When one observes the skyline of St. Petersburg the spire of the Peter and Paul Cathedral is predominant. The Peter and Paul Fortress was the first structure Peter the Great built in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 1703. Today it marks the founding of the city, but the fortress was used as a political prison for centuries and the cathedral holds the tombs of the Romanov Tsars. The Peter and Paul Fortress sits on the northern banks of the Neva River, and the tall golden spire of Peter and Paul Cathedral marks the location. This spire was the tallest point in Saint Petersburg until a television tower was built in the mid-1960s. Many famous persons have been incarcerated in the Prison. Feodor Dostoevsky was imprisoned here for his part in the attempt on the Czar’s life. While standing to be executed, the czar commuted his death sentence and sentenced him to many years in Siberia. This episode in his life is assumed to be the motivation for his novel Crime and Punishment. It is remarkable to see the semi precious stone tombs of the likes of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. All of the Romanov Czars’ remains are in the Peter and Paul Cathedral with the exception of Peter the III.
The remains of the last Czar , Nicholas II, and his murdered family are in the Cathedral in a special room. They were placed there in the last few years after the remains were discovered in the Urals near where they were murdered.
Many children will recognize the name of one of Nicholas’ children, Grand Duchess Anastasia from the Disney movie of the same name.
Peterhof is the greatest of all of St. Petersburg’s suburban estates. The best time to visit is during the summer (June through October) when all the varied buildings are open to visitors and the beautiful fountains are operating.Peterhof - which means Peter’s Court – is one St. Petersburg’s most popular and famous visitor attractions.