Kronstadt is called the "City of Russian Naval Glory". This epithet is quite justified, since its foundation in 1703 (the same year as St. Petersburg), the main purpose of Kronstadt was to protect the capital of the Russian Empire from the sea. For centuries, Kronstadt has been a military base closed to the public.  

In 1996, Kronstadt was opened to tourists; however, no one went here. The military infrastructure, built in the 18th and 19th century, has fallen into complete disrepair. The tourist attraction of Kronstadt, in comparison with Peterhof or Tsarskoye Selo, was minimal. However, in 2017, the Ministry of Defense adopted a large-scale program for the revival of Kronstadt and its transformation into a "city of museums and forts". Patriot Park will occupy a significant part of the historical center of the city. Over time, Kronstadt will become one of the most interesting tourist destinations outside of St. Petersburg. 

Patriot Park in Kronstadt continues the traditions laid down by the first Patriot Park in Alabino near Moscow. It was established in 2014 and has gone the way from the museum of military equipment to the spiritual center of the Armed Forces of Russia, where the emphasis is on military-patriotic education of young people. Patriot Park in Alabino is dedicated to the Ground and Air forces of Russia. Patriot Park in Kronstadt is dedicated to the Russian Navy. The monumental Naval St. Nicholas Cathedral in Kronstadt is not just the main temple of the Russian Navy, it is also a monument to navy sailors who died in battles for Russia.  

History of Kronstadt 

Peter I began to build the Kronshlot Fortress on Kotlin Island at the end of 1703, simultaneously with the Peter and Paul Fortress and the first houses of St. Petersburg. The Northern War, which Peter I started with Sweden for access to the Baltic Sea in 1700, was in its most acute phase. The creation of fortresses on the Neva and in the Baltic Sea was one of the most important events that allowed Russia to win the war. 

After the victory in the Battle of Poltava in 1709, the results of the war were predetermined, so in 1716 Peter I began construction of a Merchant harbor opposite the Kronshlot Fort. This made it possible to start trading with European countries along the Baltic Sea in the shortest possible time. By the end of Peter I`s reign, Russia had gone from being a state on the periphery of Europe to becoming one of the leading European powers. 

In the 18th century, several more forts were built around Kronstadt, which made the fairway from the Baltic Sea to St. Petersburg impregnable. Even during the WWII, German ships could not get close to Kronstadt. Nowadays, these forts are in an abandoned state, but a reconstruction program has been adopted for some of them. 

Since 1720, Kronstadt has been the main base of the Baltic Fleet of Russia. Some military ships are usually moored near Peter Pier, although most of them are located in a Military Harbor closed to tourists.  

Sights of Kronstadt 

The main attraction of Kronstadt is the Naval St. Nicholas Cathedral on Anchor Square. It was built in 1903-1913. The architectural appearance of the cathedral is very similar to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. The interior of the cathedral is made in the Byzantine tradition, the walls and domes are covered with mosaics and frescoes.  

There are more than 130 memorial plaques on the walls of the cathedral. The first plaque is dated 1695. This year, Peter the Great created the Russian navy for the first time in the Admiralty of Voronezh. The memorial plaques mark the battles from 1695 to 1910. The names of about 1 thousand heroes who distinguished themselves in battles are inscribed on them. Some of the plaques are empty. The names of future heroes will be written on them later.  

In front of the cathedral is the Anchor Square and the Patriot Park of Kronstadt. Previously, this territory was occupied by the Dock Admiralty. Now a complete reconstruction is being carried out here as part of the project to create the city-museum of Kronstadt. From Patriot Park you need to go to Peter Park and Peter Pier. Along the way you will see a deep Ravine Park. Previously, it was a hydraulic structure of Peter Dock, but at the end of the 19th century here was made a park area. To the east of it is a Summer Garden, founded by Peter I.  

Many sights of Kronstadt are located to the west of Peter Pier. Here you can visit the Dutch Cuisine Museum, the Kronstadt Fort Models Museum and the Bathyscaphe Museum. The destroyer "Restless", turned into a museum, is moored on the pier. So far, tourists` access to the warship is closed.  

Then head to the Italian Pond, see the Italian Palace. This is one of the first buildings in Kronstadt. Now it houses the military. Take a walk along the Bypass Canal to St. Andrew Garden and then return to the Anchor Square.  

Photo Gallery
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Monument to Admiral Makarov and Naval St. Nicholas Cathedral on the Anchor Square of Kronstadt
The destroyer Fearless on the pier in Kronstadt, where the Bathyscaphe Museum is located
Warships on Peter pier of Kronstadt
Northwest corner of the Bypass Canal in Kronstadt
The Italian Palace was built in Kronstadt in 1720
Anchors from ships of the 18th and 20th centuries in Patriot Park in Kronstadt
Alley of Admirals of the Russian Navy in Patriot Park in Kronstadt
Makarov Bridge and the dome of Naval St. Nicholas Cathedral over the Ravine Park in Kronstadt
Naval St. Nicholas Cathedral in Kronstadt is the main temple of the Russian Navy and a monument to the fallen sailors
Naval St. Nicholas Cathedral in Kronstadt is a copy of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
The interior of the St. Nicholas Cathedral is made in the Byzantine style as a copy of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
Image of an anchor on the Anchor Square in Kronstadt
The unique cast-iron pavement on Anchor Square in Kronstadt was laid out in the 1870s
Peter Pier of Kronstadt, where warships are moored
Granite slabs of Peter Pier in Kronstadt, where there are always a lot of tourists
Monument to Peter I in the center of Peter Park in Kronstadt
Wooden lighthouse and rocket boat R-47 on the pier at the Bathyscaphe Museum in Kronstadt
Deep-sea vehicles at the Bathyscaphe Museum in Kronstadt
Dock pool in the Summer Garden of Kronstadt
Sluice gates of the dry Peter Dock in Kronstadt
The central part of the dry Petrovsky dock with a rotary mechanism, view from the alley of Patriot Park in Kronstadt
The Ravine Park of Kronstadt is part of the grandiose hydrotechnic engineering structure of the dry Peter Dock
The Italian pond in Kronstadt has the shape of a rectangle, merchant ships were moored here
The Summer Garden in Kronstadt was founded in 1711 by the decision of Peter the Great
The fence of the Summer Garden in Kronstadt was cast in 1873
The model of the very first Kronshlot fort, which Peter I built in Kronstadt in 1704
The original pavement of 1805 in front of the Museum Dutch Kitchen in Kronstadt
Pedestrian Sailing bridge over the Bypass Canal in Kronstadt
Cannon from the battleship October Revolution on the bank of the Bypass Canal of Kronstadt near the Anchor Square
Eternal Flame on Anchor Square in Kronstadt
Museum of the History of Kronstadt dedicated to underwater archaeology and finds from sunken ships