Kronstadt was founded by Emperor Peter the Great in 1704 as a maritime fortress and naval base on Kotlin Island. The name "Kronstadt" was invented by Peter the Great, and in German means "Crown City".
The port is ice-bound for 140–160 days in the year, from the beginning of December to April. A very large proportion of the inhabitants are sailors.
The Kronstadt Sea Fortress used to be considered the most fortified port in the world. Kronstadt still retains some of the "forts", small fortified artificial islands. Others were destroyed or recycled during the construction of the Saint Petersburg Flood Prevention Facility Complex, a brand new dam of protective structures, which connects the island to the shore and is part of the federal city's Ring Road. Formerly, there were 42 such forts, situated in line between the southern and northern shores of the Gulf of Finland. Some fortifications were located inside the city itself, and one was on the western shore of the Kronslot Island (on the other side of the main navigational channel).
Until 1998, Kronstadt was a closed city, from then on it became a touristic attraction with free access to its territory. The exception is Kronstadt military harbor, and the territories of various military units stationed in the city and surrounding area. The architecture of the city center and city walls mostly dates from the first half of the 19th century.
In the 1970s and 80s, modern neighborhoods were built on the outskirts of the city.
There is no direct rail service. The nearest station "Oranienbaum-I» in Lomonosov, which can be reached from the Baltyskaya station in St. Petersburg.
Kronstadt is part of the Ring Road (CR) around St. Petersburg, which connects Kotlin island from the northern coast of Gulf of Finland, near Sestroretsk, and the southern coast, near the Little Izhora. To St. Petersburg through the Mountain Village, 35 km; to the metro station "Prospect Veterans", 60 km.
From St. Petersburg to Kronstadt there are several routes:
- from metro station "Chernaya Rechka" - shuttle K-405;
- from metro station "Staraya Derevnya" - shuttle K-510 and bus 101
- from metro station "Prospect Prosvescheniya" - shuttle K-407
- from rail station "Oranienbaum" - Bus 175
It's very easy to arrange waterborne transport to/from SPb, there are several operators. Contacts:
- passenger pier Kronstadt: Ammunition per. 5, +7 (812) 311-33-17
- passenger pier University: Coal Street., 14 g / d of Art. "Orienbaum-I», +7 (812) 422-87-21
- trucking companies: JSC "Passenger Port", St. Petersburg, Obukhov Defense, 195, +7 (812) 262-50-88, central office +7 (812) 262-62-51
Kronstadt is small and compact enough to navigate on foot, but there are social and internal lines of buses. Route numbers of extensions are the letters "CD". The fare of 25 руб (in 2013).
- 1Co - Leningrad pier - MAKAROVSKAYA gate.
- 2KR - Leningrad harbor - Fort Schantz.
- 3KR - Leningrad harbor - block 19B.
- See also: Saint Petersburg World Heritage Site
- 1 (Морско́й собо́р святи́теля Никола́я Чудотво́рца), Yakornaya Ploschad ("Anchor Square") (the city center). Tu-Th 11:00-18:00 (office - 17:00). First built in 1728–31, the present structure was built in 1903–1913, as the main church of the Baltic Fleet, dedicated to all fallen seamen. It had a very tumultous story, having been a cinema hall in Soviet times. It was reconsecrated in April 2012, when Russian president Dmitry Medvedev declared the cathedral "looks better than 100 years ago." Repairs were completed in 2013, in time for the cathedral's centennial anniversary.
- 2 Makarov Bridge (Макаровский мост) (between Anchor Square and Ravine Park). A cast-iron riveted structure on a granite base with wooden flooring, completed in 1913. According to legend, emperor Nikolai II was afraid to be the first to walk on this pedestrian bridge, which looked light and airy; one of the officers checked the way by going to Anchor Square, and the emperor rewarded him for courage. Reportedly, it was built in just three months, with naval technology. In 1970, the crossing was reconstructed, and the wooden flooring was replaced with metal sheets coated with asphalt.
- 3 Kronstadt Sea Gauge (Кронштадтский футшток и Мореограф), Makarovskaya ulitsa 1 (at the Blue Bridge, near the former Italian palace, at the waterfront). Sea level observations on Kotlin Island began in 1707. This monitoring was necessary because the water level of the Finnish Gulf could change considerably in a short time, creating problems for shipping. The annual flood also required close monitoring of the water level. The Kronstadt sea-gauge ("Mareograf") is the zero level of the Baltic system of highs and lows. Inside a yellow pavilion on the canal bank near the sea-gauge rod, is the tide gauge, a self-registering device. All depths and altitudes (even the heights of spacecraft) in Russia and some other countries of the former Russian Empire are measured according to the Kronstadt sea-gauge. A plaque on the Blue Bridge records the 3,67 m reached by the famous 1824 massive flood, cited by Pushkin on his poem The Bronze Horseman. Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, said in 1967 that it was "the Hub of the Universe".
- 4 Museum of History, Architecture and Art (Музей истории Кронштадта), Leningradskaya St, 2, ☏ . Reported as very pleasant. There's a model of the original Fort Kronshlot, a piece of the first water-pipe system in Russia (at Kronstadt), an interactive Blockade Room, and numerous photos, documents and antique household objects. A section features works of Aivazovsky, the outstanding marine painter of the 19th century. Adults 150 руб, schoolchildren 75 руб.
- 5 (Кронштадтский морской музей), Andreyevskaya ulitsa 5. Devoted to the history of underwater diving in Russia and the military history of Kronstadt in the 20th century, opened on May 4, 2012; the first Russian military diving school was founded here on May 5, 1882, by the order of Alexander III.
- 6 Kronstadt Maritime Factory (Кронштадтский Морской завод), Petrovskaya ulitsa, 2, ☏ . Tue, Wed, Fri 15:00-20:00. The preserved shipyards of previous centuries, masterpieces of Imperial and Soviet industrial architecture. A surprisingly beautiful place hidden from the eyes of tourists. Free.
- 7 Memorial Apartment Museum of St. John of Kronstadt (Мемориальный Музей-квартира Святого Праведного отца Иоанна Кронштадтского), Posadskaya st, 21, ☏ . Tue-Thu, Sat, Sun 12:00-17:00. Well-preserved and restored apartment-museum of St. John (1829 – 1909), a Russian Orthodox archpriest and a member of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, famous for his mass common confessions, numerous miracles and charitable work, as well as for his monarchist, chauvinistic, antisemitic and anticommunist views.
- 8 Memorial Museum of Alexander Popov (Памятник Александру Попову), Kommunisticheskaya ulitsa. Alexander Stepanovich Popov (1859 – 1906) was the Russian inventor of a radio receiving device. His work as a teacher at a Russian naval school led him to explore high frequency electrical phenomena. On May 7, 1895, he presented a paper on a wireless lightning detector he had built that worked via using a coherer to detect radio noise from lightning strikes. This day is celebrated in the Russian Federation as Radio Day. A bust of him stands in front of the little house where he firstly tried his radio. It's reported as wonderfully abandoned.
- 9 Solar World Clock (Солнечные Часы мира), Il'myaninova ulitsa, 2. An interesting sundial made of a big anchor, showing time in different countries. As of 2020, it's reported as in a bad state of maintenance. Half of the dials are broken, and the remaining inscriptions can barely be read.
- 10 Fort Kronshlot, Kronshlot island. The "Crown Lock", Peter The Great's brainchild, was built in record time, to guard the main fairway's southern flank, and caught the Swedish by surprise in 1704. By the 1850s and the Crimean War, it had been greatly upgraded, and was hailed as the strongest European naval fortress of its times. It's well worth the visit.
- 11 Fort Alexander I. A textbook "concrete battleship" type of fortification, at the fairway's entrance. Obsolete against rifled artillery by the 1860s, it became famous as "Plague Island", when it became an isolated vaccination lab at the beginning of the 20th century.
- 12 Museum of Lighthouses (Музей маячной службы), Fort Konstantin, ☏ . Sun-Sun 10:00-20:00. This fort began to be built in the winter of 1808 under the threat of war with England, which did not happen. After the 1824 flood, it was slowly rebuilt for several decades and ended only after the end of the Crimean War of 1853-1856. The current name of the fort was bestowed in 1834, in honor of emperor Nikolai I's son, Prince Konstantin Nikolaevich. The site was abandoned by the military in the 1960s. Today it functions as a historic and architectural complex with the private museum of lighthouses (with a collection of real beacon lenses, lamps and other attributes of the lighthouse life), a hotel and a marina. The fort itself looks derelict and not very impressive from the outside, but its inner granite structures are amazing, and its location is incredibly cool.
Among other picturesque public buildings, are the naval hospital, the British seamen's hospital (established in 1867), the civic hospital, admiralty (founded 1785), arsenal, dockyards and foundries, the school of marine engineering, and the English church.
- 1 Petrovskiy Park, Arsenal'nyy Pereulok 5. Recommended as one of the finest places in Kronstadt from which to see warships. The centerpiece is the statue of founder Peter the Great.
- Austeria Restaurant (Аустерия), Sovetskaya ul, 43, ☏ .
- Cafe Amulet (Кафе «Амулет»), pr. Lenina, 18, ☏ .
- Bistro (Бистро), Kommunisticheskaya ul, 16, ☏ .
- Cafe Brigantina, Sovetskaya ul, 41, ☏ .
- Cafe Dom Druzhby (Кафе «Дом дружбы»), Kommunisticheskaya ul., 3, ☏ .
- Cafe Zolotoy Yakor (Кафе «Золотой якорь»), Mayakovskaya ul, 3, ☏ .
- Cafe Imperial (Кафе «Империал»), pr. Lenina, 43, ☏ .
- Cafe, ул. Карла Либкнехта, 29, ☏ .
- Cafe Classic (Кафе «Классик»), pr. Lenina, 29, ☏ .
- Cafe Labaz (Кафе «Лабаз»), Grazhdanskaya ul, 7/11, ☏ .
- Cafe Lika (Кафе «Лика»), Leningradskaya ul., 3, ☏ .
- (Кафе «Луза»)pr. Lenina, 43, ☏ .
- Cafe Na Troikh (Кафе «На троих»), Kommunisticheskaya ul., 3, ☏ .
- Cafe Novaya Volnya (Кафе «Новая волна»), ul. Gidrostroiteley, 8, ☏ .
- Cafe Notch (Кафе «Ночь»), pr. Lenina, 53, ☏ .
- (Кафе «Ника»)Flotskaya ul., 17, ☏ .
- Cafe Parus (Кафе «Парус»), Flotskaya ul., 29/9, ☏ .
- Pelmennaya (Пельменная), pr. Lenina, 18, ☏ .
- Cafe Podvorye (Кафе «Подворье»), Grazhdanskaya ul, 7/11, ☏ .
- Cafe Skazka (Кафе «Сказка»), pr. Lenina, 31, ☏ .
- Cafe Strelets (Кафе «Стрелец»), pr. Lenina, 33, ☏ .
- Cafe Taverna (Кафе «Таверна»), Kommunisticheskaya ul, 1, ☏ .
- (Кафе «Трактир»)Posadskaya ul, 3, ☏ .
- Cafe Fort (Кафе «Форт»), pr. Lenina, 26, ☏ .
- Cafe Fort Konstantin (Кафе «Форт „Константин“»), ☏ .
- (Гостиница ВМФ), Kommunisticheskaya ul, 1, ☏ .
- (Гостиница ВМФ), Kronstadt highway, 28, ☏ , .
- Frigat Service Hotel (Гостиница «Фрегат-Сервис»), ul. Gidrostroiteley, 8-а (fort Konstantin), ☏ .
- Micromacro Hotel, ul. Veleschinskogo, 9/13, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.