|Coordinates: 59°59′27″N29°46′29″E / 59.99083°N 29.77472°E Coordinates: 59°59′27″N29°46′29″E / 59.99083°N 29.77472°E|
|Federal subject||Saint Petersburg|
| • Estimate |
|Time zone||UTC+3 (MSK  )|
|Postal code(s) |
|Dialing code(s)||+7 812|
Kronstadt (Russian : Кроншта́дт, romanized: Kronshtadt, IPA: [krɐnˈʂtat] ) is a Russian port city in Kronshtadtsky District of the federal city of Saint Petersburg, located on Kotlin Island, 30 km (19 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, near the head of the Gulf of Finland. It is linked to the former Russian capital by a combination levee-causeway-seagate, the St Petersburg Dam, part of the city's flood defences, which also acts as road access to Kotlin island from the mainland.
Founded in the early 18th century by Peter the Great, it became an important international centre of commerce whose trade role was later eclipsed by its strategic significance as the primary maritime defence outpost of the former Russian capital.   The main base of the Russian Baltic Fleet was located in Kronstadt, guarding the approaches to Saint Petersburg. In March 1921, the island city was the site of the Kronstadt rebellion.
The historic centre of the city and its fortifications are part of the World Heritage Site that is Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.
Kronstadt has been a place of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians for many years due to the memory of Saint John of Kronstadt.
The name of the city is alternatively spelled as Kronshtadt, Cronstadt or Kronštadt.  It is derived from German Kronstadt (lit. 'crown city'). 
Kronstadt was founded by Peter the Great, whose Imperial Russian forces took the island of Kotlin from the Swedes during the Great Northern War in 1703. The first fortifications were inaugurated on 18 May [ O.S. 7 May] 1704. These fortifications, known as Kronshlot (Кроншлот), were constructed very quickly. During the winter, the Gulf of Finland freezes over completely. Under the command of Governor-general Alexander Danilovich Menshikov, workers used thousands of frames (caissons) made of logs from evergreen trees filled with stones which were moved by horses across the frozen sea, and placed in cuttings made in the ice. Thus, several new small islands were created, and forts were erected on them, virtually closing access to Saint-Petersburg by sea. Only two narrow navigable channels remained, with forts guarding them.
One of the first governors of Kronstadt was a veteran of the Royal Scots Navy, Admiral Thomas Gordon who was a refugee in Russia from the Scottish union with England and became chief commander of the port of Kronstadt from 1727 to 1741.
Just as Kronstadt became populated and fortified, it attracted merchants from maritime powers most notably, the Dutch, the British and the Germans through the old Hanse connections. The community of British merchants or "factors" came to be known as the English Factory, despite the fact that many of them were Scots. They settled both in Kronstadt and in St Petersburg itself and for a time dominated both inward and outward trade, especially in the reign of Catherine the Great. They became an integral part of British trade and foreign policy through the Board of Trade in London. A number of the British settlers became naturalised Russians.  Trading alliances were sharply interrupted by the outbreak of the Crimean War (1854).
Kronstadt was thoroughly refortified in the 19th century. The old three-decker forts, five in number, which formerly constituted the principal defences and had resisted the Anglo-French fleets during the Crimean War, became of secondary importance. From the plans of Eduard Totleben a new fort, Fort Constantine, and four batteries were constructed (1856–1871) to defend the principal approach, and seven batteries to cover the shallower northern channel. All these fortifications were low and thickly armoured earthworks with heavy Krupp guns on their ramparts. The city is surrounded by an enceinte.
In summer 1891, the French fleet was officially received in Kronstadt. It was a first step towards the forthcoming Franco-Russian Alliance.
During the Petrograd (now Saint Petersburg) riots of the February revolution, the sailors of Petrograd joined the revolution and executed their officers, thus gaining a reputation as dedicated revolutionaries. During the civil war, the sailors participated on the red side, until 1921, when they rebelled against Bolshevik rule in the Kronstadt rebellion.
Kronstadt with its supporting forts and minefields was key in protecting Petrograd from foreign forces. Despite this, the cruiser Oleg was torpedoed and sunk by a small motor boat after participating in the bombardment of Krasnaya Gorka fort that had revolted against the Bolsheviks.  This was followed on August 18, 1919, by a raid of seven Royal Navy Coastal Motor Boats inside the harbour of Kronstadt itself, damaging the Soviet battleships Petropavlovsk and Andrei Pervozvanny, and sinking a submarine supply ship, the Pamiat Azova.
In 1921, a group of naval officers and men, together with soldiers and civilian supporters, rebelled against the Bolshevik government in Soviet Kronstadt. The garrison had previously been a centre of major support for the Bolsheviks, and throughout the Civil War of 1917–1921, the naval forces at Kronstadt had been at the vanguard of the main Bolshevik attacks. Their demands included freedom of speech, the end of deportation to work camps, a change in Soviet war politics, and liberation of the soviets (workers' councils) from "party control".  After brief negotiations, Leon Trotsky (then the Minister of War in the Soviet Government, and the leader of the Red Army) responded by sending the army to Kronstadt, along with the Cheka. The uprising was thus suppressed following a massacre.
In the late 1930s, the fortified city became the base of the Soviet Baltic Fleet. During that time it was an important training centre for the Soviet navy. The Kronstadt naval dockyard overhauled and repaired surface ships and submarines for the Baltic Fleet. All forts and batteries of the city were reconstructed.
At 23:37 on June 21, 1941, fleet operational readiness Number 1 was announced by Baltic Fleet Commander Vice Admiral V. Tributs on the order of the People's Commissar of the Navy Admiral N.G. Kuznetsov. Several hours later the first German aircraft began dropping mines into the canal outside Kronstadt. The duty officer, first lieutenant S. Kushnerev, ordered anti-aircraft batteries to open fire on enemy planes. Several aircraft were shot down or damaged. Twenty-seven German planes took part in the first attack, and three were destroyed by the anti-aircraft guns of the 1st Air Defence Regiment of the Baltic Fleet. This regiment was situated in the southern forts.
During World War II, Kronstadt was subject to several bombing raids by the Luftwaffe. In August 1941 the Luftwaffe began bombing Kronstadt repeatedly. The most notable bombing was Stuka ace Hans-Ulrich Rudel's sinking of the battleship Marat.
To prevent an enemy landing, 13 artillery batteries were established in Kronstadt with nine more batteries outside the city, on the island of Kotlin. The main lookout was located in the Naval Cathedral. Visual range reached 45 km (28 mi). The coastal defence forces of Kronstadt included two infantry regiments.
In late August, the Red Army in the Baltic States was in a critical situation. Tallinn, the main base of the fleet, was in danger and an order to relocate the fleet from Tallinn to Kronstadt was given. By the time the Soviets had decided on a maritime evacuation of Tallinn, over 200 Soviet civilian and military vessels had been assembled in Tallinn harbour.
After the evacuation of Tallinn, a submarine subdivision had been organized in Kronstadt. By the end of 1941, 82 naval operations had taken place. Hitler was enraged, because Soviet submarines frequently disrupted military supplies of strategic materials from Sweden to Germany. The Germans tried to block the exit completely from the Gulf of Finland with anti-submarine nets and mines. Despite these efforts, the Soviet submariners continued to attack German ships. In 1942, 29 German vessels were sunk. Submarines cooperated with reconnaissance aircraft in searching for military targets.
Soviet submarines had broken through the mine barrages in the Gulf of Finland in 1942. To keep the Soviet submarine force away from Baltic shipping stronger efforts were planned. The minefields would be larger and in addition a double submarine net would be laid from Porkkala to Naissaar in Operation Walross. The blockade of the Gulf of Finland turned out to be 100% effective. But in 1944, when Finland signed a peace treaty with the Soviet Union, one of the conditions was that the Soviets could locate one naval base in Finland at Porkkala. Submarine warfare in the Baltic Sea reached its final stage after peace was reached with Finland.
The Baltic Fleet sent more than 125,000 people to serve on shore at the front. Eighty-three thousand people fought directly on the Leningrad Front. For the protection of Leningrad 10 brigades of naval infantry, four regiments, and more than 40 separate battalions and companies were formed in Kronstadt.
The Luftwaffe and German artillery sent thousands of bombs and shells onto the naval dockyard and the Arsenal factory. The German air raids in September 1941, damaged ships of the Baltic Fleet and the infrastructure of the naval dockyard. Several sections of the yard were destroyed, the docks were heavily bombed causing the death of dozens of workers and engineers. Nevertheless, the naval yard continued its work. Despite the siege, the workers persevered with their work, often working 18–20 hours a day.
Thanks to the power of the Kronstadt Fortress the destruction of Leningrad, then the main industrial and cultural centre of the Soviet Union, was successfully prevented. The honorary status of "City of Military Glory" was conferred on it by the President of the Russian Federation Dmitriy Medvedev on April 27, 2009, citing the "courage, endurance and mass heroism, exhibited by defenders of the city in the struggle for the freedom and independence of the Motherland".
With changing historical trends, the population saw peaks and troughs partly determined by the expansion and then decline of the naval base and dockyard.
Note Census data of 1897 includes military personnel
Recent population data indicate it has stabilised as follows: 43,385 (2002 Census);  43,005 (2010 Census). 
The city of Kronstadt is built on level ground on the island and is thus exposed to flooding, most notably in 1824. The port is icebound for 140–160 days in the year, from the beginning of December to April. A very large proportion of the inhabitants are sailors. On the south side of the city there are three harbours: the large western or merchant harbour, the western flank of which is formed by a great pier joining the fortifications which traverse the breadth of the island on one side. The middle harbour was used chiefly for fitting out and repairing vessels. The eastern or military harbour was used for docking vessels of the Russian Navy. The Peter and Catherine Canals connected with the merchant and middle harbours across the city. Between them stood the old Italian Palace of Prince Menshikov, whose site was later occupied by a school for pilots. In the second half of the 18th century the building of the former Italian palace was used by various military training institutions. In 1771–1798 the Sea Cadet Corps was housed there before being transferred to St Petersburg. From 1798 to 1872 the Navigation School was situated in the former palace.
The Kronstadt tide gauge is situated near the former Italian palace. Sea level observations in Saint Petersburg began already in 1703. On Kotlin Island, the main naval fortress of the Russian Empire began observations in 1707. This monitoring was necessary because the water level of the Finnish Gulf could change considerably in a short time, creating problems for shipping. The annual flood also required close monitoring of the water level. The Kronstadt sea-gauge with the tide gauge pavilion is the zero level of the Baltic system of highs and lows. All depths and altitudes (even the heights of spacecraft) in Russia and some other countries of the former Russian Empire are measured according to the Kronstadt sea-gauge. Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, said in 1967 that it was "the Hub of the Universe".
The modern city's most striking landmark is considered to be the enormous Naval Cathedral, dedicated to St Nicholas and built between 1908 and 1913 in Anchor Square which also contains many military memorials. The cathedral is regarded as the culmination of Russian Neo-Byzantine architecture. The Pyotrovsky Gardens is a park that surrounds the monument to Peter the Great who founded the city. There are a number of historic buildings, such as the Dutch Kitchen and the former Italian Palace, that recall the city's mercantile and military past.
Among other public buildings are the Naval Hospital, the British Seamen's Hospital (established in 1867), the Civic Hospital, the Admiralty (founded in 1785), the arsenal, dockyards and foundries, the School of Marine Engineering, and the English Church.
The Kronstadt port was once considered the most fortified port in the world. It still retains some of its old "forts" on small fortified artificial islands. Originally, there were 22 such forts, situated in line with the southern and northern shores of the Gulf of Finland. Some fortifications were located inside the city itself and one was on the western shore of Kronslot Island, on the other side of the main navigational channel.
The construction of the Saint Petersburg Dam led to some of the forts being demolished. The dam, a levee-causeway-Seagate combination also enabled Kronstadt and some of the forts being reached by land. Among the most important surviving forts are:
There are daily bus and water tours to Kronstadt from Saint Petersburg. 
The now demolished older St Andrew Cathedral (1817), once a prominent Kronstadt landmark, was destroyed on Communist orders in 1932. St John of Kronstadt, one of the most venerated Russian saints, served there as priest from 1855 to 1908. 
The controversial dam that took 30 years to build (1980–2011) now links Kotlin island to the mainland from north and south, not only acts as part of the flood defences, but lets through shipping and completes the St Petersburg ring-road system, across the island. It is a feat of marine engineering consisting of a combination of levee-causeway and seagate. Its construction on the shoals of the Gulf of Finland involved the removal of some of the historic fortifications.
Kronstadt is twinned with: 
On 1 March 2022, the Polish city of Piła suspended its partnership with Kronstadt as a reaction to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. 
The Gulf of Finland is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and Estonia to the south, to Saint Petersburg in Russia to the east, where the river Neva drains into it. Other major cities around the gulf include Helsinki and Tallinn. The eastern parts of the Gulf of Finland belong to Russia, and some of Russia's most important oil harbors are located farthest in, near Saint Petersburg. As the seaway to Saint Petersburg, the Gulf of Finland has been and continues to be of considerable strategic importance to Russia. Some of the environmental problems affecting the Baltic Sea are at their most pronounced in the shallow gulf. Proposals for a tunnel through the gulf have been made.
Suomenlinna, or Sveaborg, is an inhabited sea fortress composed of eight islands, of which six have been fortified; it is about 4 km southeast of the city center of Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Suomenlinna is popular with tourists and locals, who enjoy it as a picturesque picnic site. Originally named Sveaborg, or Viapori as referred to by Finnish-speaking Finns, it was renamed in Finnish to Suomenlinna in 1918 for patriotic and nationalistic reasons, though it is still known by its original name in Sweden and by Swedish-speaking Finns.
The Soviet Navy was the naval warfare uniform service branch of the Soviet Armed Forces. Often referred to as the Red Fleet, the Soviet Navy made up a large part of the Soviet Union's strategic planning in the event of a conflict with the opposing superpower, the United States, during the Cold War (1945–1991). The Soviet Navy played a large role during the Cold War, either confronting the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in western Europe or power projection to maintain its sphere of influence in eastern Europe.
The Baltic Fleet is the fleet of the Russian Navy in the Baltic Sea.
The Baltic Sea Campaigns were conducted by Axis and Allied naval forces in the Baltic Sea, its coastal regions, and the Gulf of Finland on the Eastern Front of World War II. After early fighting between Polish and German forces, the main combatants were the Kriegsmarine and the Soviet Navy, with Finland supporting the Germans until 1944 and the Soviets thereafter. The Swedish Navy and merchant fleet played important roles, and the British Royal Navy planned Operation Catherine for control of the Baltic Sea and its exit choke point into the North Sea.
Naissaar is an island in Estonia. It is situated in the Gulf of Finland, northwest of the capital city Tallinn, and is administratively part of the Viimsi parish. The island covers an area of 18.6 square kilometres. It is 8 kilometres long and 3.5 kilometres wide, and lies about 8.5 kilometres from the mainland. The highest point on the island is Kunilamägi, which is 27 metres above sea level. The island consists predominantly of coniferous forest and piles of stones and boulders. In 2020, the island had a population of 17; in 2011 the island had 35 or so permanent residents and some summer residents. Administratively the island is divided into three villages: Lõunaküla (Storbyn), Tagaküla (Bakbyn), and Väikeheinamaa (Lillängin).
Peter the Great's Naval Fortress or the Tallinn-Porkkala defence station was a Russian fortification line, which aimed to block access to the Russian capital Saint Petersburg via the sea. The plans for the fortress included heavy coastal artillery pieces along the northern and southern shores of the Gulf of Finland. The emphasis was put on the defenses of the gulf's narrowest point, between Porkkala, and Tallinn,. This was a strategic point, as the two fortresses of Mäkiluoto and Naissaar were only 36 kilometers apart. The coastal artillery had a range of about 25 kilometers and could thus "close" the gap between the shores, trapping enemy ships in a crossfire. Furthermore, a new major naval base was constructed in Tallinn.
A British submarine flotilla operated in the Baltic Sea for three years during the First World War. The squadron of nine submarines was attached to the Russian Baltic Fleet. The main task of the flotilla was to prevent the import of iron ore from Sweden to Imperial Germany. The success of the flotilla also forced the German Navy in the Baltic to keep to their bases and denied the German High Seas Fleet a training ground. The flotilla was based in Reval (Tallinn), and for most of its career commanded by Captain Francis Cromie.
The American Holland-class submarines, also AG class or A class, were Holland 602 type submarines used by the Imperial Russian and Soviet Navies in the early 20th century. The small submarines participated in the World War I Baltic Sea and Black Sea theatres and a handful of them also saw action during World War II.
The British campaign in the Baltic 1918–1919 was a part of the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. The codename of the Royal Navy campaign was Operation Red Trek. The intervention played a key role in enabling the establishment of the independent states of Estonia and Latvia. It failed to secure the control of Petrograd by White Russian forces, which was one of the main goals of the campaign.
The Soviet evacuation of Tallinn, also called Juminda mine battle, Tallinn disaster or Russian Dunkirk, was a Soviet operation to evacuate the 190 ships of the Baltic Fleet, units of the Red Army, and pro-Soviet civilians from the fleet's encircled main base of Tallinn in Soviet-occupied Estonia during August 1941. Near Juminda peninsula Soviet fleet ran into minefield that had been laid by the Finnish and German navies, and were repeatedly attacked by aircraft and torpedo boats, suffering massive losses.
Fort Alexander, also Fort Alexander I, or Plague Fort is a naval fortress on an artificial island in the Gulf of Finland near St. Petersburg and Kronstadt. From 1899 to 1917, the fort housed a research laboratory on plague and other bacterial diseases.
The Naval warfare in the Winter War was the naval part of the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union from 30 November 1939 to 13 March 1940. Overall, the level of naval activity was low. However, Finland had coastal artillery batteries which took part in battles along its coast.
The Leningrad Naval Base is part of the Baltic Fleet of the Russian Navy.
The Peterhof Palace, is a series of palaces and gardens located in Petergof, Saint Petersburg, Russia, commissioned by Peter the Great as a direct response to the Palace of Versailles by Louis XIV of France. Originally intending it in 1709 for country habitation, Peter the Great sought to expand the property as a result of his visit to the French royal court in 1717, inspiring the nickname of "The Russian Versailles". The architect between 1714 and 1728 was Domenico Trezzini, and the style he employed became the foundation for the Petrine Baroque style favored throughout Saint Petersburg. Also in 1714, Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond, likely chosen due to his previous collaborations with Versailles landscaper André Le Nôtre, designed the gardens. Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli completed an expansion from 1747 to 1756 for Elizabeth of Russia. The palace-ensemble along with the city center is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Yuri Aleksandrovich Panteleyev was an officer of the Soviet Navy. He rose to the rank of admiral and was commander of the Pacific Fleet.
Yuri Fedorovich Rall was an officer of the Imperial Russian and Soviet Navies. He saw action during the First and Second World Wars, and rose to the rank of vice-admiral.
Gavriil was an Orfey-class destroyer of the Russian Imperial Navy. The destroyer was built by the Russo-Baltic Yard at Reval, launching on 5 January 1915 and completing in October 1916. She served with the Baltic Fleet during the remainder of the First World War, and after the October Revolution joined the Bolshevik Red Fleet. She was active during the Russian Civil War, taking part in several engagements against British ships during the British campaign in the Baltic, and was sunk by a mine on 21 October 1919.
Azard was one of eight Orfey-class destroyers built for the Russian Imperial Navy during World War I. Completed in 1916, she served with the Baltic Fleet and joined the Bolshevik Red Fleet after the October Revolution of 1918. She was active during the Russian Civil War, taking part in several engagements against British ships during the British campaign in the Baltic. The destroyer was renamed Zinoviev in 1922 and Artem in 1928. She remained in service with the Soviet Baltic Fleet when Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, and was sunk by a mine on 28 August.
The 18 August 1919 raid on Kronstadt was an attack by Royal Navy coastal motor boats (CMBs) and Royal Air Force aircraft on the Bolshevik Baltic Fleet at its home base, during the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. The Allies were operating in the Baltic Sea to support the independence of Estonia and Latvia, which were threatened by Bolshevik movements. The raid followed a similar one carried out by a single motor torpedo boat outside the harbour on 17 June 1919, in which Lieutenant Augustus Agar's CMB-4 sank the Bolshevik cruiser Oleg.