Peter-Pavel's Fortress

Article

July 6, 2022

The Peter and Paul Fortress (official name - St. Petersburg, in 1914-1917 - the Petrograd Fortress) is the oldest architectural monument of St. Petersburg, a class I fortress (according to the classification of fortresses of the Russian Empire). Located on Zayachy Island, in St. Petersburg, the historical core of the city. The date of laying the fortress on May 16 (27), 1703, is the date of the founding of St. Petersburg. Never used in any battle. It served as a prison from the first quarter of the 18th century until the early 1920s. Since 1924 it has been a state museum. The Peter and Paul Fortress is a monument of Russian architecture, on which various architects worked. Numerous architectural monuments and museums are located in the modern fortress: the Peter and Paul Cathedral (the tomb of the Russian imperial house of the Romanovs), the Grand Duke's burial vault, the Boat House, the Commandant's House, the Engineering House, the Mint, the Museum of the History of St. Petersburg, the Military Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineering Troops and communications troops, the Museum of Cosmonautics and Rocketry. The fortress belongs to the historical part of St. Petersburg and, together with the complex of monuments located here, is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites; it is one of the centers of attraction for tourists. The silhouette of the Peter and Paul Fortress has become a symbol of the city and occupies a key place in its panorama. Since 1873, an artillery signal shot has been fired from the Naryshkin bastion of the fortress every day at 12 o'clock (it was not carried out from 1934 to 1953). It is a historical symbol of the city. According to the Charter of St. Petersburg, the historical symbols of the city are the angel on the spire of the Peter and Paul Cathedral, the ship on the spire of the Admiralty and the Bronze Horseman monument.

History

Background

The fortress originated on Hare Island, located at the widest point of the Neva River (area 28 hectares, length 0.9 km, width 0.5 km). Initially, in Swedish sources of the 17th century, the island was called Lust Eiland (Merry Island, Merry Land). The name Hare Island comes from the translation from the Finnish name Jänissaari (Fin. Jänissaari - Rabbit Island). Until the beginning of the 18th century, the marshy, low-lying, uninhabited island was often flooded with water during floods.