Peter and Paul Fortress, Saint Petersburg, Russia

The Peter and Paul Fortress was built to defend the city from naval attacks in the midst of Peter the Great’s war with Sweden. The original earth and log bastions were constructed in 1704 under the supervision of the Tsar and 5 of his closest associates.

Fortunately, at the time of its construction, King Charles XII of Sweden remained tied up in a war with Augustus II of Poland and Saxony, and in 1706 Peter ordered the bastions rebuilt in stone by architect Domenico Trezzini and engineer Burchard Christophe von Mimnich. In addition to the bastions he commissioned Trezzini to construct the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral inside the citadel. The fortress was completed in 1733 after more than two decades of work, and luckily no external enemy ever put it to the test, either before it was completed or after.

The bell-tower served as the city’s watchtower and became its signature building. Its gilded, angel-topped cupola stretched high into the sky symbolized Russia’s aspirations to become a European power. Among the other highlights of the fortress are the Commandant’s House, the Engineer’s House and the Mint.

To the east of the cathedral stands the Commandants’ cemetery - the designated burial location for those who served in prior positions in the Russian army. Nowadays the fortress encompasses a tomb at the base of the elegant spire and is the last resting place of every Russian ruler starting from Peter the Great to Alexander III. In 1998 the remains of Nicholas II and his family were also moved there to join the remains of their royal ancestors.

The Trubetskoy Bastion became home to one of Imperial Russia's most infamous prisons. Used for high-ranking political detainees, it became known as the “Russian Bastille” and housed such high profile prisoners as the leaders of the Decembrist Rebellion as well as writers Fedor Dostoyevsky and Maxim Gorky. By the 1870's, the prison was converted into a museum of history, which it remained for the later part of the Imperial period.

Further exhibits were later moved into the Engineer’s House, both of which serve today as tourist attractions. Additionally, a museum of Russian rocketry can be found on the grounds. And if you lose track of the time, the traditionally fired cannon everyday at noon from the Naryshkin Bastion will clue you in.
Peter and Paul Fortress, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Peter and Paul Fortress, Saint Petersburg, Russia

See it on following tours

Rating:
4.90
4.899940507748847

Treasures of Two Capitals

Moscow Saint Petersburg

COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Treat yourself to an outstanding experience of Moscow & St. Petersburg with our 5-star small group tour in Russia. An enhanced itinerary of our signature tour with luxury central hotels & extra tours

Rating: 5.00
From
$3,098

Classic Moscow & St. Petersburg

Moscow Saint Petersburg

COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Unmatched in convenience and price, this 4+ star program takes you through main highlights of Russian capitals in our signature style: best guides, downtown hotels & seamless logistics

Rating: 4.95
From
$2,498

Treasures of Two Russian Capitals

9 days / Private tour
Moscow Saint Petersburg
COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Our private tour of Russia's Moscow & St. Petersburg covers all major highlights in a completely carefree fashion. As always offering top-notch quality and service throughout
Rating: 4.98
From
$3,096

Venice of the North

7 days / Private tour
Saint Petersburg
COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Meet Saint Petersburg, Russia's most beautiful city. Our private St. Petersburg tour shows you the very best of what the city has to offer, from canals to remarkable palaces and imperial estates
Rating: 4.89
From
$2,518

Platinum Russia

Moscow Saint Petersburg
COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Be treated like royalty discovering Moscow and St. Petersburg with the best 5-star hotels, thoroughly designed tours, Russian visas, 1st class train tickets and transfers included in our 5+ star luxury tour
Rating: 5.00
From
$6,794

Russia Northern Lights

11 days / Private tour
Moscow Saint Petersburg Murmansk

COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Discover the majestic Russian winter as you explore its two brilliant capitals, the inspiring Karelia region and make your way north to witness the dazzling Northern Lights.

Rating: 4.87
From
$3,655

UNESCO Tour

13 days / Private tour
Moscow Suzdal Yaroslavl Kazan Saint Petersburg

COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Set off on an outstanding 13-day tour dedicated to Russia's top UNESCO World Heritage Sites from Moscow to Kazan to Saint Petersburg.

Rating: 4.80
From
$3,768

Volga Dream St. Petersburg - Moscow

11 days / 5-star cruise
Saint Petersburg Kizhi Island Yaroslavl Uglich Moscow
FREE FLIGHTS: Reverse sailing of the Volga Dream from St. Petersburg. Free limited-time flight credit for airfares to Russia included.
Rating: 5.00
From
$4,396

Treasures of Three Capitals

13 days / Private tour
Moscow Kazan Saint Petersburg

COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Experience the best of Russia's three capitals: the gorgeous Kremlins of Moscow and Kazan and exquisite palaces of St. Petersburg during the 13-day private tour.

Rating: 4.82
From
$3,768

Russia + Scandinavian Capitals

16 days / Private tour
Copenhagen Oslo Flam Bergen Stockholm Helsinki Saint Petersburg Moscow

RUSSIAN VISAS Treat yourself to the award-winning program that includes the highlights of Scandinavian cities and fjords combined with Russia's two stunning capitals.

Rating: 4.96
From
$7,291

Volga Dream Moscow - St. Petersburg

11 days / 5-star cruise
Moscow Uglich Yaroslavl Kizhi Island Saint Petersburg
FREE FLIGHTS: Don't miss out on our exclusive limited offer: flight credit for airfares to Russia included for the famous Volga Dream cruise.
Rating: 5.00
From
$4,396

Volga Dream Gold Moscow - St. Petersburg

13 days / 5-star cruise
Moscow Uglich Yaroslavl Kizhi Island Saint Petersburg

Set sail on the Volga Dream Gold cruise and see the best of genuine Russia and its two capitals on a 5-star ship.

Rating: 4.99
From
$4,495

Russian Ancient Kingdoms

Moscow Sergiev Posad Suzdal Saint Petersburg
COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Combine your premium experience of Moscow & St. Petersburg with a visit to the heart of ancient Russia, the Golden Ring. Bimonthly guaranteed departures.
Rating: 4.93
From
$3,298

Winter Treasures of Two Capitals

7 days / Private tour
Moscow Saint Petersburg
COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Experience Russia during winter. Resting under the white blanket of snow, Moscow & St. Petersburg expose guests to exciting winter activities
Rating: 4.76
From
$2,485

Volga Dream Platinum Moscow - St. Petersburg

13 days / 5-star cruise
Moscow Uglich Yaroslavl Kizhi Island Saint Petersburg

Get inspired by the beauty of authentic Russian Volga River towns with the Platinum Volga Dream program.

Rating: 4.99
From
$6,245

Private Tour SPECIAL: Treasures of Two Capitals 4*

9 days / Private tour
Moscow Saint Petersburg

Travel to Moscow and St. Petersburg with our hallmark private tour to Russia and take advantage of the SPECIAL OFFER: pick one of our fixed dates and benefit from the exclusive hotel rates. Best accommodation, high-speed trains, private drivers and professional local guides at reduced rates - from Russia with love!

Rating: 5.00
From
$2,916

From Saint Petersburg to Beijing

Saint Petersburg Moscow Kazan Ekaterinburg Irkutsk Ulan Bator Beijing

COMPLIMENTARY VISAS An extended journey from Russia to China starting in one of the most beautiful places on Earth - the Venice of the North, St. Petersburg.

Rating: 4.00
From
$7,368

Wonders of Russia

13 days / Private tour
Moscow Irkutsk Saint Petersburg

COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Explore the most incredible places in Russia and discover the best of Moscow, Irkutsk, St. Petersburg and the gorgeous Pearl of Siberia - Lake Baikal.

Rating: 4.88
From
$4,498

Firebird Cruise Moscow - St. Petersburg

12 days / 5-star cruise
Moscow Uglich Kizhi Island Saint Petersburg
FREE FLIGHTS: Exclusive Suites offer on board the 5-star MS Rostropovich - cruise with free flights, luxurious suites, land tours in small groups
Rating: 4.88
From
$4,981

Firebird Cruise St. Petersburg - Moscow

12 days / 5-star cruise
Saint Petersburg Kizhi Island Uglich Moscow
FREE FLIGHTS: Exclusive Suites offer on board the 5-star MS Rostropovich, included free flights and suites on the ship
Rating: 4.88
From
$4,981