on January 5, 2001
Peter I began the construction of his new capital on Hare Island in order to deny Swedish ships access to his envisioned new city. There are several gates that are remarkable for their military construction and Peter's Gate is the first you will see on your way into the fortress. Once inside you have many things to look forward to seeing. You can walk out one gate and see the city across the Neva in all its glory. On a clear day with the sun shining brightly, this is a sight that is hard to beat.
The Peter and Paul Cathederal is the burial place for the Romanovs. Even the son of Peter I, the Tsarevich Alexei, who was executed in his prison cell, is buried there. The chapel is beautiful and worth a trip all by itself.
The mint has wonderful coins that range in sizes similar to US coins, to coins so large that they had to be carried in wagons. There are often Russians nearby trying to sell century old coins or even Russian mint coins from the former Communist days. They most often range in price from one dollar to ten dollars for a silver coin in excellent condition.
The prison is in remarkably good shape, and it is not hard to imagine what it must have been like to have been an inmate there. The names of the most infamous prisoners are on the cell doors and you can lie on the bed that Lenin's brother did before his execution. There are a couple of fixed displays which feature wax dummies representing guards and prisoners to give you a flavor of what the people looked like who worked or were imprisoned there.
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