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Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg

Updated: Jul 27

Peter and Paul Fortress were built by Peter the Great in 1703 as a fortress for military defense. However, until 1924 the fort was primarily used as a prison for political prisoners. The fortress's buildings were damaged severely in WWII and reconstructed after the war. Today the Peter and Paul Fortress is managed by the State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg, except the building held by Saint Petersburg Mint.


The fortress is located on a small island, apparently called the Rabbit Island. This is why there are so many rabbits statues here.




The fortress hosts several buildings. 15 of them serve as museums with permanent and temporary exhibitions. The most dominant building is the Peter and Paul Cathedral, built-in 1712-1733 as the burial place for the Romanov dynasty. The cross on top of the cathedral is 122.5 meters high – the highest in St. Petersburg. Also, there are several things to see without entering museums: gates, bastions, and more. Signs and explanations are spread over the fortress.


I took a 300-meter walk on the roof of Petrovskaya Curtain Wall, with a magnificent panoramic view of the Neva River and the fortress itself. Then, with the same ticket, I entered the secret passage within the fortress wall – a 97-meter passage leading to the casemate in the wall. Nice.


There is also a sanded beach that can be reached easily through the Neva Gate. And I also had a weird surprise – for the first time in my life, I met a bus toilet. Unbelievable.

Most of the museums are closed on Wednesday.


At noontime, there is a traditional Canon fire from the top of the Petrovskaya Curtain Wall.

Visiting Peter and Paul can be from several hours to a whole day.

Link to the Museum of the history of St. Petersburg

Peter and Paul Cathedral

Naryshkin Bastion

Neva Gate & Beach

Views drom Petrovskaya Curtain Wall

The Secret Passage

Toilet Bus




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