fun things to do with kids peter paul fortress st petersburg russia   Travel for Kids
  | St. Petersburg

Peter and Paul Fortress

Peter and Paul Fortress
The Peter and Paul Fortress (The State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg) was erected by Peter the Great to protect St Petersburg, but it was also a prison. The fortress sits on an island by itself, granite-covered bastions, punctuated with gateways that provide access to the fortress. Inside the fortress, various buildings have been converted to museums. Now the Peter and Paul Fortress is a great place for kids to wander freely.

Walk the Ramparts – To get a feel for the fortress, take your kids for a walk on the ramparts, (entrance is close to the Peter Gate). A top the ramparts, you get a glorious view of the Neva River, boats on the river, shining spires and domes across the way. The ramparts also have a small collection of cannons. Be sure to be there at noon, when the cannon is shot off every day (a very impressive boom).

Peter and Paul Fortress

Boat House – Before you go into the cathedral, stop into the Boat House to see a full size replica of Peter the Great's sailboat. (This is also where you buy tickets for cathedral, and there's an excellent gift shop.)

    St. Peter and Paul's Cathedral The spire of the cathedral, a favorite city landmark, was the tallest thing around for centuries. Inside the cathedral are the tombs of Romanov emperors and empresses, including Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. Each tomb is adorned with a gleaming white slab of marble and a gilded cross. In a small room, to the left when you come in, are the tombs of the last tsar, Tsar Nicholas II, and his family.
    Prison Museum The prison at the Peter and Paul Fortress makes the Bastille look like a good hotel. And no one was exempt – Peter the Great's son died in prison at the fortress. Political prisoners were imprisoned in the Trubetskoy Bastion, now the Prison Museum. Even in the heat of summer, you can imagine how cold, bleak and horribly uncomfortable it must have been in winter. Older kids may like stepping into the stark cells, but there's really not much to see.


Museum of Astronautics and Rocket Technology – Learn about the Russian space program and and sit inside the space capsule used by Russian cosmonauts!


Commandant's House – What was the commandant's house is now a museum that chronicles the history of St. Petersburg. It's pretty interesting, starting with prehistoric people living in the area, to the founding of the city, and 18th century shopping, the navy and life overall. There's a good audio tour in English.
Play in the sand – After you've toured the fortress, you may want to relax on the sand beach outside the walls, along with other Russian families. In summer, there are giant sand sculptures from international competitions.
travel for kids | russia | st. petersburg | peter and paul fortress
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