Table of contents:
- 1. China Town
- 2. White city
- 3. Serpukhov Kremlin
- 4. Irkutsk Kremlin
- 5. Vladimirsky Detinets
- 6. Fortress Yam
- 7. Ostrovsky fortress
Many amazing defensive structures in Russia have not survived to this day. But we can see them in old prints, paintings and even photos.
1. China Town
The Kremlin was not the only fortress in Moscow. In the middle of the 16th century, the then ruling Elena Glinskaya, mother of Ivan the Terrible, decided to build another line of defense around the heart of the capital. The Kitaygorodskaya wall, 2.5 kilometers long, was erected in record time, its height was lower than the Kremlin one, but thicker - and more adapted for the installation of guns.
The wall justified itself and withstood several attacks, however, at the end of the 18th century, it ceased to have a fortification value. For a long time it was just a symbol of old Moscow, but in Stalin's time it was decided to radically reconstruct the city. It was necessary to widen the streets and build new thoroughfares, and the Kitaygorodskaya wall greatly impeded traffic - it had only eight entrance gates.
In the 1930s, it was demolished, however, several sections of the wall survived, and in the 1990s and 2000s they were even restored.
2. White city
Another fortress ring in Moscow was the Belogorodskaya wall, already built around Kitay-gorod at the end of the 16th century. During the Time of Troubles, the wall of the "White City" was badly damaged and soon ceased to be a reliable defense of the city. The townspeople began to disassemble it into stones and build houses from them.
At the end of the 18th century, Catherine II ordered to demolish the wall, and a road appeared in its place - the current Boulevard Ring.
The remains of the foundation of the wall have survived in some places - for example, on Khokhlovskaya Square around such a piece of the wall, the now fashionable public space "Yama".
3. Serpukhov Kremlin
The Kremlin was in many Russian cities, only in the present-day Moscow region there are about ten Kremlin, however, many of them have not survived to this day. So from the 14th century Kremlin in Serpukhov, only a couple of fragments of the fortress wall and foundation remained.
It was built as an important defensive point on the way of the Tatar-Mongols to Moscow. In the middle of the 18th century, Serpukhov completely lost its military significance and the wall began to be dismantled, in the 1930s, the remains of the wall were used for the construction of the Moscow metro. Now the high hill on which the Kremlin was located is called “Cathedral Mountain”.
4. Irkutsk Kremlin
It could have been the easternmost Kremlin in Russia if it had survived to this day. However, now there is only one Kremlin left in Siberia - in Tobolsk. When in the 17th century they were exploring eastern Siberia and Irkutsk, a wooden prison was built, and later a Kremlin in its place.
Throughout its history, it has never defended itself from anyone, and the borders of Russia have expanded and the meaning in the fortress has completely disappeared, in addition, a large fire severely damaged the walls. In the 19th century, a garden was laid out on the territory of the former Kremlin, and now only one of the oldest stone buildings in the city - the Spasskaya Church - reminds of the building itself.
5. Vladimirsky Detinets
The city of Vladimir, 200 km from Moscow, was in the XII-XIV centuries the capital of the strongest Russian principality and generally claimed to become the capital of all Russia. In the 12th century, a powerful fortification system with embankments and several levels of fortress walls was built here. The wall was badly damaged during the assault on the city by the Tatar-Mongols in the 13th century. Later it was restored, but with the strengthening of Moscow, the city lost its significance and began to gradually decline, and the wall was dilapidated and eventually was lost.
Since then, the stone buildings of the 12th century have survived to this day: the Assumption Cathedral, as well as the Golden Gate to the city. According to legend, driving to Vladimir through the Golden Gate in 1767, the carriage of Catherine II got stuck in a puddle, so the empress got angry and ordered to tear down the ancient embankments so that the gate could be bypassed.
A fragment of one of the shafts can be seen in the photo on the left.
6. Fortress Yam
Now it is the city of Kingisepp in the Leningrad Region, and in the XIV century the Novgorod Republic built a fortress on the banks of the Luga River to protect it from the Livonian Order. Erected in a record 33 days, the Yam fortress withstood all the numerous sieges.
Then it was rebuilt - it was captured by the Swedes, they rebuilt it again, and finally, in 1703, Peter I recaptured it. The danger from the Swedes passed and the fortress was dismantled.
Currently, there is a park on the site of the fortress, as well as a large archaeological site - here they find the remains of walls built in different centuries.
7. Ostrovsky fortress
On the western border of ancient Russia, in the Pskov region, there were many defensive fortresses, which were built in fear of an attack by the Livonian Order. One of them - the Izborsk fortress - withstood several sieges of the knights, but has survived to this day.
But the fortress in the city of Ostrov was less fortunate - serious destruction was brought to it at the end of the 16th century by the army of the Polish king Stefan Batory. After the city fell into decay and there was no need to restore the fortifications - in the 17th century the fortress was almost completely lost.
During World War II, the Island was occupied by the Nazis and finally destroyed the ancient buildings. Today, only one stone church remains of the Ostrovskaya fortress, the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (built in 1542).