The town of Kronstadt is famous for its naval history.

Kronstadt is a seaport, which is located on the island of Kotlin in the Gulf of Finland. It is connected with the mainland by a dam.

Administratively, the town of Kronstadt is a part of St. Petersburg and its population comes to around 43 thousand people.

Kronstadt history

The history of Kronstadt is closely connected with the foundation of St. Petersburg by Tzar Peter the Great. During the Great Northern War against Sweden Russia conquered the coastline of the Gulf of Finland in 1700 – 1703.

Although the land campaign was successful, the Swedish fleet blocked the way to the Baltic Sea. In autumn of 1703 when the Swedes had to take their ships to non-freezing ports of Finland and Sweden the Russians got a chance to occupy the island of Kotlin and enhance their military presence by means of fortifications. The first fort was built on the island in 1704 bearing the name of Kronslot, and today this year is considered a birthday of Kronstadt. The location of the island was so convenient, that not a single enemy ship could sail through without being noticed.

Later in 1724, a new more massive fortress was built on the island and the settlement was named Kronstadt, which means "the fortress city". Since then the town of Kronstadt has become the main naval base of the Russia’s Baltic fleet and the construction of fortifications was continued.

Due to the constant flooding many structures did not live long life. The town was reconstructed many times.

The naval hospital, the arsenal, several maritime schools were built on the island in the 19th century.

During WWII the town of Kronstadt was constantly bombed by the German air force, which brought a lot of damage to architecture of the town.

After the war, the town of Kronstadt became a closed city both for Russians and foreigners.

Only in 1996 it was opened for free admittance.

Kronstadt tourist attractions

Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas

The design of the Naval Cathedral is very similar to that one of St. Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople. Construction started in the end of the XIX Century and lasted almost 20 years. It was consecrated and opened to the public in 1913.

After the revolution of 1917, the services continued in the cathedral till 1927. Later the cathedral was converted into the cinema theatre named after Maxim Gorky. During World War II the building was closed; the dome received three direct artillery hits.

Post-war reconstruction of 1953 – 54 converted the cathedral to a concert hall.

In 1976, it became a part of the Central Museum of Navy.

Following the lengthy renovation started in 2002, the cathedral was consecrated once again in 2013, one hundred years after being opened.