Results 1-10of 12 Reviews
April 6, 2004
It was here that Peter I decided to build the military fortification that would protect his new “Window to the West” and prevent the Swedish Navy from carrying out further raids on the interior of Russia. The fortress walls are well maintained and the Sword Gate entrance to the inside of the fortress is well worth examination. Be aware that on the appointed hour of noon everyday the salute cannon is fired, and if you are anywhere near the gun the boom is over whelming.
Attractions inside include the statue of Peter I presented by the Russian émigré and sculptor, Shemiakin. This out of proportion bronze was hated at first but has come to be quite accepted by the population of the city. It is a popular spot on the island to have your photo taken. The mint museum is very interesting, as well as the jail where Lenin’s brother was held prior to his execution before the revolution. You may ride an MI-8 helicopter if you have a clever guide. The air frame takes off from outside the fortress walls and takes you for a magnificent ride over the entire historical portion of the city.
The real treasure is the Peter and Paul Cathedral where you may see a beautiful church interior with a fantastic iconostasis fronted by the coffins of the Romanov Tsars. I will never forget the day my wife and I sadly watched the military procession which escorted the tragic figures of the late Tsar Nicolas II and his family and loyal retainers into the church for internment. The coffins were so small because only bone remnants could be found. At the rear of the church you will often be able to listen to an all male monk choir chanting Gregorian chants and creating the most beautiful religious music I have ever experienced.
The island has quite a few outdoor vendors of many things of interest to tourists. It is sometimes possible to buy mint coin sets inside the mint museum gift shops. There is a little boat house which purports to have an original small boat built by Peter himself which has marvelous jewelry, amber, and other remembrances of St. Petersburg. This is an official government store and the quality is excellent.
You may purchase cokes and ice cream in the summer and vodka from the kiosks on a cold winter day. There are many excellent restaurants nearby that cater to both native and tourist alike where a good meal can be had for as little as ten American dollars.
From journal St. Petersburg revisited 2003
October 30, 2001
The main feature of the Fortress is the Cathedral of S/S Peter & Paul, dominated by its tall spire, a landmark of St. Petersburg. The original wooden spire was damaged in a storm. A volunteer was sought to repair it at the risk of his life, using only a rope. A roofer offered his services. He was rewarded w/ a "golden goblet", along w/ free drinks @ any inn in the country. As a result, legend has it, he soon drank himself to death.
My favorite feature of the Cathedral is the pulpit. Pulpits are rare in Russian Orthodox Churches. This one is said to have been used ONLY ONCE...at the excommunication of Tolstoy after the publication of his novel "Resurrection". All Tsars from Peter the Great to Alexander III are buried in this Cathedral.
In front of the Guardhouse is a relatively modern statue of Peter the Great that has been the subject of much controversy. This bronze figure by Russian sculptor Mikhail Shemyakin is given a head which is tiny in proportion to the massive body (Peter the Great was over 7 feet tall). He also has thin legs & long spidery fingers. Still, he appears to be beloved as evidenced by the lines of people waiting to sit in his lap or rub his brassy knees.
Many other things to see @ the Fortress. Allow plenty of time.
From journal St. Petersburg--A Window on Europe
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
August 31, 2010
From journal One of the most amazing cities
May 17, 2009
From journal Cruise to the Baltic States and St. Petersburg
London, United Kingdom
August 6, 2007
From journal St. Petersburg in all its Faded Glory
January 5, 2001
From journal Culture and Art tour of St. Petersburg
April 3, 2002
There were so many things to do and see here! In the center of the fortress stands the SS Peter and Paul Cathedral. It is here that every Tzar from Peter the Great to Alexander III are buried except for Nicholas II. The interior of the Cathedral is absolutely amazing. One of the first you see when you walk in the front are the tombs of Peter the Great and Catherine I. Everything in this Cathedral resembles royalty in the highest form. As you move through the Cathedral you will approach something like a coin museum of some type.
Also in the fortress is a prison that you are able to tour. The prison is called Trubetskoi Bastion At one time it held some of the most dangerous political prisoners of Russia. These included, the Decembrists, Dostoevsky, Lenin's brother, and the writer Maxim Gorky. I actually stood in the cell that Lenin’s brother once spent his days. The prison is dark and gloomy. The cells contained nothing but a metal bed and table and a tiny window.
Among other things to see, is the statue of Peter the Great with a very tiny head. This statue was at one time the center of a huge controversy, because of the size of Peter's Head. I found that many Russians want to get pictures of them sitting in Peter the Great's Lap. So I figured, "When in Rome..." Also there is an area where you can walk along the top of the fortress. If you have time I would suggest doing it. You will get a great view of the city with the Neva River right below you. I grabbed some Russian Bliny (similar to pancakes) and ate at the top looking out at this great city.
From journal The Mysterious Land of Russia: St. Petersburg
July 15, 2001
From journal The city of marvelous nights
Cinnaminson, New Jersey
February 19, 2001
This fortress is located right on the bank of the Neva river and you can still see on the wall facing the river the marks of the water levels in the city when the city was flooded in the 19th century. Now the river is taken into channels and its level does not increase as significantly as it did back then. The fortress used to be a political prison during the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. This was the place of imprisonment of the Decembrists (dekabrists - in Russian). Decembrists were Russian nobles who in December of 1825 organized a revolt against the tzar Nicolas I. They basically didn't want anybody to be poor. The revolt was overturned, 5 leaders were executed, hundreds spend their lives in the Siberia. Several wives followed their husbands to Siberia and spent their lives there. Also Dostoevsky spent some time in this prison. The jail cells were moist and damp, and many prisoners got sick with tuberculosis here. There were also mice and rats in the cells. Yet people were studying and writing and not giving up. The fortress also has a canon that sounds off 12 o'clock noon every day and used to warn people of the flood.
The fortress also has a Peter and Paul Cathedral on its grounds, which is a place of the burial of Russian tsars starting with Peter I.
From journal Travels to Russia - St Petersburg
by Vera Marie
August 15, 2000
From journal On the Petrograd Side