Aerial view of Peter and Paul Fortress

Peter and Paul Fortress is the heart of St. Petersburg. It is located on Zaichik (Hare’s) island where St Petersburg was founded on May the 27th, 1703.

It is here where Peter the Great founded a fortification structure in order to protect the lands won back from Sweden. The fortress was to become the best fortification structure of the time, and now it is considered to be one of the most important fortresses of the 18th century not only in Russia, but in Europe as well.

On the territory of the fortress there are many structures worth seeing such as the Boat house where the grandfather of the Russian fleet is exhibited (it’s the very first boat which Peter the Great maintained himself), the Mint, the Commandant house, the Commandant pier from which you can enjoy a gorgeous view of the Neva River, the bright buildings on the embankment and the gilded domes of the churches in a distance.

However the whole landscape of the fortress in dominated by the renowned St Peter and Paul Cathedral, the second tallest building inside the fortress at 122.5 meters. The gilded spire of the cathedral has a weather-vane shaped like an angel with a cross that can be seen from almost every point of the embankment.

The cathedral is the resting place of almost all the Russian Tsars and Tsarinas from Peter the Great up to the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family (including Anastasia, famous because of the Disney story according to which she had escaped death and lived abroad under another name).

During a tour of the cathedral you will enjoy the unusual interior of one of the oldest churches in St Petersburg with a splendid gilded iconostasis which reveals the skill of Russian craftsmen (the iconostasis was crafted in Russia during the beginning of the 18th century).

Peter and Paul Fortress is one of the most outstanding historical and architectural landmarks in St Petersburg, a fortification structure of the early 18th century and the first building of the new capital of Russia. The beginning of the construction works (May 27th, 1703) is considered to be the birthday of St Petersburg.

For the citizens of St Petersburg, Peter and Paul Fortress is both like the Westminster Abbey because it is where all the Russian emperors are buried, starting from Peter the Great and finishing with Nicholas II and the Tower of London at the same time, for it was in the fortress where the scariest political prison of the Russian Empire was located.

The first prisoners of the fortress were confined to casemates in the walls of the fortress. Among them was Alexey, the son of Peter the Great, the heir to the Russian throne because he participated in a plot against Peter. The Tsar questioned his son himself and Alexey was confined to the dungeons where he soon died under mysterious circumstances. At the time of Catherine the Great, in 1790, a well-known Russian writer Radishchev was confined to one of the dungeons of the fortress for his book “Journey from St Petersburg to Moscow” for in that book he criticized autocracy and serfdom. Among other famous prisoners of the fortress was Fyodor Dostoevsky, Maxim Gorky and Alexander Ulyanov (a brother of Vladimir Lenin).

Today the prison of Trubetskoi bastion is open to public as a museum. The jail was constructed in 1870-72 inside the walls of the bastion. The prison was used only for preliminary detention. The last prisoners of the fortress were the sailors who participated in the Kronstadt rebellion in 1921. Starting from 1924 the prison was already opened to public as a museum.

During a tour of the prison you can see the real cells where the prisoners lived. You will learn about the lifestyle of prisoners and how they managed to even communicate with each other. Of course that was not allowed and people could be sent to a punishment cell, which is also a part of our tour. You can even come inside, without any light it is a rather scary experience!

So if you want to discover the darker side of the Northern capital of Russia, this tour is just what you need! Please contact us for further information!

For more information about Peter and Paul Fortress click here.

The Faberge Museumhas the world-class collection of Faberge Masterpieces (including 14 Easter Eggs), gift boxes, Russian enamels etc.The collection is situated in 9 beautiful rooms of Shuvalov Palace. It was opened in November 2013 and was founded by the “Link of Times” Cultural Historical Foundation, established by Russian entrepreneur Viktor Vekselbergto repatriate lost cultural treasures to Russia.

The fourth tallest dome construction in the world. St Isaac’s Cathedral used to be the main Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Russian Empire. The enormous decoration of the interior of the cathedral, was created in the Russian Academy of Fine Arts.Gilded bronze, malachite and lapis lazuli together with countless paintings, columns, mosaics, will take your breath away.

One of the best private palaces in the Europe .Its real gem is a home theater. Outstanding Russian singers and dancers performed there.In this palace young Felix Yusupov, the heir of the family, and other conspirators assassinated Grigory Rasputin.  During a visit to the palace you will learn about the plot of Felix and how it was brought to life.

Peter and Paul Fortress here our city was founded in 1703.Peter the Great started a fortress to protect the lands won back from Sweden. Now it is one of the most important 18th century fortresses in Russia and Europe.St Peter and Paul Cathedral is the burial place of almost all Russian Tsars from Peter the Great up to the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family.

Many metro station vestibules and platforms are adorned with marble, granite, bas-reliefs and mosaics which makes them look like underground palaces. The very first 10 stations appeared after WWII and have various military and Soviet symbols reminding visitors about the glorious victory over Nazi Germany. Owing to the city’s swampy subsoil, most of the lines were built extremely deep underground.

Peterhof is definitely “a must-see” for any first-time visitor to St Petersburg.It is often called the “Russian Versailles”: it is a real “kingdom of fountains” and true paradise for little children (as well as adults) with amazing cascades, a variety of unique and playful fountains, Grand Peterhof Palace, and other small ones.

Catherine Palace Is a must to visit. Inside you will find a succession of interconnecting rooms in Baroque style and somewhere in the middle of that enfilade is the famous Amber Room which was called by contemporaries “the eighth wonder of the world”. The palace was badly damaged during WWII and amber panels were stolen by the Nazi. But they started restoration in 1979 and finished it in 2003.

St Petersburg Siege Memorialcommemorates the hardship that Leningrad‘s (the soviet name of our city) citizens endured during the siege which lasted 900 days (1941-1943) and took away about 1.5 mln lives. The most striking part of the memorial are the tableaux of soviet citizens facing south towards the enemy. It was designed to be viewed from a distance. In the subterranean memorial hall are relics from the siege.

Offers fresh food from all over the former Soviet Union: melons, tomatoes, farmhouse honey, pickles, sour cream, ham and gherkins, not to mention imports such as kiwi fruit. Most vendors offer the chance to taste a sliver before buying. Outside the market are “babushkas” (pensioners) who sell things they have grown at their dacha (summer cottage) or gathered in the forest.

Hermitage Museum one of the most important and oldest museums in the world. It has one of the largest collections of paintings. If you spent one minute viewing each exhibit of the Museum it would take you11 years to see everything. The collection of the French Impressionists is exhibited in the General staff building which is located opposite the Winter Palace.

Most famous for almost 21,000m² of mosaics that cover both the interior and the façade of the building. The mosaics were created in Russia, which makes them even more valuable. It is the only building in our citybuilt in the style of Moscow churches. The church was built on the place where Alexander II was assassinated, hence the name.

St Petersburg boat tours offer a perfect way to see the city under a bit different angle – sailing under numerous bridges along rivers and canals, and listening to curious stories from your guide. St Petersburg boat tours are especially majestic during the White Nights season in St Petersburg.

Alexander Palace was commissioned by Catherine II for her grandson, future Russian tsar Alexander I and later became the summer home of a succession of Imperial heirs, each of whom left their mark on the building.