Russia is a land of marvels, a fact that can be easily understood and grasped if one simply takes a glimpse at it: it possesses a grand past, abundant with glorious conflicts and thrilling revolutions; it boasts unparalleled natural landscapes, as the snowy wonderland (or barren land, as some prefer to call it) offers scenery that one would not encounter anywhere else in the world; splendid architecture that is best represented through their renowned domes. As remarkable as these are, one of the largely unexplored avenues are the fortresses in Russia.
The Top 10 Fortresses In Russia
Russia sets a high standard, as nearly everything is distinctive and unparalleled. Fortunately, their fortresses do not disappoint: Russian fortresses are more impressive than most, with the occasional moat and typical drawbridge transporting one back to the Middle Ages.
1. The Kremlin, Moscow
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No compilation of fortified structures in Russia is comprehensive without sections dedicated solely to the Kremlin. One of the largest fortified complexes in the entire country, the Kremlin is one of the most renowned fortresses in Russia, surpassing the other castles and palaces by a significant margin. It overlooks the Moskva River, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, and even the famous Red Square. The boundaries themselves encompass five palaces, four cathedrals, alongside the timeless masterpiece, the Grand Kremlin Palace.
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2. Vorontsovsky Palace, Alupka
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This is likely one of the most captivating castles in the entirety of Russia. Often referred to as the Alupka Palace, this generous and splendid castle is located at the base of the renowned Crimean Mountain, near Alupka in Crimea. It was constructed somewhere between 1828 and 1848, for the famous and esteemed Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov, at the astonishing cost of just over 9 million silver roubles, by renowned architect Edward Blore. The structure itself showcases the English Renaissance Revival style of architecture. Celebrated as one of the oldest buildings in the area, the Vorontsovsky Palace is an extremely popular tourist attraction.
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3. Balga, Kaliningrad Oblast
Even though this castle is an artifact from the past, it still displays some of the most impressive architecture. It was the location of an ancient fortress called Honeda, which, prior to its downfall, used to be under the possession of the Teutonic Order, and is one of the oldest Teutonic structures in the area, showcasing some of the finest architecture by Teutonic masons. It is also renowned for being the site of one of the decisive battles of World War II, as Soviet and German forces collided near it, with the castle soon becoming one of the most renowned forsaken castles in Russia. One can find the ruins themselves on the shore of the Vistula Lagoon, which is situated north of Mamonovo.
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4. Kerch Fortress, Kerch Strait
Another one of the history-rich fortresses found in Russia, this remarkable fortress is one that still remains robust to this very day. Constructed at the narrowest point of the Kerch Strait, this sprawling fortress served to safeguard the southern border of the glorious Russian Empire. Though now demilitarized, this fortress was a crucial location during the times of Imperialist Russia, as it had successfully defended the Empire against adversaries, time after time. One can pay a visit to this fortress, as it is more or less quite intact. It features some of the finest defensive architecture around and is a memento of the glorious times of Imperialist Russia.
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5. Factory Castle, Moscow
Even though this marvel of engineering is not exactly what one would consider a conventional castle or fortress, it definitely comes close. Bigger than some of the genuine fortresses discovered in Russia, this extensive complex is one of the finest illustrations of what can be labeled as neo-Gothic architecture, a style that can vary from astonishing to remarkably impressive. Although the architect envisioned it with towering structures and ornamental windows, they were absent in the final constructed edifice, which is a matter of sorrow for many.
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