history of the Ivangorod Fortress
gorod Fortress facing the Narva Knights'
Castle across the Narova River was erected in 1492 by appointment
of Ivan III. It was intended to repulse agression of the Swedes
and Livonian order. Very soon, in 1496, it was attacked and
burnt down. Shortly after being rebuilt it became a centre
of army operations in the war of 1500-1503. About 2 ths people
were concentrated behind the walls of the fortress. Important
battles took place here in March and September 1502.
Next turning-point in its history falls
on Russian-Livonian War of the middle 16th century. After
Narva had been captured by the Russians on May 11, 1558 Ivangorod
, as a part of Narva, became the main Russian port on the
Unwilling to resign losing Narva, the Swedes
recaptured it on September 6, 1581, with the scanty Ivangorod
Fortress garrison surrendered in 11 days.
Understanding the importance of the port,
Boris Godunov ordered to regain both Narva and Ivangorod.
Siege of Narva did not bring results but Ivangorod was returned
to Russia on February 26, 1590.
Sweden fought against Russia once more in
the Time of Troubles. In 1612 the Swedish army besieged Ivangorod
and the Russian garrison finally capitulated on December 3,
after half a year resistance. Thus, the Swedish period in
the history of Ivangorod began to continue for almost hundred
years. The stronghold was considered to be a bridgehead of
Narva united with the Narva Castle.
It was only Peter I that returned Narva
and Ivangorod to Russia in 1704 - in the course of Northern
War. Later on, in the 18th-19th centuries, Ivangorod, constituting
the one whole with Narva, was developing according to the
plan approved by Catherine II in 1784. In the middle 19th
century reconstruction was done in the fortress accompanied
by archival research, detailed measuring and graphic and watercolor
sketching of both fortresses.
architectural ensemble of the Ivangorod Fortress
The Ivangorod Fortress became the first
in Russia citadel designed in the form of a regular rectangle
(41.3 m on a side). The walls were raised to conduct offensive
defensive. The main part of the Fortress, Bolshoy Boyarshy
(Big Boyar) Town, was started in 1493 under supervision of
Ivan Gundor and Mikhail Klyapin. By 1498 the Church of Sv.
Nicola (St.Nicholas), "Dvor Namestnich" (Governor's
Court), one priest's and four merchant's households were built
in the fortress and its population numbered 121 people, mostly
Novgorodian boyars exempted from taxes.
Many fortress constructions were erected
in 1507-1509, with the Castle and Peredny (Front) Town among
them. The walls and towers of Bolshoy Boyarshy Town were built
on, a secret well was arranged in the Well Tower to secure
water supply and peculiar traps were added to the fence near
the Proviantskaya (Provisions') Tower allowing the fortress
defenders, by lifting special screens, to be completely isolated
from those enemies who managed to reach the walls.
In the 17th century - the Swedish period
in the history of Ivangorod - the Powder-Magazine and Arsenal
Ivangorod and Narva suffered a lot in World
War II. Fierce battles for Narva started in August 1941, resulting
in German occupation of the neighbourhood which has lasted
till July 1944. Endless artillery attacks and air bombardments
reduced Ivangorod and Narva to ashes. Six towers, greater
part of the walls and inner buildings of the Ivangorod fortress
The museum exhibits are really diverse.
The art collection includes paintings by
Ivan Bilibin, Alexandra Shchekatikhina-Pototskaya and other
members of the "World of Art" group.
Ivan Bilibin (1867-1942) was a widely recognized master of
book illustration and stage decor. Colourful and stylish stage
scenery and costumes by him for the operas "Boris Godunov"
by Modest Mussorgsky, "Golden Cockerel" by Nikolai
Rimsky-Korsakov and "Prince Igor" by Aleksandr Borodin
and for the ballet "Firebird" by Igor Stravinsky
that were staged in Russia and abroad played an important
part in raising interest in national art and history. His
illustrations to Russian fairy-tales and epics using traditional
ornamental patterns are still unsurpassed.
The unique style of Alexandra Shchekatikhina-Pototskaya
(1892-1967) being rooted in both ancient Russian icons and
popular prints can be traced in the pictures, graphic art
and china painting displayed in the museum.
Local history and tradition, as well as
archeological finds and ethnographic artifacts are presented
in the exhibit. Household objects, documents and photographs
recreate life of local people and recount the events important
for the whole country.
A special topic of the permanent exhibit
- "Russia Fighting for the Outlet to the Baltic Sea"-
is devoted to the events of Livonian and Northern Wars.
The "Life of Ivangorod in the 19th-early
20th centuries" section of the exhibit shows such rarities
as letters and documents related with famous writer Fyodor
Dostoevsky and outstanding lexicographer Vladimir Dal', portraits
of publisher Ol'khin and his wife (the middle 19th century)
by Foma Aleksandrov, a student of Alexei Venetsianov etc.
A very special exhibit, "Fortification
of the Russia's North-West", is placed in a separate
building that was once an office of merchant Orlov. Impressive
models of fortresses located in Leningrad region (Ivangorod,
Koporie, Staraya Ladoga, Oreshek, Korela, Yam and Vyborg),
archeological findings and armament illustrate role of strongholds
in the history of Leningrad region.