In aprile-may 2004, the Cartography Department of the National Library of Russia held the exhibition celebrating 300 years of Kronstadt. The exhibition showed prints, maps and plans of the 18th-20th centuries from collections of the Cartography Department and the 19th century postcards from collections of the Print Department.
The Exhibition Catalogue1. Kronslott. Engraver Pieter Pickaerdt. [Moscow, 1703]
2. The View of the Russian fleet nearby the Island of Kotlin. Engraver Pieter Pickaerdt. [St. Petersburg,1715]
3. The Gulf of Finland from Kronstadt to Saint Petersburg with Notable Buildings Lying along the Coasts. Accurata Delineatio sinus Finnici… [Augsburg, 1742].
4. Prospect von Cronstadt.[S.l., [the latter half of the 18th century].
5. The Topographic Map of Saint Petersburg Administrative Province. Prepared by F. Schubert. St. Petersburg, 1834.
6. Plan de Kronstadt. Paris, .
7. Die bucht von Kronstadt mit Sankt Petersburg. Von H. Mahlmann. Berlin, 1854.
8. The View of of the Island, Harbours and Fortifications of Kronstadt, Accompanied by Remote Views of the Mouth of the Neva River and St. Petersburg. Moscow, 1855.
9. The Bird's Eye View of the Island, Harbours and Fortifications of Kronstadt. St. Petersburg, 1855.
10. The View of Kronstadt Fortress. Moscow, 1855.
11. Kronstadt. Das Ende des Finnischen Meerbusens u S. Petersburg. S.l. 185?
12. The Plan of Kronstadt. The map was prepared at the Geographic Section of the Building Department of the Navy Ministry. [Moscow, 1858].
13. Plan of Kronstadt Showing Harbours and Canals Designed by Peter the Great, and the South Coast as It Appeared in 1723. [St. Petersburg, 1885].
14. Fuldstaendig orienterings-kort over… Kjobenhavn. [the latter half of the 19th century] An inset of Kronstadt.
15. Environs of St. Petersburg. N 42. Kronstadt. Series: Tourist Maps of Russia. St. Petersburg, 1901.
16. The Plan of the Town of Kronstadt. [St. Petersburg, 1911].
16. Kronstadt. Plan-scheme. St. Petersburg, 1997.
17. Environs of St. Petersburg. The road map accompanied by plans of towns and settlements. St. Petersburg, 1998. An additional map: Kronstadt.
18. Kronstadt. The Center of the Town. On the reverse side there are additional maps: Kronstadt Fortress; The Town of Kronstadt from the Plan of the Year 1887. St. Petersburg, 2000.
19. Kronstadt. St. Petersburg, 2001.
Postcards (from the Print Department)1. Kronstadt. The Naval Cathedral. Postcard. 1913-1917. Photograph.
2. Kronstadt. The Harbour Canal. Postcard. Kronstadt, 1904-1917. Phototype.
3. Kronstadt. The Lutheran Church of St. Nicholas. Father John's House. The Battleship «Tsarevitch /Son of a Tsar/». The Orphan Home. Kronstadt, 1904-1917. Phototype.
4. Kronstadt. The Monument to Admiral Bellingshausen. Kronstadt, 1904-1917. Phototype.
5. Kronstadt. The Monument to Peter the Great. St. Petersburg, 1900-1904. Phototype.
6. Kronstadt. The Engineering School and the Monument to Pakhtusov. St. Petersburg, 1904-1914. Phototype.
7. Kronstadt. Gospodskaia /Gentlemen’s/ Street. St. Petersburg, 1904-1914. Chrome-photolithograph.
8. Kronstadt. Nicholaevsky /Nicholas/ Prospect. Stockholm, 1904-1917. Chrome-photolithograph.
9. Kronstadt. The Church of the Epiphany. Stockholm, 1904-1917. Chrome-photolithograph.
10. Kronstadt. The Custom House. 1904-1917. Chrome-photolithograph.
11. Kronstadt. The Cathedral of St. Andrew. St. Petersburg, 1904-1917. Chrome-photolithograph.
12. Kronstadt. Gostiny Dvor /Shopping Centre/. St. Petersburg, 1904-1917. Phototype.
13. Kronstadt. The View of the Admiral Makarov Monument and the Square. St. Petersburg, 1913-1917. Phototype.
History of Kronstadt.
The town of Kronstadt is situated on the small island of Kotlin in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland, 48 km west of Saint Petersburg.
During the period from 1323 to 1617, the island of Kotlin (Retusari in Finnish, or Rat Island) was considered as a borderland between Russia and Sweden, at that time, it was an area with no people living in. The island was ceded to Sweden in 1617, but Russia regained it along with the Ingrian land from Sweden in the reign of Peter the Greatå.
The naval base on the island of Kotlin was built by order of Tsar Peter the Great. Construction of the fortness began in 1703, when Prince Menshikov set up a fort on the sandback of the south coast from a model, made by Peter himself. On 7 May 1704 the first fortifications, including two batteries, were constructed. This day is regarded as the date of Kronstadt founding. The fort beared the suggestive name of Kronslott (Crown's Castle). It covered the principle approach to the mouth of the Neva river which was the site of a new capital of the Empire, Saint Petrsburg.
The first defences could protect only the south side of the gulf from the threat of invasion. Soon after a Swedish attempt to approach Saint Petersburg from the north of the island, Tzar Peter the Great continued to reinforce the vulnerable north coast. In 1710, he ordered to enlarge the fortress. Building work was carried out by captive Swedes and Russian soldiers under the supervision of Captain-Commander Len. In 1719, work began on canals and dockyards. In 1720, the war and merchant harbours were constructed. New streets, private houses, public buildings were also created. On the island a new town was springing up. The town, named Kronstadt (Crown's Town), was growing very vast.
The fortness's strategic location gave it a great importance and ensured that it was improved with the development of military and marine engineering by all Russian Tzars, starting with Peter the Great. From the plan of Opperman, all defences were refortified in 1807-1808. In 1824 the fortifications suffered from inundations, so that they were again rebuilt.
During the reign of Emperor Nicholas I, between 1825 and 1840, there were constructed western forts, defensive walls, dams and military barracks. In 1854, builders added fortifications on the spit for extra defence. Soon, with the development of attacking artillery, granite forts of Kronstadt became vulnerable. These stone defences were replaced by a new earth construction. Armoured earthworks were much more secure and cheaper than their stone predecessors.
Kronstadt has always been a major training center for the Russian Navy's staff, where served a whole number of the Russian fleet commanders, including admirals Feodor Ushakov, Georgy Spiridov, Dmitri Seniavin, Mikhail Lazarev, Pavel Nakhimov, Vladimir Kornilov, Stepan Makarov, as well as the most famous sea explorers such as Adam Johann Ritter von Krusenstern, and Yuri F. Lisianski, Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, Vasili Golovnin, Friedrich Benjamin Lutke. The town has also been the home of important scientific inventions. At Kronstadt, the physicist Alexander Popov, then a lecturer of the Navy's Torpedo School, invented radio in 1895, and he was the first to use wireless for communicating with and between ships over long distances.
Many distinguished people can be associated with Kronstadt. Among them are the prominent historian Nikolai Karamzin, the world-famous composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, the well-known writer Ivan Goncharov; the renowned poet Nikolai Gumilev, the remarkable poet Semen Nadson etc.
Mutinies of the naval garrison took place in 1905 and 1906 and played a part in the revolutions of 1905 and 1917. After a while, Kronstadt was the scene of an unsuccessful rebellion of the sailors against the communist government of the early Soviet state in March 1921. During the years of World War II (1939-1945), Kronstadt and the Baltic Fleet, based there, took park in defence of Tallinn, the island of Hanko. Artillery and naval forces of Kronshtadt played a major role in the courageous defense of the besieged city of Leningrad (the name for St. Petersburg in 1924-1990) against the Germans.
Starting with the time of Peter the Great, Kronstadt' growth has been ordely. Many famous architects, including the French architect Jean-Baptiste Leblond and the Italian architect Dominico Tresini, were commissioned to devise a plan for building of the town. This compactly planned town is laid out in a rectangular street grid. Kronstadt comprises works of outstanding Russian architects such as Vasili Bazhenov, Adrian Zakharov, Alexander Briullov etc. Among the town's important buildings and structures are fortification works of the first quarter of the 18th century, the 18th century harbours, the by-pass canal, the stone complex of militery barracks, naval warehouses and shops, constructed between 1785 and 1796 by Mikhail Vetoshnikov, as well as, the biscuit factory for the manufacture ship breads, built between 1795 and 1797 by Vasili Bazhenov, the Tolbaaken lighthouse of 1810 by Adrian Zakharov, and workshops of 1834-1837 by Alexander Briullov. The town skyline is dominated by the Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas, designed by Vasili Kosiakov and built between 1903 and 1913. Kronstadt is filled with trees and shrubs. There are many green spaces and gardens, the largest of which are the Park of Peter the Great and Summer Garden. The town owns numerous monuments which comprise Peter the Great, Admiral Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, the Crew of Clipper «Oprichnik /Guardsman/», Admiral Stepan Makarov Monuments.
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