Kronstadt is an age-mate of the northern capital. The fortress town was built with the aim to close the stream channel leading to the Neva River mouth. Quays, warehouses and harbors appeared there first, and the central fortress was built in 1723. Erection of fortifications here lasted up to the twentieth century. Although these forts have lost their military importance, they remain the most significant fortifications in the Baltic Sea. And that very fortress has survived in the form of several barracks and the Northern rampart.
The whole fame of Kronstadt is associated with the sea: the fitted squadrons gained victories in battles (like in the Dardanelles in 1807), Bellingshausen and Krusenstern graduated from the local Sea Cadet Corps, the world's first ice-breaker "Pilot" was built here. The first Russian military diving school was also opened here in 1882. The Kronstadt Naval Museum is dedicated to the history of diving in Russia.
The forts of Kronstadt comprise 21 fortifications, 17 of which are located in the Gulf of Finland. The first fort was a decahedral Kronslot with 14 cannons, which repelled the Swedish attack in 1704. Several preserved forts can currently be seen during a water excursion. The first governor of Kronstadt was Alexander Menshikov, a close associate of Peter, who lived in a luxury residence – in the Italian Palace. Formerly a luxurious building, the palace was badly damaged by fire in 1926 and its luxury was lost. Today its premises are occupied by the Naval Institute. Several objects of Kronstadt are named after the town founder. This is Peter's pier, where you can see the cannon of the XIX century and anchors of the boats which took part in Peterhof landing in 1941; Petrovsky Park in the Dutch style with a monument to the emperor and the gun of his era; Petrovsky dock - one of the oldest hydraulic structures in the city.
The life of the Russian physicist Alexander Popov, who invented radio, was connected with Kronstadt. In commemoration of this, a memorial stone is installed in the Toulon alley, and A. S. Popov Memorial Office Museum and monument are located in Makarovskaya Street. There in the town you can also find some funny attractions, such as a Tree of Wishes in Marx Street. If you want your dream come true, you need to throw a coin into the hanging owl nest and go all round the tree three times clockwise. A sculpture of a fawn stands nearby. It is believed that it should be saddled up to strengthen the effect.