Voices From Russia, Too

Sunday, 8 May 2016

8 May 2016. Our Great Russian Motherland: Petropavlovsk Fortress (Zayachy Island. Federal City of St Petersburg. Northwestern Federal DIstrict)

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The Petropavlovsk Fortress (Петропа́вская кре́пость: Petropavlovskaya Krepost) is the original citadel of St Petersburg, founded by Tsar Pyotr I Alekseyevich Veliki on 16/27 May 1703, and built to the designs of Domenico Trezzini from 1706-40. In the early 20th century, the tsarist government still used it as a prison. During the February Revolution, on 27 February/12 March, rebel troops stormed it and freed the prisoners, replacing them with arrested tsarist officials. During the opening of the October Revolution, on 25 October/7 November, the cruiser Avrora fired on the island, but only registered two hits. Nevertheless, the fort quickly surrendered to the Bolsheviks. in 1924, it became part of the State Museum of St Petersburg History. Most graves of Russian rulers from Pyotr I Alekseyevich Veliki to Aleksandr III Aleksandrovich (except for Pyotr II Alekseyevich and Ivan VI Antonovich) are in the Petropavlovsk Cathedral, within the fortress battlements. In 1998, the bodies of the family and entourage of Tsar St Nikolai II Aleksandrovich were laid to rest in one of the cathedral’s chapels.


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