- 1323 to 2018 -
Oreshek Fortress is an abandoned 14th-century castle and prison complex on a small island in the Neva River.
The Oreshek Fortress, also called Shlisselburg, was first built in 1323 as a fortified outpost of Veliky Novgorod, one of the earliest cities in Russia. In 1478, it was incorporated into to the state of Moscow. Now abandoned, this island fortress situated at the head of the Neva River has played witness to some of the most important events in Russian history.
The fortress was abandoned after the Russian Revolution in 1917, and barely survived the Second World War. The island was defended by Red Army soldiers during the siege of Leningrad and the structure was badly damaged. Today only 6 of the original 10 towers remain in tact. The historic site and castle remains are now open to visitors as a museum.
To get to the fortress take a train from St. Petersburg, Finlandsky railway station to Petrokrepost. The lake and ferry dock are short walk away from the railway station (the way is not marked with any signs). You can take a ferry to the island from there. Plan your time; it's better to arrive early than late. Within the complex is a memorial to its defenders and a prison museum.
Clancy's comment: Mm ... I don't think I'd want to be an inmate back in 1323.