17 Oct 2017

City on the Border: Narva

Just two weeks ago I was again standing in Vilnius Bus Station with a packed suitcase and tickets in my hand, ready for yet another adventure. I can assuredly say that this year Estonia was my destination No. 1. Having visited Tartu, Tallinn, and Viljandi multiple times, I was very happy to have a chance to see another Estonian city called Narva.




Narva is a city on the border with Russian Federation. These two countries are separated by the Narva River and connected by a bridge that is full of cars and pedestrians no matter when you look at it. I was intrigued by this place and wanted to know how people live here, on a border.



I came to Narva because of purely academical reasons: I presented my paper an the 7th International Conference of Young Folklorists, and the venue was University of Tartu Narva College. I was fascinated by the college building which recreates the facade of a building that stood in that place before WWII.





All three conference's days were packed with presentations, lectures, workshops, and excursions but I, together with my colleagues, still managed to explore the city.




Narva has a Medieval castle (Hermann Castle) that is situated on a shore of the river. On the opposite shore stands Russian fortress, which is younger by 200 years, but is MUCH bigger. We had a guided tour in the castle and got to know many facts about it. For example, that it was built by... Danes. 






As I learned during my stay in Narva, it is a city with a very sad history. Once it was a beautiful place, full of Baroque buildings and during its time of prosperity even called the "Pearl of North". But WWII came and in 1944 happened the Battle of Narva, that turned 98% of the city into ruins. Some pieces from the glorious past might still be seen in the Castle's museum.






The only three buildings in the old-town that survived the bombings are Town Hall and Two private houses. Since the Town Hall stands next to the College, I took lots and lots of its pictures!






During my last evening in the city I joined my colleagues for a quick tour around Narva, and we went to see the Kreenholm Textile Factory that now stands abandoned. On our way we passed various buildings that were built by the owner of the factory and make the Kreenholm area.






Visiting Narva was certainly an interesting experience. Involuntarily I compared this city with the ones that I visited previously in Estonia and saw many differences as well as similarities. Now I want to go on an adventure again! 




Photos (c): Asta Skujytė-Razmienė, Liisi Reitalu, Saara Mildeberg, Vita Džekčioriūtė-Medeišienė

1 comment:

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