Ivangorod Fortress is located 150 kilometers west of St. Petersburg, on the border with Estonia. In the middle of the century, these lands were the place of confrontation between Russia and the Livonian Order, and then with Sweden. The border ran along the Narva River, and two powerful fortresses were built on its banks 150 meters from each other. This is a single case in world history when the fortresses of two opponents were located so close.
The Ivangorod Fortress was founded in 1492 on the banks of the Narva River, by order of the Russian Tsar Ivan III. The tsar called it by his name. By that time, the Narva Fortress had existed for 150 years. It was built in 1329 by the Danes, and in 1347 Denmark sold these lands to the Livonian Order, which was trying to expand its influence to the east. Russia claimed the same lands. Several centuries of the late Middle Ages passed under the sign of this confrontation.
Ivangorod Fortress was the westernmost of all the strongholds of the Russian state. The fortress, built at the end of 1492, was located on the top of Maiden Mountain. It had the shape of a small square. The length of the walls was only 41x41 meters. The Swedish army almost immediately attacked the fortress and captured it. However, they understood that it was impossible to hold the fortress, so they destroyed it and returned to their shore of Narva. In 1496, Ivan III ordered the construction of a larger fortress. This territory of the new Ivangorod fortress was called the Boyar City.
In the center of the Boyar city, two small churches were built: Assumption and Nikolskaya. They have survived to this day. The Assumption Church was built in 1510, and the St. Nicholas Church in 1558.
In 1502, the fortress was again besieged by the army of the Livonian Order. After lifting the siege, Ivan III again ordered to increase the territory of the fortress and the power of its fortress walls. So the Front City appeared. It consisted of two extensions. One was located on the opposite side from the river, and the other surrounded the territory of the first fortress of 1496. Its powerful Well and Powder towers were built directly on the shore. Now the walls of both fortresses were sinking into the waters of the river.
The distance between the fortresses was reduced to 150 meters. With the advent of artillery, Russians and Livonians could fire at each other directly from the walls of their fortresses. This happened during the Livonian War, which began in 1558.
By that time, the Ivangorod Fortress had become one of the most powerful Russian fortresses. The length of the fortress walls of the Ivangorod Fortress reached 1.5 kilometers, and the area was 5 hectares. For comparison, the area of the Pskov Kremlin is 3 hectares.
The Ivangorod Fortress was in the possession of the Swedes in the periods from 1583 to 1595, as well as from 1613 to 1704 (almost a hundred years). During the Northern War, Peter I conquered the fortress together with Vyborg Castle.