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Heralded as one of the St. Petersburg’s top destinations, the 18th century Peter and Paul Fortress provides Russia tours with a look at some of the country’s finest riches and most lowly prison conditions.
For a look at the latter, travelers should head to the Trubetskoy Bastion, where prisoners were held. The bastion’s first prisoner was Aleksey, Peter the Great’s son, who was executed there in 1718. Other famous prisoners who spent time in the dreary cells, which often featured one small window, a thin cot and a side table, included Dostoevsky and Lenin’s brother.
Peter and Paul is also, however, one of two places where Russian coins and medals are minted. For an inside look at the money making machine, visitors can tour The Mint. The fortress’ other fine sights include the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul, a towering yellow cathedral featuring an impressive Baroque design that Peter the Great deliberately used to differentiate the building from traditional Russian church designs.
Travelers who find themselves at the fortress on a sunny afternoon would fare well to visit the nearby riverside beach. Although Russia may be known for its chilly weather, this beach has been known to warm many visitors.
Look down in wonder at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral from your glass-walled pod on the London Eye, then gaze out over the Louvre and the Champs-Elysees from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
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