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The city of Saint Petersburg at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, was once protected by a string of forts across the gulf. Most of these forts were constructed in and around the island of Kotlin which is situated in the middle of the narrow neck of the Gulf at a distance of 30 km from Saint Petersburg proper. Some forts were also built on the shores of the Gulf across the island. Together they offered a formidable defense against enemy attacks from the sea.

Construction of these forts commenced soon after Saint Petersburg was founded, urged by the Great Northern War of 1700–1721. Over the next two centuries, Russia continued to fortify the area building over forty forts between the southern and northern shores of the Gulf of Finland. Almost half of these were built on artificial islands.

One of the most famous forts in the gulf is Fort Alexander commissioned by Emperor Nikolay I and named after his brother, Emperor Alexander I. It was built between 1838 and 1845.


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© Amusing Planet, 2016.

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