Koporye (Russian: Копорье; Finnish: Kaprio; Swedish: Koporje) is a historic village (selo) in Leningrad Oblast, Russia, located about 100 km (62 mi) west of St. Petersburg and 12 km (7.5 mi) south of the Koporye Bay of the Baltic Sea. Its population in 2017 was 1603.

Entrance to Koporye Fortress
Entrance to Koporye Fortress
Coordinates: 59°42′N 29°03′E / 59.700°N 29.050°E / 59.700; 29.050[1]
 • Total408.9 km2 (157.9 sq mi)


The first wooden fortress on the coast of the Koporye Bay was built by the Teutonic Knights in the winter of 1240, only to be destroyed by Alexander Nevsky the next year. The second fortress was built in stone by Alexander's son Dmitry Alexandrovich in 1280.[2] Enraged by the prince's independence, the Novgorodians razed the fortress two years later.[3][4]

The Swedes took advantage of the lack of a fortress and occupied the banks of the Narova river. The Novgorodians had to restore the stone fort in 1297. Koporye was the strongest stronghold in the region and survived numerous attacks during the Swedish-Novgorodian Wars. In 14-15th centuries the town was given several times to mercenary princes invited by Novgorodians to protect the northern territories of the republic. While the town had an important fortress, the residences of a prince and several lesser landowners, and was the centre of an important iron-working district, it remained very small, with only 18 households in the end of 15th century.[5]

After Novgorod's incorporation into Muscovy, the fortress was strengthened and rebuilt to withstand cannon fire. Most extant structures belong to that period. Russian forces surrendered Koporye during the Livonian War but regained it under the Treaty of Tyavzino.

During the Time of Troubles, Koporye was attacked by some 2000 Swedes. The Russian garrison had to surrender. In 1656, Russia unsuccessfully tried to retake the village. Koporye remained Swedish until 1703, known as Koporje or Caporie/Capurien, constituting an important part of Swedish Ingria.[6][7]

As the Gulf of Finland grew shallow and receded to the north, the site began to lose its maritime importance. In 1703, during the Great Northern War, a major Russian army under Boris Sheremetev regained Koporye, which was defended by 80 Swedish soldiers under the commandant, Captain Wasili Apolloff. Huge gaps in the walls from the disastrous fire of the Russian artillery may still be seen.

Despite some repairs undertaken in the 19th century, the fortress survives in a ruined state. Today, it is a museum.[8][9]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". msu.lenobl.ru. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Fortress and defence building". Culture of the Leningrad Oblast.
  3. ^ "Крепость Копорье | Крепости России | Россия и страны СНГ | Замки и крепости | AllCastles.ru". www.allcastles.ru. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  4. ^ Michell, Robert; Shakhmaton, A. A.; Forbes, Nevill; Beazley, C. Raymond (Charles Raymond) (1914). The chronicle of Novgorod, 1016-1471. University of California Libraries. London, Offices of the society.
  5. ^ Бернадский, Виктор Николаевич (1961). Новгород и новгородская земля в XV веке. Издательство Академии Наук СССР. pp. 121–123.
  6. ^ Goss.ru, Alex Goss -. "History of Koporskaya fortress - Northern Fortress". www.nortfort.ru. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  7. ^ "Крепость Копорье | Крепости России | Россия и страны СНГ | Замки и крепости | AllCastles.ru". www.allcastles.ru. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  8. ^ "Koporye Fortress Museum". St. Petersburg.
  9. ^ "Копорье — Музей-заповедник "Копорье"". www.koporiemuseum.ru. Retrieved 2018-12-16.

Coordinates: 59°42′34.26″N 29°1′57.87″E / 59.7095167°N 29.0327417°E / 59.7095167; 29.0327417