Shlisselburg is a town in Kirovsky District of Leningrad Oblast, Russia, located at the head of the Neva River on Lake Ladoga, 35 kilometers (22 mi) east of St. Petersburg. From 1944 to 1992, it was known as Petrokrepost . The fortress and the town center are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. History : Fortress : A wooden fortress named Oreshek or Orekhov was built by Grand Prince Yury of Moscow (in his capacity as Prince of Novgorod) on behalf of the Novgorod Republic in 1323. It guarded the northern approaches to Novgorod and access to the Baltic Sea. The fortress is situated on Orekhovets Island whose name refers to nuts in Swedish as well as in Finnish (Pahkinasaari, “Nut Island”) and Russian languages After a series of conflicts, a peace treaty was signed at Oreshek on August 12, 1323 between Sweden and Grand Prince Yury and the Novgorod Republic. This was the first agreement on the border between Eastern and Western Christianity running through present-day Finland. A modern stone monument to the north of the Church of St. John in the fortress commemorates the treaty. In 1333 Novgorodians invited Lithuanian prince Narimantas to govern their north-western domain. Narimantas appointed his son, Alexander Narimuntovich to rule the autonomous Principality of Oreshek.
Town : A predecessor of the town was posad that first appeared around the citadel on the island, and in late XV-early XVI century shifted to both banks of Neva. Once muscovites rebuilt old citadel into a powerful stronghold leaving no place for residential purposes, residents and merchants were only allowed to the island to seek a shelter from advancing Swedish troops. Posad on the southern bank was more convenient, as for its population, unlike for those living on the Northern coast, was easier to flee the enemies to the Southeast, into the Russian mainland. Southern posad of Oreshek was turned into town in 1702 by Peter the Great.
In the course of Peter’s administrative reform, Shlisselburg was included into Ingermanland Governorate (known since 1710 as St. Petersburg Governorate). In 1727, it became a part of Sankt-Petersburgsky Uyezd, and in 1755 Shlisselburgsky Uyezd was established. In 1914, Sankt-Peterburgsky Uyezd was renamed Petrogradsky Uyezd. Old Ladoga Channel that divides the town into two parts was constructed during 1719-1731 to ensure the safety of the vessel traffic along the Southern coast of the dangerously turbulent lake Ladoga. The plan of the channel was worked out by the Emperor Peter I himself. In 1826 the channel became too shallow, so numerous locks, including those in the town, were built to maintain the depth of the channel. In 1861 construction of the new channel was commenced, that run between the old one and the lake. The old channel was finally abandoned in 1940, and what remains of it may still be seen in Shlisselburg.
One of the most notorious political prisoners of Shlisselburg fortress was Iustin Zhuk (1887—1919), anarcho-syndicalist rebel from the Kiev Governorate. During the Russian Revolution he was released from prison and found a job on the Gunpowder works of Shlisselburg, where he joined and then headed a commune of pro-Bolshevik workers. Zhuk supported the revolutionary forces in Petrograd and arranged day care for the children of workers as well as sourced food from Ukraine, where he was born. He led a group of Red Guards from Shlisselburg that were dispatched to the Russian-Finnish borderland to halt an intrusion of White Finns towards Petrograd and died in an ambush near Gruzino railway station in 1919. One of the streets in Shlisselburg downtown is named in memory of I.Zhuk
On February 14, 1923, Shlisselburgsky Uyezd was merged into Petrogradsky Uyezd. In January 1924, the uyezd was renamed Leningradsky. St. Petersburg Governorate was twice renamed, first Petrograd Governorate and subsequently Leningrad Governorate. On August 1, 1927, the uyezds were abolished. Shlisselburg was made a town of okrug significance and belonged to Leningrad Okrug. On August 19, 1930, Leningradsky Prigorodny District, with the administrative center in Leningrad, was established. On August 19, 1936, the district was abolished and Shlisselburg became the town of oblast significance.
During the Great Partiotic War Shlisselburg town was swiftly occupied by the Nazi troops (8 September 1941) that aimed to encircle Leningrad. On 18 January 1943 in course of Operation Iskra Shlisselburg was retaken by the Red Army. As the railway connection to Leningrad via German-occupied Mga was still unavailable, two temporary railway passages over Neva were rapidly built in Shlisselburg, a temporary railway line over the ice, and shortly afterwards a wooden pile bridge. First train with supplies that went through Shlisselburg arrived in Leningrad on 7 February, 1943. In 1944, the town’s name was changed to Petrokrepost (lit., Peter’s fortress).Shlisselburg regained its former name in 1992. – In 2010, the administrative structure of Leningrad Oblast was harmonized with its municipal structure, and Shlisselburg became a town of district significance, subordinated to Kirovsky District.
Access : Coordinates: 59.953611, 31.038333 / The railway platform of Petrokrepost, which has passenger service to Ladozhsky railway station in St. Petersburg, is located on the other bank of the Neva opposite of Shlisselburg.
The A120 road, which encircles St. Petersburg, and the M18 Highway, which connects St. Petersburg and Murmansk, pass several kilometers south of the town.
The Neva and Lake Ladoga are navigable. In the beginning of the 19th century, a system of canals bypassing Lake Ladoga was built, which at the time was a part of Mariinsky Water System, connecting the Neva with the Volga River. In particular, the New Ladoga Canal connects the Volkhov and the Neva Rivers. It replaced the Old Ladoga Canal built by Peter the Great, which thus became disused and decayed. The canals collectively are known as the Ladoga Canal. The canals originate from the Neva in Shlisselburg.
Shlisselburg (Oreshek) Fortress : Oreshek snt, Shlisselburg 187320, Russia Open hours : 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Cathedral of the Navity of John the Baptist : Shlisselburg, Russia
Shlisselburg History Museum : Fabrichny ostrov, d. 2A, Shlisselburg 187320, Russia
Church of St. Nicholas : Krasnaya Sq , 2, Shlisselburg 187320, Russia
Chapel of Kazan Icon of the God’s Mother : Krasnaya Sq , 2, Shlisselburg 187320, Russia
Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin : Krasnaya Sq , 2, Shlisselburg 187320,
Go next : Kingisepp / Lodeynoye Polye / Priozersk / Staraya Ladoga / Svetogorsk / Tikhvin / Vyborg