About The Peter and Paul Fortress

The Peter and Paul Fortress (Petropavlovskaya Krepost) was the first building or structure built by Peter the Great in the city of St Petersburg.

A giant fortification, the Peter and Paul Fortress was founded in 1703 in order to defend the city from Swedish attack as, at the time, Russia and Sweden were engaged in the Great Northern War. However, it never fulfilled this role, the Swedish having been defeated before managing to reach St Petersburg.

In fact, the most military action the Peter and Paul Fortress saw occurred during the October Revolution of 1917, when it was taken by the Bolsheviks. Prior to this, the Peter and Paul Fortress was already serving as a prison and a military base, having been designated as such from 1721 onwards.

Those incarcerated in the Peter and Paul Fortress were mostly political prisoners including anarchist Peter Kropotkin. Within the Peter and Paul Fortress stands the Peter and Paul Cathedral, where Peter the Great and other Russian leaders are buried.

The Peter and Paul Fortress has been a museum since 1924 and part of the St Petersburg UNESCO World Heritage site since 1990. It contains several small museums and exhibits and also features as one of our top ten Russian tourist attractions.

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