Oreshek

The fortress of Oreshek is situated at the source  of the Neva River.  It’s located at Orekhovy (“Nut”) island washed by the Neva two channels. The history of the island is dated back to 1228 when it was mentioned for the first time in the Novgorod chronicle. In 1300 a Swedish sentry-post was disposed there. The Novgorodians banished the Swedes from the Neva area and in 1323 established a little fortress with stone tower and circular wooden walls on this strategic point.

The fortress marked the beginning of the town of Schlisselburg, centre of a large frontier area. The “Peace of Orekhovy island”, determining the Russian-Swedish frontier was concluded there.
In 1348 the Swedes violated the treaty ,captured the fortress and detained it for 7 years. During the assault the Novgorodians set the  fortress on fire, but a few years later they rebuilt it in stone. It was located in the south-east of island. In 1410 the town was encircled with stone walls too.

The fortress was restored in the 15th  and 16th centuries, when Orekhovy town became a part of the State of Moscow. The walls surrounding the whole island were12 m high and 4,5 m wide. Seven towers for cannon and gun fire were erected.
However, in 1617 Russia ceded the Neva River area including Oreshek to the Swedes. During the Northern War the fortress was set free by Russian forces with Peter I as the head. Peter renamed the fortress, being called by the Swedes Noterburg, into Schlisselburg – “Key town” in town.

Later the fortress has lost its military function, and in 1798 a prison was established (tsar`s political adversaries, escaped peasants, decembrists were imprisoned here, as well as men of “Narodnaya Volya”, Lenin`s brother – A.I. Ulianov was put to death).

In the late 1920-s the Museum of Revolution has been organized.

During the Great Patriotic war Schlisselburg served as outpost for our forces in the area  of the Neva River and Ladoga Lake. The fortress defense finished with raising of the blockade. Now it’s a branch of the Leningrad-St.Petersburg Museum of History.
Two channels  – channel of Old Ladoga and New Ladoga – pass on the territory of Schlisselburg, and flow into the Neva River down the fortress. In 18th century the town was known for repair shops and printed cotton industry. From the ship one can view the block of the former  printed cotton mill, now a part of the Neva  shipbuilding  and ship-repair plant.

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