New Kronstadt: paying tribute to the greatness of the Russian fleet

Kronstadt. Krone - "crown", Stadt - "city"

At a recent extended meeting (dedicated to the construction and reconstruction of military infrastructure) under the leadership of the Minister of Defense Army General Sergei Shoigu in the Admiralty library, it was announced a new ambitious project of the Russian Ministry of Defense. The military department, which has already succeeded in implementing the project of the innovative technopolis ERA, now plans to undertake a large-scale renovation of the famous Kronstadt — impregnable fortress in the Neva Bay, reliably guarding St. Petersburg from any attempts of encroachment by the enemy. It should be clarified: Kronstadt is an island-city with a population of about 45 thousand people. Of course, not the entire city will be renovated, but only a part of its coastal area — the one where the forts and other historical sites are located.

The project is scheduled to start in 2019 (it is not known exactly when, most likely in spring-summer). It is planned to create the world’s largest museum dedicated to the glory of the Navy. The project will combine the experience of the world’s leading naval expositions. The official presentation of the project (see below) announces it as «the perfect combination of modern infrastructure and living history».

Apparently, the museum of the «new Kronstadt» will be a place telling visitors about the great naval victories of Russia (starting from 1696, when the Russian fleet was created), about the outstanding military leaders who forged these victories, and also about hero ships, on which these victories were won.

The modernization program, among other things, includes renovation of the following objects:

1) Fort «Alexander I» (founded in 1836) — interactive theater venue:

2) Fort «Kronschlot» (founded in 1704) — restored internal marina and hall for holding ceremonies according to the canons of the XIX century:

3) Fort «Peter I» (1724) — vivid historical reconstructions:

Currently, some forts («Alexander I», «Kronschlot» etc) are used including as a spot for training special forces. Each of the restored forts will be part of a large open-air museum. «New Kronstadt» includes 7 exposition halls «Tape of Time», a lecture hall and a cinema hall. Creation of a VR-attraction is also planned (video presentation claims that «one can feel himself a pilot taking off from the heavy aircraft carrying cruiser’ deck»).

In addition, the project provides for an oceanarium and a technology park, a diving center, research laboratories, a modern hotel complex — hotels from 3 to 5 stars on the waterfront (number of rooms up to 500 people), parking for ships for 300 vessels in the Kabotazhnaya harbor, restaurants on the quay. A working depth at berths of up to 10 meters is declared, which will allow ships of small and medium displacement to enter the water area. In the Kabotazhnaya harbor will be an opportunity to board the acting warships, symbols of the combat power of Russia. A museum on a submarine is also provided.

How can visitors get to the place? It is stated that speedboats will connect the center of St. Petersburg or Peterhof with Kronstadt (journey time is about 30-35 minutes). The ferry from the capital of Finland, Helsinki, is also announced. It is also planned to build a 1200-meter cableway (the video presentation shows how the cableway connects the fort «Alexander I» with the coast).

As a result of the renewal of Kronstadt, it is planned to increase the tourist traffic to 5 million people per year. If implemented, it will become an important component of the economic development of the unique island-city. By the way, the «new Kronstadt» project provides for the creation of 1,000 jobs, which of course will also be positively perceived by the Russian society.

The following shows exactly which area of Kronstadt will undergo renovation as part of the project of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation:


However, the renewal of the coastal part and the creation of an open-air museum are only part of the modernization of Kronstadt that the Russian Defense Ministry plans to carry out. Thus, it is planned to create a cluster of the Navy in the island-city. Construction of the cluster will begin in 2019 and will improve the efficiency of the Russian Navy. In this regard, at a meeting in St. Petersburg  in early December the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said:

«In 2019 we will start the creation of a cluster of the Navy in Kronstadt, which will make it possible to concentrate educational, scientific and applied activities in a single modern center and significantly increase its effectiveness». Source.

Speaking at the meeting, Admiral Vladimir Korolev, Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, said that part of the naval high schools located in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region would be relocated to Kronstadt as part of the creation of an educational and scientific base of the Navy. The commander-in-chief noted that “the facilities of the educational and scientific base are planned to be located in the central part of Kronstadt with the maximum use of the adjacent water area for the base of training ships, boats and oceanographic vessels”. According to him, “the existing territorial disunity of educational and scientific institutions in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, the autonomous presence in dense urban areas, far from the sea area, is a deterrent not only for their integration, but also for self-development”.

Among the main goals of creating an educational and scientific base of the Navy in Kronstadt, the commander-in-chief of the Navy called, in particular, “ensuring the unity of the training and material base, integrating science and education, developing training and research ships on innovative technological solutions, using the capabilities of Patriot Park and other elements of the naval cluster”. Vladimir Korolev stressed that for the first time in the history of the Navy, “in such a short period of time, a large-scale project for the development of educational and scientific complexes in the city of maritime glory, Kronstadt, was planned for implementation”. Source.

Acting Governor of St. Petersburg, Alexander Beglov, who participated in the meeting stressed that the implementation of all ambitious plans to change the urban environment of Kronstadt will require very serious and coordinated work of all executive and legislative authorities of St. Petersburg and the Ministry of Defense. A roadmap for this project is already being developed. In addition to revenues from the federal and regional budgets, it is planned to attract funds from investors to the project. Source.

In addition to announcing the creation of a cluster of the Navy, Sergei Shoigu also noted that next year the Boarding School of the Ministry of Defense students will open on Bychiy Island in St. Petersburg, which will continue the traditions of the first [in Russia] women’s educational institution, the Smolny Institute of Noble Maidens (founded in 1764). The Minister stressed that the work on the creation of the Institute was initiated by the numerous requests of residents of the Northern capital of Russia.

The Boarding School is scheduled to open as early as July 2019 on Navy Day. Though, according to other source, the female Boarding School is scheduled to open on April 24 — the day the Smolny Institute of Noble Maidens was founded 250 years ago (in this case, builders must finish everything in less than four months). On the other hand, the third source calls September 2019 the time of the object to be commissioned. So, apparently, the deadline for the object are not precisely defined yet. Obviously, at the end of the first quarter of 2019, it will be clear when one can expect the opening of a Boarding School.

A few images of the planned object, which will be located near the stadium «Saint Petersburg»:


To create the Boarding School, the builders used the ready-made buildings of the Bychiy Island. They adapted a sports and hotel complex, which was planned to be built there earlier, as an institution. Upon completion of the work, 560 girls will be able to live and study in the Boarding School. Source.

It is reported that the educational institution will be a branch of the Moscow Boarding School of the Ministry of Defense students. All pupils of the institution will be on full state support.

The complex of buildings will include a swimming pool, game, sports and ballroom, library, medical center, other facilities and premises. In addition to the school curriculum, the program of study will include the study of four foreign languages, sports, art and music education, literary art, dance and handicraft.

Swimming pool / Source

The daughters of servicemen serving in remote garrisons, daughters of deceased officers and daughters of war veterans, girls from incomplete families have priority in entering the Boarding School of the Ministry of Defense students. Source.

«Before / After» images of the exterior:

Well, there is every chance to believe that all these projects — open-air museum on the Kronstadt quay, cluster of the Navy, Boarding School of the Ministry of Defense students — will also be a success for the Russian Ministry of Defense. ALAFF will closely monitor these great projects.


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