Narva's Hermann fort

to map

1254

Narva fort held great strategical importance in the defence the eastern border of Livonia. It was probably built by the Danes in 1250s, but was destroyed by the Russians on several occasions. Parts of the fort that have survived to this day probably date back to the end of the XIII and the beginning of the XIV century. By the middle of XIV century, construction of a castle fort had been finished, together with a mighty main tower. After the Order had acquired the fort, reconstructions began soon.

The castle was changed into a convent building, and significantly strengthened. It is presumed, that the eastern wall, standing towards the river, was built in the XV century, as the bank was well protected by landforms.

Final, large scale reconstructions took place in the end of the XV and the beginning of XVI century, when the main tower, Tall Hermann, was heightened and walls were fortified. This was due to the construction of Ivangorod (Jaanilinn) on the opposite river bank.

Narva fort surrendered to the Russians in the Livonian War on May 12, 1558, as the city had been captured due to a fire. In 1581, Swedish seized the fort, and managed to hold on to it until 1704. The fort was in relatively good condition, and it was repaired during the XIX century.

The fort took serious damage in the WWII, but since 1950s it has undergone restoration, and thus is one of the best preserved Order's forts in Estonia.

Source: Kalvi Aluve. Eesti keskaegsed linnused. Tallinn: Valgus, 1993.


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