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Duration: 6 hours

Shlisselburg is a town in Leningrad Oblast, Russia, situated at the head of the Neva River on Lake Ladoga, 35 kilometers east of St. Petersburg. From 1944 to 1992, it was known as Petrokrepost. The fortress and the city center are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Originally built as a wooden fortress named Oreshek ("Nutlet") by Grand Prince Yury of Moscow on behalf of the Novgorod Republic in 1323, it guarded the northern approaches to Novgorod and access to the Baltic Sea. The fortress is situated on Orekhovets Island, whose name, refers to nuts in Swedish and "Nut Island" in Finnish and Russian. After a series of conflicts, a peace treaty, was signed at Oreshek on August 12, 1323 between Sweden and the Novgorod Republic which was the first agreement on the border between Eastern and Western Christianity. The fort was captured by Sweden in 1611 during the Ingrian War. In 1702, during the Great Northern War, the fortress was taken by Russians under Peter the Great, and it was then given its current name, Shlisselburg, a transcription of Schlusselburg. The name, meaning "Key-fortress" in German, refers to Peter's perception of the fortress as the "key to Ingria". During the times of Imperial Russia, the fortress was used as a notorious political prison. There is also a museum of political prisoners of the Russian Empire, and a small collection of World War II artillery.


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