On the threshold of the 350th anniversary of the birth of the great reformer and founder of St. Petersburg, Emperor Peter the Great, which will be celebrated in 2022, ROSPHOTO presents the exhibition project Kronstadt. Island Town, Fortress Town, Port Town

Kotlin Island and the surrounding territory was as much on Peter the Great’s mind as St. Petersburg. From 1704 until his death, the sovereign reformer would issue decrees about the development of Kronstadt and discuss with his associates in correspondence the construction of forts, the fortress, harbours, and the town itself. 

 All governmental functions of this unique place were defined and elaborated by Peter the Great. As per his will, the town soon became a mighty fortress, successfully protecting St. Petersburg from the sea for more than 300 years, and a major military port, serving as the main base of the Baltic Fleet for many decades. 

The exhibition Kronstadt. Island Town, Fortress Town, Port Town features original decrees by the first Russian emperor, rare 18th-century maps, plans and prints, digital copies of photographs by the famous St. Petersburg photographer Karl Bulla, Nicholas II court photographers, prerevolutionary Kronstadt chroniclers, as well as works by Soviet photographers, and contemporary photography. Also featured are exhibits related to the Kronstadt Naval Hospital, and items from private collections. More than 200 historical artifacts are on display.

The exhibition consists of several sections. The first one is connected with the foundation of Kronstadt and the history of the town during the reign of Peter the Great. The second section includes exhibits on the history of construction of the fortress and forts of Kronstadt. The third is devoted to the harbours of Kronstadt and the Great Kronstadt raid, the Baltic Fleet, and the naval infrastructure. Besides, visitors will get an insight into the history and present of Kronstadt, its streets and citizens. An important part of the display presents Kronstadt as one of the major religious centers of the country. The jewel of the city is the Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas. Also of interest is the St. Andrew’s Cathedral, where Ioann Sergiev, who was later canonized as St. John of Kronstadt, served as Archpriest. 

Exhibition contributors: the Russian National Library, Russian State Navy Archive, Military Medical Museum of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, State Museum of History of Saint-Petersburg, Central State Archive of Cinema, Photographic and Phonographic Documents in St. Petersburg, and private collectors.

The exhibition will take place from 25 September until 14 November 2021 at the State Museum and Exhibition Center ROSPHOTO (35 Bolshaya Morskaya Str.).

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