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 Swedes took advantage of this and occupied the banks of the Narova river. The Novgorodians had to restore the stone fort in 1297. Koporye was the strongest stronghold in the region and survived numerous attacks during the Swedish-Novgorodian Wars.
After Novgorod's incorporation into Muscovy, the fortress was strengthened and rebuilt to withstand cannon fire. Most extant structures belong to that period. Russian forces surrendered Koporye during the Livonian War but regained it under the Treaty of Tyavzino.
During the Time of Troubles Koporye was attacked by 2,500 Swedes, ten times more than the defenders. The Russian garrison had to surrender, and Koporye remained Swedish until 1703, known as Koporje or Caporie/Capurien, constituting an important part of Swedish Ingria.
As the Gulf of Finland grew shallow and receded to the north, the site began to lose its maritime importance. In 1703, during the Great Northern War, a major Russian army under Boris Sheremetev regained Koporye, which was defended by 80 Swedish soldiers under the commandant, Captain Wasili Apolloff. Huge gaps in the walls from the disastrous fire of the Russian artillery may still be seen.
Despite some repairs undertaken in the 19th century, the fortress survives in a ruined state. Also ruined is the 15th century Church of the Transfiguration within the fortress.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.