ST.-PETERBURG — страница 2

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behind it, with wooden walls and towers. The arrivel of the Swedish "Land's Crown" threatened Russia with the loss of her access to the Baltic, so within a year the Novgorod army of Grand Prince Andrey Alexandrovich attacked the stronghold and captured it after a decisive assault. The fortress construction was destroyed. A Russian settlemant soon arose on the ruins of Landskrona. Time has obliterated all traces of it, but archaeological finds tell us about life at that time - fragments of 14th century ceramic vassels, for example. Old documents refer to regular inter national trade in the Neva estuary; forein merchantes (mostly Hanseatic) had the right to moor and repair their vessels here. Goods brought in on ships were transferred to Novgorodian river boats. Foreign

vessels could not ignore this strategically important and convenient spot on the Okhta promontory which was home both to preasants who cultivated the land and to tradespeople. A chronicle of 1500, containing information about an outlying region of the Novgorod territory called the Vodskaya District names its outpost as the Village at the Mouth of the Okhta. We are indebted to the chronicles of Ivan 3, Grand Prince of Moskow, for the first reliable reference to the group of settlements on the site of modern St. Petersburg - in particular Lakhta, Pargolovo and Dudorovo (later Duderhof). Note the date of this chronicle: it was compiled exactly 500 years ago! Another anniversary connected with our city's prehistory. The "village" was later called the Neva Estuary, or the

Neva Town. It was destroyed on more than one occasion in the 16th century: in 1583, during the Russo-Swedish War, King John 3 of Sweden ordered new fortifications to be constructed on the site of the half-ruined ones. It seems that the interminable military actions of the time meant that Landskrona was rebuilte sometimes by the Russians, sometimes by the Swedes. In spite of all its reveres of fortune, the Russian settlement on the Okhta estuary developed into a city center. It was a bustlind place at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, containing the Sovereigns Arcade, the Church of the Archangl Michael (protector of warriors), a wharf and a Customs House, a sure sign of flourishing foreign trade. During the "time of troubles" the fortress of Nienschants was built

on the site of the Neva town in 1611, by order of King Charles 9 of Sweden; it was originally a small rectangular castle with a garrison of 600 men. The work was supervised by Commander Nienschats; this gradually increased in size to be a town called Nien. By the middle of the 17th century it had become an important transit point for international trade. After the storming of fortress by Russian detachments in 1656, Swedish engineer G. von Seilenberg built a new earthen castle with five basrions in the shape of a star; the approach to it was barred by rampart with three bastions. He constructed a bridge across the Okhta to link the fortress with the town proper on the right-hand side of the river. The history of Nien came to an abrupt end in the fourth year of the Northern War:

on 25 April 1703 a corps of 25,000 men under the command of Peter 1 and Field-Marshal Boris Sheremetyev launcher an assault on Nienschants. The fortress fell, and tradition has it that the Tsar planted an oak tree to mark the burial-ground of Russian troops killed in the attack. Peter renamed the Swedish citadel Schlotburg (Castle-town). The fortress of Noteburg, captured six months earlier, had already deen called Schlisselburg (Key-town). These symbolic names were evidence of Russia's lasting claim upon the land around the Neva. The end of Nienschants marked the beginning of St. Petersburg, and the new city grew at a fantastic speed on the islands in the Neva delta. In 1709, after the victory at Poltava that determined the outcome of the Northern War, the fortifications at

Nienschants were ceremonially blown up. In the mid-18th century Andrey Bogdanov, the first historian of St. Petersburg, called for the ruins to be preserved as a rare monument. The first structure to be built in the new city was the Peter and Paul fortress. Designed to protect the area from the attacks of the Swedish army and navy, the fort did not take part in actual fighting. However, the area was well protected militarily as the Admiralty complex was also fortified. The Admiralty was a center of different activities of St. Petersburg. The most powerful ships of Russia's Baltic Fleet were built there, which led to a series of naval victories in the course of the Northern War. Many of the street and district names in St. Petersburg still remind us of Peter the Great's war