This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union.
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Legends about Narva


Narva is rich in legends and traditions: about love, honor, dignity, inviolable friendship, feats and guileful enemies.
Nature cataclysms didn’t miss Narva as well: there were earthquakes, hurricanes and signs.
In 1580 shortly before the storm of Narva by Swedes, “three suns” were seen in the sky and Russian Resurrection chronicle noticed under the same year: “… In summer 7088 a sign appeared: a star in spear-point type.” The consequences of this sign didn’t keep waiting:” in the same summer Swedes came and took Korela, Rugodiv and Ivangorod in Novgorod region ...*

«Generations alternate generations and only traditions of antiquity don’t grow dark…»

Enter the land of legends! It’s the country of poetry and wisdom. It is rich and beautiful! We’ll discover it for you!

A legend about mermaid Inger

When the God created the world he also made a saint mountain and several islands on the Aluksa river (ancient name of the Narova). Once Ilmarine came to admire the Maiden hill and saw fascinating mermaids who were having fun in the river.
Mermaid Inger fascinated Ilmarine so much that he made up his mind to marry her. However a wicked and powerful Water-sprite didn’t want his daughter to marry a farrier though he knew Ilmarine was not a simple farrier. It was he who had hammered silver sky and stars on it. Ilmarine turned to the God for a help. Wise men from Estonia and Finland got together…
But their attempts were hopeless. The God became angry and ordered to the fellow:
You will live without a wife before I dispel the evil spells of Water-spite and punish those who don’t listen to me, then you’ll be able to marry Inger.

I will do it in this way: every year it will be terribly cold, all the rivers will be covered with ice. In spring the flood will start to dig a grave for Water-sprite. Big lake Peipus will send its ice through the waterfalls. Ice will take flags and with this I’ll destroy the houses of those who are against my will.

A legend about Karsten Rode

In 16-17 centuries in Baltic there was a merry Roger waving on many ships. The piracy increased in Baltic during the Livonian war. According to one of the legends in 1568 Russian post in the mouth of the Narova detained a ship “12 apostles” where 3 hardly live men were found. According to the story of one of them the caravan of trade ships was attacked by pirates.
Trade people needed a powerful protection, but there was no own fleet.
Ivan the Terrible decided to build his marque fleet. he gave Karsten Rode a certificate according to which in the sea he had to: “ to take enemies with force, to kill or keep as prisoners, and to find their ships and destroy them according to the Tsar’s order and to do the honor to our voevodes and other mandative people of our ataman Karsten Rode”. Luck – the goodness of corsairs attended marine filibuster, his flagship “Merry bride» was successfully sailing through the Baltic sea and there was a green and black flag with double-headed eagle on it. Rode acted very successfully. Now ships could be calm when sailed to Narva, that was absolutely inadmissible for the enemies of Russia
There were many evil-wishers. And the luck turned out of him.

Even after the signing of peace treaty “gentleman of luck” was continuing to pirate. Dutch king who was indignant at this fact, forbade Rode to sail into the channels of his country and then arrested him.

A legend about Indrig von Berengaupte.

In ancient times Livonian knights attacked Russia not once. they robbed villages, drive the cattle out and sometimes took prisoners from peaceful inhabitants.

Tsar Ivan built a powerful fortress opposite Livonian castle to prevent robbery, but the knights passed the fortress by and raids were going on. Sometimes Russian made return campaigns and at that time there were tears and grief on the Estonian side.

Once after regular Livonian robbery campaign, people from Ivangorod besiege Narva. after a strong shooting a fire was set in the castle and Russian knights plunged into a storm. Military happiness was with them, there were less defenders of the castle left in every minute. A battle from high walls of the castle went to inner quarters of the castle.

In one of the rooms a knight Indrig von Berengaupt was bravely defending his family: a wife and a son.One Russian knight was killed, another one… but instead of them a lot of new knights appeared and Indrig understood he was doomed to death.

He didn’t want enemies to take his beautiful wife that why he killed her with his heavy sword. he wanted to kill himself and his son but because of asphyxiating smoke that got into all the quarters of burning castle, lost consciousness. Russian the knight was dead and took a crying baby and left the burning castle.

Indrig would have died but the fate wanted him to be live: a horrible thunderstorm began and it was raining cats and dogs and the fire extinguished.

Next day, having become conscious, Indrig von Berengaupt sweared an oath to take revenge to Russians for his wife’s death and son’s capture. In mourning clothes listening to the sounds of
requiem he and two servants were pulled down on the bottom of a deep dry well. Indrig’s plan was simple but hard for realization: he decided to make a subway under the river, rush into Ivangorod suddenly, take revenge on Russians and save his son. Near the well knight’s friends hanged a bell which could inform if something was needed to free-will prisoners.

The work was long and hard. Days passed, weeks passed, years passed. Indrig never went up from the subway, his eyes never saw the sun, only the gates through which water and food were given to prisoners were creaking .

This hellish work had been lasting for twenty years. For this time the bell rang only twice: knight’s servants got dead and their bodies were lifted up.

Finally, the bell rang for the third time: Berengaupt finished his work. Only a thin wall separated the subway from courtyard of Ivangorod fortress. The knight was lifted up, but, My Lord, he had changed so much! He turned into a grey, half-blind old man. Health, life are lost, but knight’s eyes were shining: this night he would get into the Russian fortress, take the son and then – a grief to Russians, they will pay for his wife’s death and for all his sufferings and asperities.

At night Indrig carefully broke the thin wall covering the entrance and got into Russian fortress. He managed to find his son, but a deep disappointment shocked him: his son tuned into a handsome man, almost forgot his native language, got into Orthodoxy. He considered a voevode of the fortress his relative and was going to marry his daughter. The son refused to go to Narva together with his father and threatened he would raise an alarm if Indrig didn’t leave him. Indrig couldn’t bear this, he slapped his son in the face and disappeared in the subway.

Indrig’s son told voevode about everything. The voevode gave him a detachment and ordered to find out where the suddenly appeared subway was leading to.

At the same time Indrig in the castle was preparing for the attack of Ivangorod. Soon Berengaupt at the head of the troop went to Ivangorod through he subway.

So, in the middle of the subway two detachments met. The battle began.

Indrig found his son and threw himself on his son with a sword, but son’s hand was stronger and Indrig von Berengaupte got dead. Simultaneously leaking vaults of the subway crashed down, the Narova plunged into the subway and both detachments died.

Since that time at night the guard of both fortresses here the moan upon the river: it’s Berengaupt’s son’s spirit is moaning…


When restoration works were implemented no tracks or proves of the subway were found both in Ivangorod fortress and in German castle. However the influence of the legend on local population is so great that from time to time some eye-witness say that if not they but their relatives or friends were in the subway under the Narova.
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