Thursday, November 26, 2009

On the site of the fortress of Nynskans

Nyenskans was a Swedish fortress built in 1611 at the mouth of the Neva river in Swedish Ingria on the site of the present day St. Petersburg in Russia. On May 1, 1703, during the Ingrian campaign of the Great Northern War, the fortress of Nyenskans was taken by Peter the Great and renamed Schlotburg, "Neck-town", after the long narrow section of the Neva river where it was located. The last Swedish commandant of Nyenskans was Colonel Johan Apolloff, preceded by Colonel Alexander Pereswetoff-Morath (the son of Russian noblemen, who had entered Swedish service in the first decades of the seventeenth century). Having fallen into Russian hands the fortress functioned only for some weeks, and very soon the tsar founded the fortress and city of Saint Petersburg near the site. Nothing remains of Nyen above ground (as the land has been used for industrial development), but a few years ago a monument was opened on the site of the fortress, at the mouth of the Okhta river to a design by V. A. Reppo. In the early winter of 2007 remains of the fortress bastions were identified during archaeological excavations, which were necessitated by the threat of irrecoverable exploitation of the entire site.