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Peter the Great designed the fortress on the island of the Neva delta to protect its access to the Baltic Sea by the Swedish power.

The construction of the military complex in 1703, marked the birth of St. Petersburg. In truth, the fortress was never used for defensive purposes, and until 1917 was used instead as a prison for opponents of the regime.


Here were imprisoned Alexei, the only son of Peter I, accused of conspiracy and sentenced to death, Dostoevsky, the elder brother of Lenin, Aleksandr, Gorky, Trotsky, and Bakunin. In the area of the fortress, which is accessed through the door of Peter adorned with the Tsarist double-headed eagle, as well as military buildings (barracks, prisons, armory) were also built a mint (in operation since 1724), and a cathedral dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul.


Built by Domenico Trezzini in 1712, the oldest church in the city has a very high bell tower (122 m.), whose golden spire is topped by an angel holding a cross. Inside, in the Baroque style, are the monumental tombs of the Romanovs, from Peter the Great to Nicholas II. Today, the fortified town accommodates various museums about the history of St. Petersburg.


In summer, on the beach, which is located outside the walls, you can see many Petersburgers sunbathing. In winter, the more adventurous meet here to cross the river completely frozen or even to bathe in the icy waters of the Neva (the Walrus club).


Opening hours: daily (09.00 AM – 08.00 PM)

Admission: free to the complex; 450 RUB (adults), 250 RUB (students) to the SS Peter and Paul Cathedral

Web site

How to reach: Metro Gorkovskaya (M2)

Address: Kronverkskaya nab., 3А Sankt-Peterburg

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