Thursday, February 25, 2016

Нарва, Эстония

Narva is the third largest city in Estonia. It is located at the eastern extreme point of Estonia, by the Russian border, on the Narva River which drains Lake Peipus. 
It seems as the history had materialized in Narva in its architectural ensemble, uncommon in beauty and dramatic effect, that integrates the opposites and is unique in the whole Europe: two giants of stone towering in close vicinity to each other two opposite banks (at distance of an arrow flight or that of a musket shot) – the castle of Order of Germanic knights and the Russian fortress of Ivangorod. 
Heavy battles occurred in and around Narva in World War II. The city was damaged in the German invasion of 1941 and by smaller air raids throughout the war, but remained relatively intact until February 1944 However, being at the focus of the Battle of Narva (1944), the city was almost completely leveled. The most devastating action was the bombing of 6 March 1944 by the Soviet Air Force, which destroyed the baroque old town, built during the Swedish rule in the late 17th century.
Not far from the town is the Narva Waterfall, whose spillway capacity is one of the largest in northern Europe. From as early as the beginning of the 19. century it grew to become a favorite recreation place for the Saint-Petersburg aristocracy.

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