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Kingisepp(kēn'gĭsyĕp`), city, NW European Russia, SW of St. Petersburg, near the Estonian border, on the Luga River. A river port, it has leather and shoe industries. The site was settled in the 9th cent., and the fortress of Yam was founded there in 1384 as a frontier post of Novgorod. The fortress was taken by Sweden in 1585 and passed to Russia in 1703, when it was renamed Yamburg. In 1922 it was renamed for an Estonian Communist leader.
(formerly Arensburg; Kuressaare until 1952), a city and the administrative center of Kingisepp Raion, Estonian SSR, located in the south of the island of Saaremaa on the coast of the Gulf of Riga, 3 km off the Roomassaare wharf. Population, 12,000 (1970).
Kingisepp was founded in the middle of the 14th century around a castle that had been built on the site of an Estonian fortification that had existed since the 12th century. The community received city rights in 1563. Kingisepp belonged to Denmark from 1560 to 1645, but it was taken by Sweden after the Peace of Brömsebro. In the Northern War (1700–21), Russian troops occupied the island and the Arensburg fortress (1710). The city was united with Russia after the Treaty of Nystadt (1721). In the middle of the 19th century, Kingisepp became famous as a resort city, and three pelotherapy centers were built there (1840, 1876, 1883).
Soviet power was established in Kingisepp in July 1940. During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) the residents of the city, jointly with the forces of the Baltic Fleet and the Red Army, participated in the heroic defense of the Muhu Sound archipelago. From Oct. 5, 1941, to Oct. 7, 1944, Kingisepp was occupied by the fascist German troops, who inflicted great damage on the city. However, Kingisepp was completely restored after the war. In 1952 it was renamed in honor of V. E. Kingisepp.
The industrial enterprises of Kingisepp include fish, meat, and dairy combines, a brewery, and furniture production.
The center of Kingisepp has retained its medieval plan, with narrow winding streets and low buildings. A castle, built in the 14th and 15th centuries of local dolomites and surrounded by moats and earthen walls in the convent-house style, is located in the central part of the city in a large park on the shore of the gulf. Kingisepp’s other monuments include the city hall (1670; rebuilt in 1786–87; baroque), Nicholas Church (1790; classicist), the V. E. Kingisepp museum house, and a museum of local lore (located in the castle). The Kaali meteorite craters are part of a geological preserve northeast of Kingisepp.
(until 1922, Iamburg), a city and administrative center of Kingisepp Raion, Leningrad Oblast, RSFSR, located on the Luga River, 40 km from the river’s mouth on the Gulf of Finland. Population, 17,000 (1970).
Kingisepp is a railroad station on the Leningrad-Tallinn line, 138 km southwest of Leningrad. Phosphorites are mined there. Other industry includes a logging and timber procurement enterprise, a leather factory, a dairy, and a wood furniture combine. A fertilizer plant was under construction as of 1973. The town was founded in 1384 as the fortress of Iam. In 1707 it was renamed Iamburg, which was made a city in 1784. In 1922 the city was renamed in honor of V. E. Kingisepp.