 13th century

Koporye Map

 

 

 

 

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Description of Koporye Fortress

 

Koporye Fortress is a medieval citadel situated  100 km (62 mi) West of St. Petersburg, Leningrad oblast of Russia. It is one of the few Russian medieval citadels that were found outside of large settlement and cities. Russians often were attacked by nations from the South and East who didn't share their Christian faith and hence they couldn't expect nobility or honor in the treatment of prisoners in case of loss. Hence there were very few private castles as it was in the rest of Europe. Collective protection against outside enemy shaped people's mentality and culture for centuries until modern day.

The first wooden citadel on a site of Koporye Fortress was constructed here in 1237 as a foothold for Teutonic knights during Northern crusade against pagans and Russian Orthodox Christians. The Gulf of Finland was not as shallow at the time and reached closer to the walls of the newly found fort, allowing unloading of men, food and equipment. The castle was burned down in 1241 by Alexander Nevsky who waged war against Teutonic knights ending their ambitions at the Battle of Lake Peipus (russian- Chudskoe ozero) also known as Battle of the Ice.

 

In the time of Ivan the Terrible and his growing Muscovite Kingdom the castle was strengthened to defend against firearms and cannon fire. In the Time of Trouble in the early 17th century small garrison of 250 defenders fell to the Swedes. A century later in 1703 the situations reversed and garrison of 80 Swedish soldiers under command of Captain Wasili Apolloff capitulated to Boris Sheremetev during the Great Northern War.

 

Much of the castle is in ruins. Full excavations are yet to be performed here. Judging by old paintings there is at least three levels of underground storage rooms, personnel quarters and living space intended for soldiers as well as civilian population that served the castle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Transportation

 

 

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

 

 

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

 

 

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

 

 

Interesting information and useful tips