Korela Fortress

Priozersk, Russia

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. Novgorodians built the current stone bastions and towers in 1364 after a fire had destroyed the original wooden fortress in 1360.

During a Swedish-Novgorodian war in 1314, a small Karelian force conquered the fortress from the representatives of Novgorod. They invited Swedes to keep it against Novgorod. However, the Novgorodians managed to reconquer the fortress. The fortress was confirmed as belonging to Novgorod in the treaty of Nöteborg of 1323.

In the 1330s, the Novgorod Republic gave the castle of Korela (and practically the entire Votian fifth, including the forts of Oreshek and Ladoga) to duke Narimantas of Lithuania. In 1383 Korela, Oreshek and Koporye were inherited by Narimantas' son and heir, Patrikas, the forefather of the Galitzine princely clan. Next year the local burghers lodged a complaint about his administration. Patrikas was forced to exchange Korela for Ladoga and Russa. Patrikas occupied his lands in Ingria and Karelia at least from 1383 to 1397. In the year 1408, it is recorded that he settled in Moscow under the protection of Vasili I, together with his younger sons, Georgi and Fyodor, who had grown up in Ingria.

Soon after their seizure of Korela in 1580, the Swedes rebuilt the fortress following a Western European pattern of bastion fortifications. In the Treaty of Teusina of 1595 Sweden however undertook to return Korela to Russia. This was effectuated in 1597. During the subsequent Ingrian War starting 1610, Gustavus Adolphus reinforced Swedish control of the castle and the whole area. During the Time of Troubles, Korela was a prize promised by Vasily IV of Russia to Jacob De la Gardie as part of the Swedish De la Gardie Campaign to assist Russia against the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth. They were incorporated with Sweden as Kexholms län in the peace of Stolbova in 1617. The fortress and the region remained with Sweden until Peter the Great captured the fortress during the Great Northern War.

In the mid-18th century, the fortress was turned into a political prison of Imperial Russia. Some participants of the Decembrist Revolt (1825) were confined there.

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Address

A129, Priozersk, Russia
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Details

Founded: 1143
Category: Castles and fortifications in Russia

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Martin Šálek (3 years ago)
A breath of history. Very nice place to rest in the shadow during summer heats.
Sergey Poleff (3 years ago)
Nice old fortress, you can even find a short guided tour there.
The Cat Man (3 years ago)
Cool part of history, under two dollars per entry ticket. Not too crowded.
Jose Verona (4 years ago)
Very beautiful place and historical
Oksana Chernyavskaya (5 years ago)
Nothing really special and monumental, old fortress...
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