Otto Wilhelm von Fersen, Governor General 1691-1698, sent a report on the fortresses of Ingria on 7 June 1697.
Kexholm: Insignificant and poorly built. A small island called Kalasaari nearby dominated the fortress and it should be moved to that island.
Koporie: Four good towers and walls. A deep valley surrounding the castle. Fersen believed Koporie should be preserved as it was situated between Narva and Nyen. It could serve as protection for the poor peasants who had no other place to go in time of war. It could also serve as a stronpoint for Swedish detachments. 5 or 6 5-pounders and a garrison of 20-30 men would be sufficient. The fortress would be useless for the enemy as it was very small.
Nöteborg: Mostly as it were, but one tower had been built. Nöteborg ought to be repaired and preserved.
Nyen: The place was beautiful and well chosen and the population was considerable. Many beautiful ships had been built there. Nyen was preferable to Narva, but was poorly fortified. It was a key spot for commmunication between Ladoga and the Baltic sea and the Baltic provinces and Finland. It was absolutely imperative to strengthen Nyen, even if it meant stopping work on other fortresses. In it's present state 1 lieutenant (or possibly a captain) along with 50 men would be sufficient as garrison. At present there were two companies and some artillery.
Narva: The key to Estonia as far as Reval and Livonia as far as Dorpat or Pernau. The present state of Narva was poor. The ongoing work went too slow.
Ivangorod: It had been strengthened, but much work was still needed.