Russia is the home of some beautifully built castles, some which are architecturally brilliant rather than defensively sound.
1 Saint Michael’s Castle
Saint Michael’s Castle, otherwise known as the Mikhailovsky Castle or the Engineer’s Castle was built during the late 18th century and acted as the royal residence for Emperor Paul I.
Architecturally speaking the castle is very interesting as each of the sides differ from one another, the architects who created the building, Vincenzo Brenna and Vasili Bazhenov were influenced by various architectural styles including French Classicism, Italian Renaissance and Gothic.
2 Ivangorod Fortress
The Ivangorod Fortress is one of the few medieval castles Russia has to offer and was constructed in the late 15th century.
The fortress is blessed with impressive scenery as it overlooks the Narva River. The fortress was originally built in order to re-establish Russia’s right to access the sea and is located opposite the Narva Hermann Castle
3 Gdov Kremlin
Gdov Kremlin is a ruined castle located alongside the Gdovka River near the town of Gdov, Russia.
The fortress dates back to the 14th century and the initial building was constructed from a mixture of wood and earth, but this was modified in the early 18th century as the castle was attacked multiple times and came under siege.
Izborsk is one of the oldest fortresses in Western Russia; it is located near the Russian-Estonian border. It has been suggested that the castle possibly dates back as far as the 6th century.
In the 14th century however, the fortress was moved after being captured by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword and the oldest building that still stands to this day is the Tower Lukovka, meaning ‘Onion Tower’ which was built in 1330
5 Koporye Kremlin
Koporye Kremlin is located in the historic village of Koporye, located to the west of St. Petersburg.
The fortress was originally built of wood in the 13th century but was destroyed a year later. After the attack the son of the attacker, Dmitry Alexandrovich built a fortress from stone that still stands today as one of the most impressive medieval ruins in Russia.
6 Kolomna Kremlin
Kolomna Kremlin is a very large castle that is located in Kolomna and was constructed in the 16th century.
The castle contains a wide variety of buildings, including multiple towers, churches and monasteries. Originally the castle was home to 17 towers but today only 7 survive.
7 Moscow Kremlin
Located in the heart of Moscow is the Moscow Kremlin, which is a historic fortified complex that dates back to the 14th century.
Often the castle is referred to as just ‘Kremlin’ and overlooks the Moscow River. The impressive complex includes five palaces, four cathedrals, an enclosing wall and towers. It now serves as the home of the President of the Russian Federation.
8 Kazan Kremlin
The Kazan Kremlin is located in Kazan and is constructed of local pale sandstone.
In 2000 Kazan Kremlin was declared a World Heritage Site and was built on the ruins of the ancient castle Kazan khans. The castle contains a multitude of ancient buildings, many of which date back as far as the 16th century.
9 Suzdal Kremlin
Suzdal Kremlin resides in the Russian city of Suzdal and is considered the oldest part of the city as it dates back to the 10th century.
In 1992 the Suzdal Kremlin was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The building’s purpose was originally to be a fortress and later it also became the religious centre of the city.
10 Nilov Monastery
Stolobny Island is the home of Nilov Monastery, founded by Saint Nilus in the late 16th century.
The structure boasts a beautiful neoclassical style, one of the most impressive examples of Neoclassical architecture present in Eastern Europe. The majority of the buildings were constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries but some of the older buildings date back to the 17th century.
Header Image Source: Fotopedia