NOVODVINSK FORTRESS: PECULIARITIES OF CONSTRUCTION
The fortress was protected naturally from 3 sides: from the west – by deep Korabelny tributary, from the north and north-east – by marshy lowlands, from the eastern side – by 20-meter wide channel Metkurya with low swampy banks. The southern side didn’t have any natural protection, so the wall was built three times as think as other walls. Besides, the architects built an artificial 1.4-hectare pond.
A stone-earth citadel consisting of four towers and curtain-walls joining them together takes up a dominant position in the entire group of fortifications. The total length of the fortress walls was whole 1550 meters.
Bulwarks and curtain-walls consist of two parts – the outer, or scarp, part and inner, earth rampart, which is 20 meters wide at the bottom and 5 meters high. It became a bit lower with time. A bearing-defensive wall supported the rampart and protected it from crumbling. The outer surface of the wall has a noticeable slope and is done, using the armour-work technique. The massive is made of smaller stones in concrete solution, and rectangular limestone blocks cover its outside.
A 2-meter high earth parapet protected the 7.5 meter wide approach way. Both parapet and the fortress walls carried artillery batteries and shooting stands.
Hinged turrets add a certain peculiarity to Novodvinsk fortress. They were located on the crest of the defence wall – the element enhanced security.
One could get inside the fortress through two main gates: Western ( Dvina ) gates faced the Northern Dvina river, and Summer ( Midday ) gates faced Arkhangelsk direction. There were living quarters for officers and commandant built over the gates. The barracks for soldiers as well as other household buildings and two wooden storehouses were situated on the territory of the fortress. In the very centre of the fortress there was a small Peter and Paul church with a separately standing belfry. Inside the bulwarks there were powder-magazines.