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Kronshtadt: A Salute To Russia’s Past

The island of Kotlin, first belonged to the Swedes, but Peter the Great secured the island for Russia in the year 1703 and by the next year, fortifications on the island had already sprung up. Kotlin Island was the base for the elite Baltic Fleet, and was a line of defense for St. Petersburg. It was the site of many historical happenings, and more specifically, Kronshtadt played a dramatic role in the history of the island. Today, Kronshtadt remains a vital port city and falls under the World Heritage Site: St Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments, which makes it a popular tourist destination in Russia.

As a military stronghold, Kronshtadt and the island became home to a few fortifications. As the Gulf of Finland stretch is not particularly deep, it froze in winter, allowing workers to transport building materials to the island with horse drawn carriages. During the Crimean War, Kronshtadt proved its worth as a military vantage point, which led to new fortifications being built between the years of 1856 to 1871. Kronshtadt also gained notoriety, due to the Kronshtadt rebellion in 1920, and when visitors arrive in the city they have the opportunity to experience the history, attractions and noteworthy sights that have shaped Kronshtadt into what it is today.

The Naval Cathedral, constructed in 1902, is one of the most visited attractions in the city. With its spectacular carvings and etched dome, the cathedral is nothing short of breathtaking. Visitors will find the naval history museum especially fascinating and walking through the harbor is like strolling through times of Peter the Great, as most of his architectural wonders can still be seen today. Additionally, seeing some of the magnificent old warships lying in port makes the trip worthwhile. The museum has a wonderful collection of weapons, paintings, model ships and a variety of unique artifacts, which tell of the wars and battles fought on the island. Other sights of interest include the dockyards, naval hospital and admiralty and the British seamen’s hospital.

Kronshtadt is a great destination for international visitors, as it is not only historic but is a fascinating city to explore. Its forts, buildings and port, each have their own tale of courage, bravery and victory. For military enthusiasts, Kronshtadt is most definitely a city that should not be missed.


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