Peter and Paul Fortress

Trip Start Feb 05, 2006
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Trip End Jun 30, 2006


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Flag of Russian Federation  ,
Monday, May 1, 2006

On the first of May, we went on a walk through the city centre. Since we had slept till 12 it was too late to watch the Labour Day parades. Many people were on the streets, holding a beer or a bottle of vodka, smoking a cigarette or a joint, enjoying life. The sun shone on our faces. It was so warm, we had to take off our jackets. The weather was much too nice to visit such dull places as museums. On to the Peter and Paul fortress we went.

I copied the official Russian History of the Peter and Paul Fortress for you. For an independent version please visit the Wikipedia entry on the Peter and Paul Fortress.

You can also visit the official webpage

If you find history absolutely boring, just enjoy our pictures :-).


*Does anybody know what a ravelin is? I couldn't find it in the dictionary but I think it is a synonym for the word fortress.*

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The Peter and Paul Fortress


The lands located along the banks of the Neva River were regained by Peter I from Sweden during the Northern War. For Peter I this land was an important access to the sea. In order to protect it, the "St. Petersburg" fortress was founded on a small island in the Neva delta on the 16th of May in 1703. This date is considered to be the birthday of the city. The name "Peter and Paul Fortress" was given to the fortress a bit later, after the cathedral had been erected on its territory.

The fortifications were designed by Peter I and J.G. Lambert, a military engineer. The fortress was shaped as an irregular hexagon with powerful bastions, two ravelins and the Crownwork. Inside the walls casemates were built to house the garrison and store the ammunition. For a long time the fortress remained a first class fortification and presented a serious obstacle to the enemy. The construction of the bastions was supervised by Peter I and his closest associates: K.Naryshkin, J. Trubetskoy, N. Zotov, G. Golovkin and A Menshikov. The bastions are still bearing their names.

The emplacements located to the east and the west were named after Peter the Great's brother and father - the Alexeyevsky and Ioannovsky ravelins. The fortifications had been originally built of wood and earth. From 1706 to 1740 they were rebuilt in bricks (under D. Trezzini and B.C. Munnich).

From 1712 till 1733 a cathedral dedicated to the apostles Peter and Paul was built in the centre of the fortress. Beginning with Peter I and most of the Romanov Family members, most Russian Emperors are buried here (or in the Grand Dukes' Burial Place). Crowned with an angel, the bell tower is the highest building in the city (122,5m).

Soon after the foundation of the fortress, political prisoners were kept in its casemates.

As a stronghold of the Bolsheviks, the fortress played a special role during the armed uprisings in October 1917.

At the end of the 1920s the first Soviet rocket construction bureau (Gas Dynamic Laboratory) was located here.

In 1919 the fortress was taken under State Protection which provided a further basis for it becoming a museum.

In 1954 the Peter and Paul fortress became a branch of the State Museum of the History of Leningrad.

In 1993 it was awarded the status of Historico-cultural Preserve.
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