Narva – “The stronghold” on the Russian border

Narva borders directly on Russian territory in the north-east of Estonia. If it was not for the River Narva the former occupying power would be even closer.


Building Narva
Almost worth seeing: Building in Narva.

With it’s around 70.000 inhabitants Narva is Estonia’s third biggest city, but not very interesting for tourists. The architectural horrors of the Soviet empire are too remarkable. Narva was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War. Apparently, the lack of inspiration led to mainly unattractive reconstruction of the city.


On the whole architectural aesthetics seems never to have been an issue in Narva. And why should it? The stronghold had other tasks to fulfil – it had to be strong and protect the people inside.


riverside Narva
What a discrepancy. Idyllic scene at the riverside.

It is thus mostly single buildings or monuments, which reveal the medieval character or at least an historical one. The lack of attraction is the result of many wars and destruction in the past.


But it would be too simple to just consider Narva a victim of its geographical location. It is – be it beautiful or not – one of the most important connections to Russia. For example, if you take the E20 starting in Tallinn, if you get to Narva, it is only 100 kilometres from there to the Russian metropolis of St. Petersburg.



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