Post-classical history


A fortress at the estuary of the river Neva erected by the Swedes in 1300.

During the so-called Third Swedish Crusade against Karelia, the Swedes attempted to gain control over both entries to Lake Ladoga from the Gulf of Finland by founding Viborg (mod. Vyborg, Russia) at the estuary of the river Vuoksi in 1293 and proceeding in 1300 to build a fortress on the site of the later Nienshantz (now part of St. Petersburg).

According to Russian sources the Swedes were able to use fortification engineers from Rome but still proved unable to hold the fortress when the Novgorodians, helped by forces from central Russia, arrived the following year. The Swedish garrison was annihilated and the fortress demolished. The almost contemporary Swedish Erik Chronicle contains a dramatic account of the slaughter of the Swedish “Christians” by the “pagan” Russians, in general terms confirmed by a laconic account in the Novgorod Chronicles.

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