I bet everyone has seen those postcards with panoramic views of Saint Petersburg. Well, the building with the tallest golden spire that is always present in these pictures is Peter and Paul Cathedral which is part of the ensemble of the eponymous Fortress. The Peter and Paul Fortress is the historical citadel of Saint Petersburg founded in 1703 by Peter the Great. Nevertheless, the Fortress has never been involved in any military action – from the very beginning it became the main prison for political prisoners. Currently, the memory of those dark times is preserved by the museum of Trubetskoy Bastion Prison.
Moreover, you can also visit the permanent expositions of Museum of History of Saint Petersburg, Museum of Science and Technology, Museum of Space Exploration and Rocket Technology which are all located in the Peter and Pall Fortress
. Besides, each year the fortress hosts annual festivals of sand sculptures in the summer and ice sculptures in the winter. So, everybody will find something to do here;)
Walking around the star-shaped fortress you can witness an old tradition of the midday cannon shot fired at noon from the Naryshkin Bastion. Back in 18th and 19th centuries additional shots were sometimes fired to warn about the upcoming floods which were not uncommon in St. Petersburg until the end of the 20th century, when a protective dam was built.
The perfect end to the visit of the fortress is going up to the observation deck to see the panoramic view of Neva river and the city. There are two observation decks: the first is located on the fortress wall, and the second - on the bell tower of the Peter and Paul Cathedral.