The site of two battles in the Great Northern War between Sweden and Russia, Narva is hoping that reenactments of historical battles could be a win-win for tourism and regional cooperation.
Although there are many historical castles, fortifications and other places of cultural significance on the shores of the Baltic Sea, they lack a common denominator, making it difficult to develop tourism. ETV reported on a meeting held in the northeastern city that discussed solutions to introduce the region's historical heritage through using these castles.
Reenacting battles from the Great Northern War at Narva Castle has already become a tradition. In November war history clubs from Estonia and neighboring countries bring out their guns and cannons to reenact Swedish King Karl XII's triumphant battle in 1700 over the forces of Peter the Great of Russia. August brings to life the battle of 1704 where the Swedish forces suffered defeat.
"This is an event meant for the public. We are able to present these battles because they really took place here. We need to come up with something else for other places," says Angelika Štõkalov, project manager at the Narva Museum.
This time around the reconstruction of the battle was a part of an international conference. Bernadette Woerdman from the Netherlands said that Narva would be even more attractive if it were possible to visit - visa-free - the Ivangorod Fortress across the Narva River in Russia.
"I am sure of it. I have already asked why wouldn't it be possible for the municipalities to arrange a way to visit both of the castles without showing your passport. I can understand that it is very difficult, but that is also a part of history and it is very interesting. I have not seen borders between countries for a long time and had no idea they still existed," said Woerdman, who works in the fortification development department at the s-Hertogenbosch city government.
She added that tourists today want more entertainment than just sightseeing. They want restaurants and shopping centers and in this area, she said, the city of Narva still has its work cut out for it.
Reenactment of Historic Battles Seen as Draw for Tourists in Narva (3)