This is the original fortress built in St. Petersburg.  It is built on an island in the delta of the Neva River.  Its name is Hare Island.  At one point the fortress was called Schltenburg which means the lock and key fortress.  It symbolized both the lock and key, because the people had both the lock and key meaning Russia belonged to the people.  

The fortress was important as it served as a shield to the city as well as an avenue to gain access to the Baltic Sea.  Its walls are built of stone that are 9 to 12 meters high and 16 to 20 meters thick.  There are six gates that lead into Peter and Paul fortress, all of which were heavily secured.

The mint is still on the grounds of the fortress as well as many museums and the Peter and Paul Cathedral.  The original cathedral was built of wood and was eventually converted into stone.  Architect Domenico Trezzini was responsible for the conversion into stone, which symbolized the greatness and strength of St. Petersburg.  The vaulted ceilings of the cathedral are adorned with paintings and stucco molding, while the steeple shines in the sunlight due to its beautiful golden covering.

Today many residents of St. Petersburg enjoy relaxing on the beach of Peter and Paul Fortress.  There is also a fountain that can be seen from the beach, so it is interesting for children and adults alike.  The fountain changes its pattern every few seconds and there is always a great celebration in the city when the fountains are turned on in the springtime.