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.References:
Palacio Real de Aranjuez is a former Spanish royal residence. It was established around the time Philip II of Spain moved the capital from Toledo to Madrid. Aranjuez became one of four seasonal seats of government, occupied during the springtime (from about holy week). Thereafter, the court moved successively to Rascafría, El Escorial and wintered in Madrid. Aranjuez Cultural Landscape is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After the Christian conquest, Aranjuez was owned by the Order of Santiago and a palace was built for its Grand Masters where the Royal Palace stands today. When the Catholic Monarchs assumed the office of Grand Master of the Order of Santiago, Aranjuez became part of the Royal estate. This fertile land, located between the Tajo and Jarama Rivers, was converted into the Spanish monarchy"s most lavish country retreat: during Spain"s Golden Age, Aranjuez became a symbol for the perfection of nature by mortal hands, as El Escorial was for art.
Such excellence was based on strong Renaissance foundations, as Charles V envisaged this inherited estate as a large Italian-inspired villa, a desire continued by Philip II who appointed Juan Bautista de Toledo to design leafy avenues that ran through the gardens and farming land. A series of dams was constructed in the 16th century to control the course of the Tajo River and create a network of irrigation canals.
The splendour of the estate was only enhanced by the Bourbon monarchs, who would spend the whole spring, from Easter to July, at the Palace. Phillip V added new gardens and Ferdinand VI designed a new system of tree-lined streets and created a small village within the estate, which was further developed by Charles III and Charles IV. As Ferdinand VII and Isabella II continued to visit Aranjuez during the spring, the splendour of this site was maintained until 1870.
The Royal Palace, built by Phillip II on the site of the old palace of the Grand Masters of Santiago, was designed by the architect Juan Bautista de Toledo –under whom construction began in 1564– and later Juan Herrera, who only managed to finish half the project. Although glimpses of the original layout still remain, the building itself is more characteristic of the classicism favoured by the Hapsburg monarchs, with alternating white stone and brick. The original design was continued by Phillip V in 1715 but not finished until 1752 under Ferdinand VI. The rectangular layout that Juan Bautista de Toledo had planned, and that took two centuries to complete, was only maintained for 20 years, since in 1775 Charles III added two wings onto the Palace.
As the Prince of Asturias, Charles IV was a frequent visitor to the pier pavilions built by Ferdinand VI and grew up playing in the Prince’s Garden. When he became King, he decided to build a new country house at the far end of these gardens, known as the Casa del Labrador (the labourer"s house) due to its modest exterior that was designed to heavily contrast the magnificent internal decor. It was built by chief architect Juan de Villanueva and his pupil Isidro González Velázquez, who designed some of the interior spaces. These rooms, developed in various stages until 1808, are the greatest example of the lavish interior decor favoured by this monarch in his palaces and country retreats. Highlights at this Site include the combination of different types of art and the luxurious textiles, in particular the silks from Lyon, as well as wealth of original works on the main floor, where Ferdinand VII added various paintings and landscapes by Brambilla.
Phillip II, a great lover of gardens, paid special attention to this feature of the Aranjuez Palace: during his reign, he maintained both the Island Garden, designed by the architect Juan Bautista de Toledo, and the King"s Garden, immediately adjacent to the Palace and whose current layout was designed by Philip IV. The majority of the fountains on this island were commissioned by Phillip IV, while the Bourbons added other features such as the Charles III benches.
Phillip V made two French-style additions to the existing gardens: the Parterre Garden in front of the palace and the extension at the far end of the Island Garden, known as the Little Island, where he installed the Tritons Fountain that was later moved to the Campo del Moro park by Isabella II.
The Prince"s Garden owes its name and creation to the son and heir of Charles III who, in the 1770s, began to use Ferdinand VI"s old pier for his own enjoyment. He also created a landscaped garden in the Anglo-French style that was in fashion at the time and which was directly influenced by Marie Antoinette"s gardens at the Petit Trianon. Both Juan de Villanueva and Pablo Boutelou collaborated in the design of this garden.