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Peter and Paul Fortress visit St Petersburg

Step back in time to the era of the tsars with this intriguing visit the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg. This grandiose symbol of Peter the Great’s rule was built by him on an island to protect his new imperial capital, St Petersburg, and to project his power, both military and spiritual. See the stunning cathedral, the Grand Ducal Mausoleum and much, much more. Enter the fortress through the imposing triumphal gate crowned by the twin-headed eagle that was the coast of arms of the tsars. Behold the breathtaking baroque Cathedral of Peter and Paul with its seemingly neverending 123 metre-long golden spire topped by an angel. Since 1998, the cathedral has been the final resting place of the family of Tsar Nicholas II, who were murdered during the Russian Civil War. The small but beautiful boathouse beside it is completely dwarfed by the cathedral. This pavilion, which was built to store Peter the Great’s dinghy, is a brilliant example of the transition from baroque to neo-classical architecture. Also within the fortress is the mint, which still produces coins and medals, and the cells of the prison. Explore this dungeon and find out about the appalling conditions prisoners such as Trotsky, Dostoyevsky, Gorky and even Peter the Great’s own son, Alexei, endured. Don’t miss out on the midday cannon salute from the Naryshkin Bastion (which marks the changing of the guard ceremony every Saturday in summer) then see if you can spot the resident walruses in the river below the fortress walls. Step back in time to the era of the tsars with this intriguing visit the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg. This grandiose symbol of Peter the Great’s rule was built by him on an island to protect his new imperial capital, St Petersburg, and to project his power, both military and spiritual. Meeting/pick-up point: Collection from hotels. Start/opening time: Daily at 10am. End or closing time: 2pm.