Âîïðîñ 2. Peter’n’Paul fortress. The burial vault of the Romanovs.
It is regarded as the birthplace of the city. The 1st stone of the fortress was laid on 26 of May in 1703. That date mark the beginning of the construction of the main trade port & future capital.
Originally it was built of wood &earth. In 1740s the walls were replaced with brick & later faced with granite.
Fortress was built on Zaychey Island which is one of the smallest in the city & it had a very advantageous location. It controlled the outlet to the Baltic Sea & Sweeds couldn’t attact the fortress.
Whole P’n’P fortress was never been used in military purposes. For a long time it was used as a prison (Russian Bastille, till 1922).
The shape of the fortress is an irregular hexagon made of 6 bastions connected by curtain walls (Âàñèëüåâñêàÿ, Åêàòåðèíèñêàÿ, Êðîíâåðñêàÿ, Íåâñêàÿ, Íèêîëàåâñêàÿ, Ïåòðîâñêàÿ), which yave 5 gates. Bastions were constructed under the supervision of the associates of PTG & so bastions got their names: Menchikov, Golovkin, Zotov, Trybetskoi, Narishkin & Tsar’s. The walls are 10-12 m high & 20 wide. To strengthen fortress The Crownwork (Artileric Museum nowadays) & 2 ravelins (Ivan’s(PTG’s brother) & Alexey’s(father)) were built. Ravelins were separated from the fortress by moats & bridges, later moats were filled in.
The main gate is Petrovskie Gate. First gate was made by Trezzini in 1708 in wood, later were rebuilt in stone in 1718 in the form of triumphal arch. Above there is a relief of the double-headed eagle, & above that a bas-relief by Konrad Osner ‘Simon Magus being cast down by the Apostle Peter’. Apostle was given PTG’ features & it symbolizes the Tsar’s superiority over his enemies. Statues of Belonna (War) & Minevra (wisdom) stand in niches on either side.
The heart of the fortress is P’n’P cathedral. In 1703-04 a wooden church was build, but then in 1712 city became capital it was nessecary to build a cathedral. The construction works were headed by Trezzini, 1712-1733.
First a wooden belltower was constructed. The spire was crowned with a weather wane in the shape of angel carring a cross. So cathedral is the highest construction in the city (about 400 feet – 122,5 m).
PPC doesn’t remind the typical Russian orthodox church bec of it rectangular shape & also it’s untypical full of light (Trezzini was a catholic, so it’s mixture of styles).
From the very beginning PPC was used as a burial vault of Romanovs. First who was buried There was Alexean (son of PTG, took part in conspiracy against father, buried under the belltower). PTG died in 1725 in Winter Palace, cath wasn’t completed, so he was buried in wooden chapel & later reburied together with his wife Catherine I (next to the Iconstand (by Zarydny) in the right corner).
So, starting with PTG all the Tsars except Peter II & Ivan VI are buried in the PPC. The sarcophagi are white Carrera marble apart from those of Alexander II & his wife Maria Alexandrovana (jasper & rodonite).
The last Romanovs were reburied on the 17 of July in 1999, 80 years after they had been killed by Bolsheviks. The last who was buried in PPC is Maria Fedorovna (mother of Nic II & wife of Alex III), her remains were transferred from Denmark & reburied on the 28 of Sept in 2006.
Also on the territory of the PPF we can find: monument to PTG by Shimyakin (1991), Engineers House (1748-49, workshops& apartments of the engineering service), The commandant’s house (1743-46 with courtroom for prisoners), Boat House (to house PTG’s boat, original now in the Central Navy museum), the Mint (1796-1805 by Porto).
Every day at noon a cannon is fired from Narishkin bastion signaling the time for citizens, a custom which goes to the 18 cent.