Kronstadt (Russian: Кроншта́дт), also spelled Kronshtadt, Cronstadt or Kronštádt (German: Krone for "crown" and Stadt for "city"; Estonian: Kroonlinn), is a municipal town in Kronshtadtsky District of the federal city of Saint Petersburg, Russia, located on Kotlin Island, 30 kilometers (19 mi) west of Saint Petersburg proper near the head of the Gulf of Finland. Population: 43,005 (2010 Census); 43,385 (2002 Census).
It is also Saint Petersburg's main seaport. In March 1921, it was the site of the Kronstadt rebellion.
Traditionally, the seat of the Russian admiralty and the base of the Russian Baltic Fleet were located in Kronstadt guarding the approaches to Saint Petersburg. The historic centre of the city and its fortifications are part of the World Heritage Site Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.
Kronstadt has been a place of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians for many years due to the holy memory of Saint John of Kronstadt. Bus and water tours to Kronstadt are taken daily from Saint Petersburg.
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 completely. Under the command of Governor-general Alexander Danilovich Menshikov, workers used thousands of frames made of oak logs filled with stones. These were carried 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, closing all access to Saint-Petersburg by the sea. Only two narrow navigable channels remained, and the strongest forts guarded them.