Castles and fortifications in Russia

Derbent Fortress

Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Derbent, Russia

Korela Fortress

Korela Fortress, at the town of Priozersk, was founded by the Karelians who named the place Käkisalmi. It was first mentioned in a Novgorodian chronicle of 1143 as Korela. Indeed, archeological digs have revealed a layer belonging to the 12th century. Swedish chronicles first reported of the settlement of Keksholm in 1294. Until the 16th century, the fortress belonged to the Novgorod Republic, followed by Muscovy. No ...
Founded: 1143 | Location: Priozersk, Russia

Astrakhan Kremlin

For centuries, the Astrakhan Kremlin was inapproachable stronghold in the south-eastern border of the Russia.  The first construction of the Kremlin began in 1587-1588 under the guidance of I.G. Vorodkov, a lector of Discharge Order. He laid the first wooden fortress with powerful solid walls and towers. The place of construction was chosen on the hill, known as “Rabbit” or “Zayachii” in Russian. During the reig ...
Founded: 1587 | Location: Astrakhan, Russia

Koporye Castle Ruins

Koporye contains some of the most impressive medieval ruins in Russia. The first wooden fortress on the coast of the Koporye Bay was built by the Teutonic Knights in 1240, only to be destroyed by Alexander Nevsky the next year. The second fortress was built in stone by Alexander's son Dmitry Alexandrovich in 1280. Enraged by the prince's independence, the Novgorodians razed the fortress two years later. Meanwhile the Swe ...
Founded: 1240-1297 | Location: Koporye, Russia

Trongzund Fort

The fortress of Trongzund (or Trångsund, lit. narrow strait) was built by the order of Peter the Great in the beginning of the 18th century after the Tsardom of Russia had captured the area from Sweden during the Great Northern War. In 1812, Trongzund was included by Alexander I into the newly created Grand Duchy of Finland.
Founded: c. 1710 | Location: Vysotsk, Russia

Wrangel Tower

Wrangel Tower is named after Field Marshal F. E. H. von Wrangel. He arrived in Königsberg in 1809 as commander of the privileged Cuirassier Regiment. Wrangel Tower was built in 1843 as part of a defensive bastion of the ring of Königsberg. Water tower is surrounded by a moat, thick brick walls and ceiling to within three meters. Within 30 years, in connection with the development of long-range artillery, the con ...
Founded: 1843 | Location: Kaliningrad, Russia

Tobolsk Kremlin

The Tobolsk Kremlin was founded in 1587 when Moscow encouraged the construction of stone buildings in the city. In 1683-1686, masons sent from Moscow and Veliky Ustyug built the stone St. Sophia-Assumption Cathedral. Around the beginning of the 18th century the stone walls and the towers of the Kremlin were built, as well as a number of buildings that have not survived to our days, standing on a westward line from St. Sop ...
Founded: 1587 | Location: Tobolsk, Russia

King's Gate

The King"s Gate is one of the former six gates that were built during the 19th century around Kaliningrad. It was originally the Gumbinnen Gate, built in 1765 at the edge of the district Neue Sorge. In 1811 it was renamed the King"s Gate and was the terminus of the Königstraße boulevard. The gate was redesigned by Friedrich August Stüler in 1850. The west facade has three sandstone statues, made ...
Founded: 1765 | Location: Kaliningrad, Russia

Smolensk Kremlin

Smolensk Kremlin was built between 1595 and 1602, during the reign of Tsars Fyodor I Ioannovich and Boris Godunov. The length of the walls is about 6.5 kilometres, of which less than the half was preserved. The fortifications were built under supervision of the architect Fyodor Kon. The Smolensk Kremlin is classified as an architectural monument protected at the federal level, and also has a great historical significance, ...
Founded: 1595-1602 | Location: Smolensk, Russia

Raatitorni

Raatitorni (The Council Tower) is the only remaining part of the medieval Vyborg city walls. After the wall was demolished it functioned as a bell tower of near church. The tower was damaged in Winter War, but restored later.
Founded: 1470s | Location: Vyborg, Russia

Bip Castle

The Bip Castle was constructed in 1795-1797 under the project of architect V. F. Brenna by the order of emperor Paul I. There were remains of old sweden fortification on the place of construction. This place is rather convenient for such kind of buildings. The Castle was included in the military register of fortresses of the Russian Empire and there was small garrison under command of commandant Arakcheev. The drawbridge ...
Founded: 1795-1797 | Location: Pauluskoi, Russia

Grolman Bastion

Grolman Bastion was part of the Königsberg fortification system. Named after General Karl Wilhelm von Grolman, it was finished in 1851. It was strengthened with casemates and caponniers inside its wall and consists of lesser Oberteich and Kupferteich Bastions. The Bastion was considerably damaged by Soviet Army in the World War II. There was a vegetable storehouse in the Bastion during the Soviet time. Nowadays this fort ...
Founded: 1851 | Location: Kaliningrad, Russia

Kronstadt Fortress

Kronshtadt, also spelled Kronstadt, Cronstadt is a large fortress and St. Petersburg's main seaport. Traditionally, the seat of the Russian admiralty and the base of the Russian Baltic Fleet were located in Kronstadt guarding the approaches to Saint Petersburg. The historic centre of the city and its fortifications are part of the Saint Petersburg UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fortress was founded by Peter the Great, w ...
Founded: 1704 | Location: Kronstadt, Russia

Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate is one of few surviving city gates in Kaliningrad. It was built in the south-western part of Königsberg in 1657, with the strengthening of the city walls at the intersection with the road leading to the castle of Brandenburg (now the village of Ushakovo). Due to lack of funds a mere wooden gate was erected. Some hundred years later the gate was torn down and replaced by a brick structure by order of ...
Founded: 1657 | Location: Kaliningrad, Russia

Astronomical Bastion

The so-called Astronomical Bastion was part of the Königsberg fortification system. It was built between 1855-1860. The name was inherited from the adjacent observatory built by F. Bessil in the 1813. After the construction of the railway station in the 1910, the part of the bastion was destroyed.
Founded: 1855-1860 | Location: Kaliningrad, Russia

Gremyachaya Tower

Gremyachaya or Gremjatšaja Tower was a defensive keep built by Vasili III of Russia in 1525. The six-storey tower is 20m high and 15m wide.
Founded: 1525 | Location: Pskov, Russia

Fort Friedrichsburg Gate

Construction of the Fort Friedrichsburg or Feste Friedrichsburg began in 1657 during the Second Northern War by the order of Frederick William of Brandenburg-Prussia. The only remnant of the former fort is the Friedrichsburg Gate. The fort was built in place of a tollhouse on the southern shore of the Pregel River at the western edge of Königsberg. It was included within the new ring of Königsberg fortifications ...
Founded: 1657 | Location: Kaliningrad, Russia

Pillau Fortress

The earliest fortifications in Pillau were made in 1550, when it was an important port of the Duchy of Prussia. During the Thirty Years" War, the Swedes occupied the harbour in the aftermath of their victory over the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. King Gustavus Adolphus landed there with his reinforcements in May 1626. After the ceasefire of Altmark (1629) the Swedes retained Pillau and set out upgrading its fortifi ...
Founded: 1626 | Location: Baltiysky, Russia

Syzran Kremlin

The Syzran Kremlin construction began in 1683 by Tsar Peter the Great I. Spasskya Tower was first portal, but then its redesigned and built inside the church in the name of the Savior. The tower is only surviving part of original kremlin. There is also a Church of the Nativity (1717). Currently, there is a museum inside the tower.
Founded: 1683 | Location: Syzran, Russia

King Friedrich Wilhelm I Fort

The King Friedrich Wilhelm I Fort (Fort Nr. 3), originally known as Quednau, was the largest fort of Königsberg fortification system. The fort was situated at the top of a height and surrounded by dry ditch. There were embrasures for defensive fire. In time of Kongsberg Storm the Fort was of severe resistance. Garrison remains was captured on the 9th of April 1945. After the WWII there was the army division in the Fo ...
Founded: 1872-1884 | Location: Kaliningrad, Russia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Royal Palace of Olite

The Palace of the Kings of Navarre of Olite was one of the seats of the Court of the Kingdom of Navarre, since the reign of Charles III 'the Noble' until its conquest by Castile (1512). The fortification is both castle and palace, although it was built more like a courtier building to fulfill a military function.

On an ancient Roman fortification was built during the reign of Sancho VII of Navarre (13th century) and extended by his successors Theobald I and Theobald II, which the latter was is installed in the palace in 1269 and there he signed the consent letter for the wedding of Blanche of Artois with his brother Henry I of Navarre, who in turn, Henry I since 1271 used the palace as a temporary residence. This ancient area is known as the Old Palace.

Then the palace was housing the Navarrese court from the 14th until 16th centuries, Since the annexation (integration) of the kingdom of Navarre for the Crown of Castile in 1512 began the decline of the castle and therefore its practically neglect and deterioration. At that time it was an official residence for the Viceroys of Navarre.

In 1813 Navarrese guerrilla fighter Espoz y Mina during the Napoleonic French Invasion burned the palace with the aim to French could not make forts in it, which almost brought in ruin. It is since 1937 when architects José and Javier Yarnoz Larrosa began the rehabilitation (except the non-damaged church) for the castle palace, giving it back its original appearance and see today. The restoration work was completed in 1967 and was paid by the Foral Government of Navarre.