Saint Petersburg

Peter and Paul Fortress

St. Petersburg, Russia is a city steeped in history and culture, and one of the most iconic landmarks in this beautiful city is the Peter and Paul Fortress. This fortress is located on the small island of Hare, in the middle of the Neva River, and is a must-see attraction for any visitor to St. Petersburg. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the Peter and Paul Fortress, including its history, what to see and do, how to get there, and more.

History of the Peter and Paul Fortress:

The Peter and Paul Fortress was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great as a defense against Swedish invasion. The fortress was built on Hare Island, strategically located at the mouth of the Neva River. The fortress quickly became an important political prison, and many notable historical figures were imprisoned there over the years, including Dostoyevsky, Gorky, and Trotsky.

What to see and do at the Peter and Paul Fortress:

One of the most popular attractions at the Peter and Paul Fortress is the cathedral of the same name. The cathedral is the burial place of most of the Russian emperors and empresses from Peter the Great to Nicholas II. The cathedral is also home to a collection of beautiful icons and frescoes, making it a must-see destination for anyone interested in Russian art and culture.

In addition to the cathedral, the Peter and Paul Fortress is home to a number of other interesting sights and exhibits. Visitors can explore the Trubetskoy Bastion Prison, where many famous figures were held, and see the tiny cell where Dostoyevsky was imprisoned. There is also a museum dedicated to the history of the fortress, with exhibits on the military and political history of St. Petersburg.

Finally, visitors can enjoy a stroll around the fortress grounds, taking in the views of the Neva River and the city beyond. The fortress is also home to a beach where visitors can swim in the river during the summer months.

Getting to the Peter and Paul Fortress:

The Peter and Paul Fortress is located on Hare Island in the Neva River, and can be reached by public transport or on foot. The easiest way to reach the fortress is by taking the metro to Gorkovskaya or Petrogradskaya station and then walking across the bridge to the island. Alternatively, visitors can take a river cruise along the Neva to reach the fortress.

Tips for visiting the Peter and Paul Fortress:

When visiting the Peter and Paul Fortress, it’s important to plan ahead and allow plenty of time to explore all the sights and exhibits. Visitors should also be prepared to do a lot of walking, as the fortress grounds are quite large. Finally, it’s a good idea to bring a camera, as there are many beautiful photo opportunities throughout the fortress.


The Peter and Paul Fortress is one of the most important historical and cultural landmarks in St. Petersburg, and a must-see attraction for any visitor to the city. With its rich history, beautiful architecture, and stunning views of the Neva River, the fortress is sure to captivate and inspire visitors of all ages and interests. Plan your visit today and discover the beauty and history of this iconic Russian landmark!

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