Articles / Staraya Ladoga Fortress

Staraya Ladoga Fortress

Subject / Architecture/Fortresses and other fortifications

Staraya Ladoga Fortress is located on the bank of the Volkhov River near the confluence of the Ladozhka River. It protected Novgorod lands from attacks fron North, from the side of Sweden.
According to annalistic data the first wooden fortifications appeared in 862 under the prince Ryurick. The first stone fortress of the prince Oleg was founded near 900. The remains of the walls and rectangle lookout tower were put from the limestone plates without mortar. Supposedly they were destroyed during attack of the Vikings in 997. The second stone wall (1114) was founded by Ladoga posadnik Paul under prince Mstislav Vladimirovich. The base of the south wall on the rampart’s crest was kept and is restored along the bank of the Volkhov River (under the position of 15 century) with area of the battle passage and commercial manhole for lifting of the loads. In the courtyard of the fortress there is the Church of St. George the Victorious (12 century). Before firearms period the fortress was unassailable for attack of em, Swedes and Germans. In 1445 under Novgorod archbishop Evfimiy the reconstruction of the fortress was conducted. The third stone fortress was built over again under Ivan III in 1490s, perhaps under the direction of foreign fortifiers. Near 20 thousand cubic meter of the stones had been laying for 2 years. The walls and towers are put from boulders on the lime mortar and revetted with laying limestone plates. From the south side builders left rampart with the wall of 12 century and ditch. The thickness of the wall near the foot is 7 meters, the height is 7.2-12 meters. The walls have evenly placed loopholes of the sole battle with gun chambers. The five three-level towers (the height 16-19 meters, the width of the base is 16-24.5 meters) are placed along the perimeter of the defense. The tiers had the system of the loopholes for fan (frontal and flank) fire of area. The entrances to the towers were located in the second tiers which were coincided with surface of the courtyard. The area of the battle passages on the walls were connected through third tiers of the towers. The entry through the first tiers of the rectangle Gate Tower was L-shaped, the external gate was cover with lifting grating and ditch with a lifting bridge.In the first tier of the semicircular Taynichnaya Tower (that did not keep) there was a well. Klimentovskaya, Strelochnaya and Raskatnaya towers were circular view in plan. In the walls and towers were up to 70 gun and 45 shooting gun-ports, however according to discriptions of the 17 century the armament of Ladoga was only 9 ordnances, harquebus and “tuyfyak” which fired with small shot. In 16 century the fortress avoided attacks, but in the period Interlunation the fortress was occupied by detachment of the Swede mercenaries. After Swede occupation 1610-11 and 1612-17 decrepitted part of the laying were replaced with taras (log wooden constructions which are filled with earth). In the 18 century the fortress loose the military value. The fortress was researched in 1884-85 by N.E. Brandenburg, in 1893 by V.V. Suslov, in 1938, 1949, 1958 by expedition of V.I. Ravdonikasa (S.N. Orlov, G.F. Korzuhina), in 1972-75 by A.N. Kirpichnikov, in 1979-83 N.K. Stetsenko. In 1970s the restoration work were conducted under the direction of A.E. Ekka. Since 1971 Staraya Ladoga historical and architectura and archaeological culture preserve works here.

Plotkin, Konstantin Moiseyevich

Brandenburg, Nikolay Yefimovich
Ekk, Albert Ernestovich
Ivan III Vasilyevich, Grand Prince
Kirpichnikov, Anatoly Nikolayevich
Korzukhina,Gali Fyodorovna
Mstislav Vladimirovich, Prince
Oleg, Prince
Orlov, Sergey Nikolayevich
Pavel, Governor General
Ravdonikas, Vladislav Iosifovich
Rurik, Prince
Stetsenko, Nina Kondratyevna
Suslov, Vladimir Vasilyevich
Yevfimy, archbishop of Novgorod

Topographical landmarks/Ladozhka River, the
Leningrad Oblast, the/Volkhov District/Staraya Ladoga Village
Topographical landmarks/Volkhov River, the

Бранденбург Н.Е. Старая Ладога. СПб., 1896.
Кирпичников А. Н. Каменные крепости Новгородской земли. Л., 1984, С.20-91
Старая Ладога. URL:, С.20-91

Subject Index
Staraya Ladoga Historical and Architectural and Archaeological Museum-reserve, the
The Church of St. George the Victorius, Great Martyr (Staraya Ladoga Village, Volkhov District)

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