Prison at Trubetskoy Bastion
The Peter and Paul Fortress was never used as intended i.e. as a military fortress. Instead, almost from the very beginning it had prisons on its territory. Peter I’s son Tsarevich Alexei, the mysterious princess Tarakanova, Decembrists were incarcerated there. But those prisons were dilapidated or rebuilt. The only prison which survived till nowadays is that at Trubetskoy Bastion.
The Prison at Trubetskoy Bastion was built in the beginning of 1870s when the Narodniks movement was at its highest. It’s a two-storey pentagonal building. Originally, it had 73 cells but later their number was 69. All cells were for solitary confinement. Prisoners couldn’t communicate or even see their comrades who were next to them.
Like other prisons situated on the territory of the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Prison at Trubetskoy Bastion was used only for political prisoners, notably for the most dangerous of them. The writer Maxim Gorky, Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Lenin’s elder brother Alexander Ulyanov were the prison’s inmates.
After the February 1917 revolution, former Ministers of the Russian Empire were imprisoned there to be followed by members of the Provisional Government after the October Revolution. Conditions for prisoners were totally different after the 1917 events. Solitary confinement was out of the question. Among prisoners were Grand Dukes Nikolay Mikhailovich, Georgiy Mikhailovich, Pavel Alexandrovich, and Dmitriy Konstantinovich.
The prison’s last inmates were sailors involved in the Kronstadt rebellion in 1921. In 1924, the prison became a museum. First ours of the museum were given by former prisoners who lived nearby in the House of former political prisoners.