Perched on a small island in the Neva River, the Oreshek Fortress is an exciting example of a Russian medieval fortress. Oreshek is located in the Leningrad region of northwestern Russia in the historic town Shlisselburg. Oreshek was built on the small Orekhovets Island, located at the end of the Neva River in Ladoga Lake.
Oreshek Fortress together with the historical center of Shliselburg are listed as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites. Shlisselburg together with the fortress are located 45 km east of Saint Petersburg. The actual location of the lake Ladoga occurs after the construction of the fortress Oreshek in 1300 by the Novgorod Republic.
Under the name Noteborg, the castle was recognized by the Swedes. Because of its strategic position as a guard of the northern approaches to Novgorod and the subsequent access to the Baltic Sea Oreshek has long been a subject of controversy for commercial influence between Sweden and Novgorod Velikiy. In 1323 the fortress was stabilized by Prince Yuri of Moscow.
The same year the town signed a Nyoteborgski contract between Novgorod and Sweden. Following disputes between the two countries Oreshek Fortress and the city Shlisselburg are connected to Sweden, giving the name Notebori.
In the early 18th century during the Great Northern War, in 1702 the Russians again are able to regain ownership of Oreshek, and then under the rule of Tsar Peter I the city gets its name Shlisselburg. In the coming years Oreshek has become a prison for political criminals and those who endanger the crown.
Among the most famous of them is the half sister of Peter the Great - Mary, members of the organization People's Will, which are blamed for the assassination of Tsar Alexander II and others.
In 1764 in Oreshek was killed Emperor Ivan VI, who spent in the dungeons of the fortress, the last eight years of his life, unbeknownst to anyone. Here is killed on the gallows and Alexander Ulyanov, brother of Vladimir Lenin, participated in the attack on the Emperor Alexander III. During World War II and Shliselburg Oreshek was occupied by the Germans. Its restitution in 1943, restored access to the besieged Leningrad. From 1944 to 1992, the city is called Petrokrepost.
Today the Oreshek Fortress is a branch of the Museum of History at St. Petersburg. At the castle can be seen some of the original pieces from 600 years ago, which were discovered in 1960. The oldest complete structure in Oreshek, however, is King's Tower, in which tourists now enter the fortress. At the Museum of Oreshek can learn more about the history of the town and fortress. In the central hall is set scale model of the complex as it was in the 16 century.
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