I often think about our visiting St.Peter and St.Paul's Fortress.
St.Peter and St.Paul’s Fortress stands on Zayachiy Ostrov (“Hare Island”).
Most of the visitors enter the fortress through St.Peter’s Gate. The gate is a work of art built by Domenico Tezzini in 1717-1718. It’s the only historical and architectural monument that has remained almost unchanged inside the fortress.
Until 1740 it was the main entrance to the fortress.
The gate has a unique wooden bas-relief created by Niccolo Pinean. The bas-relief depicts armor of the God of Sabaoth in the clouds.
There are other allegorical images glorifying the might of the Russian Empire.
You can see a square wooden bas-relief made by sculptor Konrad Osner in 1708. It depicts a pagan priest prostrated by Apostle St.Peter. This allegorical bas-relief expressed the omnipotence of the Czar Peter I and the people’s belief in the inevitable defeat of the Swedish King Charles XII.
Below the bas-relief you can see a lead effigy of a two-headed eagle, the coat-of-arms of the Russian Empire, that guards the archway of the gate.
Statues of ancient Roman goddesses stand in the niches of the archway: on the left is Minerva, the patroness of crafts and arts and on the right – Bellona, the goddess of war. These statues glorified the Czar as a wise military leader.
I couldn't help admiring the gate and used to stand in front of it and ponder.
Just amazing "plot of land" on the outskirts of a down town. During summer time or time when sun is actively present you can see a lot of people in their swimming suits getting some tan around the fortress wall. During winter you can see people who are swimming in icy water of the Neva river... Of course, you might see much more out there if you also are interested in the sights seeing. The Fortress was founded by Peter the Great in 1703. The one can visit the old fortifications; Peter and Paul Cathedral, where the founder and other Russian Emperors are buried; the cells of the bastion ...
The fortress was built in 1703 and was the first building to be erected in St Petersburg. This was a former prison with a beach in front. Its first prisoner was actually Peter the Great's own son Alexei and in later life housed political prisoners.
From here there is the daily 12 noon wake up call which is actually a cannon shot. Having heard similar sounds when up in Edinburgh it didn't make me jump as my friend expected me to.
You can sunbathe on the beach by the banks of the Neva on a sunny day. There is a museum of the city within which has very exhibits of the life of citizens of the city over the years.
Open: Thursday to Monday 11am to 6 pm, Tuesday - 11 am to 5 pm.
Entry into the fort is actually free but to visit the other attractions inside attract a charge - see more in the separate descriptions.
Construction on the Baroque cathedral commenced in 1712. From the outside the cathedral is very plain in appearance, but the amazing architecure inside more than makes up for it. The spire is its most notable exterior feature and it is second in height only to the TV tower in the city.
Inside you will also find the tombs of all of Russia's pre-revolutionary rulers from Peter the Great onwards (except Peter II and Ivan VI).There is also the recently reburied Tsar Nicholas and his family.
As well as the tombs there are also some beautiful icons that are well worth seeing.
Containing one of the oldest buildings in Petersburg, the Peter and Paul complex is a day out in itself. There are several museums, plus the walls to walk along and the main cathedral to visit. It is possible to buy a ticket to visit most of the places for 350 roubles (in January 2011 it was discounted to 250r as some parts of the complex were being renovated). The walls are not included in this price and nor is the waxwork museum. The main cathedral contains the bodies of most of the Tzars since Peter the Great including Nicolas II and his family in a side chapel just to the right of the entrance. The Prison is also not to be missed. You can see the cell where both Trotsky and Gorky were kept prisoner plus listen to recordings (in Russian) of memoirs of prisoners and see how the cells changed over time and how political prisoners where kept in different conditions to other prisoners. There is lots of information in English. The Commandant's House is a museum about the history of Petersburg which starts of rather unpromisingly but go up to the second floor and it becomes really interesting with lots of interactive exhibits and information about the history and the way that people used to live.
The whole fortress is a museum complex with quite a few different museums housed in its different structures, of which Sts Peter & Paul’s Cathedral is definitely the most important one. You can get to the fortress by either one of the two bridges connecting it to the mainland, and tickets can be booked in the booking office inside the small yellow and white structure in the cathedral square.
The 18th-century gilded wood carved iconostasis is the most impressive part of the cathedral. Make sure you bring your camera to photograph it (picture-taking is free). Generally, you do not need longer than 15 or 20 minutes to see the inside
If you are interested in seeing the tombs of the Russian tsars, the Peter and Paul Fortress is the place to visit. It is the city’s historical center, located on a small island within walking distance from Gorkovskaya metro station.
Inside, it looks much more spectacular compared to its rather plain outside appearance. The marble tombs of the Tsars and members of the royal family are all alike. Nicholas and Alexandra, the last Russian emperors, are in a small chapel right of the entrance (their remains were buried in the same grave with their children’s remains). Peter the Great and Catherine the Great are at the opposite side of the cathedral, right of the iconostasis.
The Peter and Paul Cathedral, located inside the fortress, is the burial place of the tsars and the tallest historical building (122 m/400 ft) in the city. The headquarters of Saint Petersburg’s municipal government are located in the Mariinsky Palace, which was built in 1844 on Saint Isaac's Square in the Admiralty district for Emperor Nicholas I’s daughter Maria. Also on Saint Isaac’s Square is the Cathedral of Saint Isaac, which was built between 1768 and 1858. Far to the east of the Admiralty district is the Smolny Institute, founded by Catherine the Great in the 1700s to serve as a boarding school for upper-class girls. The current building—built to replace the original structure in the early 1800s—housed the first Soviet government from the time it took power in October (or November, in the Western, or New Style, calendar) 1917 until March 1918.
One of the first things we did after getting settled on our ship (Viking Cruises) was view and then visit the Peter and Paul Fortress---not really what it sounds but really cool---see photo of the lovers out front! Beautiful monument on the river---great start to our St Petersburg visit!
closed on tuesdays
The Peter And Paul Fortress is on an island across the river Neva from The Hermitage. A combined ticket for all entries is best only if you intend to see all attractions, which could take all day. I was only really interested in St Peter and Paul cathedral so single entry ticket was best.80 years after their execution by the bolshevicks the last Czar and his family were buried in St Petersburgs Peter and Paul Cathedral in 1998.
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