The construction of the Peter and Paul Fortress, at the mouth of the Neva, was inaugurated by Peter the Great. Begun in 1703 on swampy ground where hundreds of workers perished due to extreme weather, it protected the city during the war with Sweden. It was later transformed into a political prison.
Today, it consists of various buildings that you can visit, most especially the magnificent Peter and Paul Cathedral, which contains several tombs of the imperial Romanov family. Its spire, which rises to 122 metres, is one of the symbols of Saint Petersburg. You can also visit the Boathouse, a shelter specially built for Peter I's botik, a warship used as a fore figure of the Russian fleet. Do not miss the dark dungeons of the Trubetskoy Bastion, where enemies of the regime were locked up. Other sites in the eight-museum complex include the Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad, the Museum of Printing, the Saint Petersburg Museum of Avant-garde (Matyushin's House) and the Engineering House, which was used to shelter the tsar's own builders during the construction of the city.
The nearby beach is very busy during the summer. In winter, brave souls break the ice and take an invigorating dip…
Peter and Paul Fortress (Petropávlovskaya Krépost)
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