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The Peter and Paul Fortress is the original citadel of St. Petersburg, Russia, founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and built to Domenico Trezzini's designs from 1706 to 1740 as a star fortress.

Today it has been adapted as the central and most important part of the State Museum of Saint Petersburg History. The museum has gradually become virtually the sole owner of the fortress building, except the structure occupied by the Saint Petersburg Mint (Monetniy Dvor).

The fortress was established by Peter the Great on May 16 1703 on small Hare Island by the north bank of the Neva River, the last upstream island of the Neva delta. Built at the height of the Northern War in order to protect the projected capital from a feared Swedish counterattack, the fort never fulfilled its martial purpose. The citadel was completed with six bastions in earth and timber within a year, and it was rebuilt in stone from 1706 to 1740.

The fortress contains several notable buildings clustered around the Peter and Paul Cathedral (17121733), which has a 122.5 m (402 ft) bell-tower (the tallest in the city centre) and a gilded angel-topped cupola.

The cathedral is the burial place of all Russian tsars from Peter I to Alexander III, with the exception of Peter II and Ivan VI. The remains of Nicholas II and his family and entourage were re-interred there, in the side chapel of St. Catherine, on July 17, 1998, the 80th anniversary of their deaths. Toward the end of 2006, the remains of Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna were brought from Roskilde Cathedral outside Copenhagen and reinterred next to her husband, Alexander III (from Wiki).

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Additional Photos by Piotr FG (PiotrF) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 5816 W: 2 N: 11601] (54088)
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