Peter and Paul Fortress

Tel: (7) 812-230-6431

Address: St Petersburg, Russia, 197046

The entire city of Saint Petersburg was first developed from a fortress. Once Peter the Great captured this ice-free port from Sweden, he immediately started building the Peter and Paul Fortress on the Hare Island (Zayachy Island) at the mouth of the Neva River. The fortress was built to prevent Swedish attacks. The construction of the Peter and Paul Fortress represented the establishment of Saint Petersburg. Developed later around the fortress, the city became the new capital eventually. 


Before getting on the Hare Island, you can see a unique golden spire piercing the sky like a needle. This spire is actually the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral’s bell tower. Being the first architecture built in Saint Petersburg, the cathedral is located at the centre of the fortress. The spire of the bell tower features a gilded angel at the top. The cathedral is surrounded by castles and solid walls. 


Since the fortress was highly defensive, it featured the Saint Petersburg Mint and a royal prison which was specifically for high-ranking officials, royal members and political prisoners – just like the Tower of London. That is why the prison is also known as the “Russian Bastille”. Not only can you find the scary prison cells, but also the stories of prisoners being set free after the prison was attacked during the February Revolution. The February Revolution was like the French Revolution in Russia. In the Peter and Paul Fortress, you can also see the tombs of almost all Russian tsars starting from Peter the Great. The royal members were buried in the first architecture built in this ancient capital of Russia, safeguarding the city of Peter the Great with the fortress.