Across the Neva from the Winter Palace stands the Peter and Paul Fortress, built to secure Russia’s hold on the Neva delta. The Fortress (daily 6am–10pm; free; Gorkovskaya) shelters a cathedral as well as rotating exhibitions in the Engineers’ and Commandant’s House. The Dutch-style Peter and Paul Cathedral (daily except Wed 10am–7pm; R170–350), completed in 1733, remained the tallest structure in the city until the 1960s. Sited around the nave are the tombs of Romanov monarchs from Peter the Great onwards, excluding Peter II, Ivan VI and Nicholas II. The Nevskaya panorama roof walk (10am–8pm) gives an excellent view of the Winter Palace, and you can spot sunbathers by the Neva Curtain Wall from March onwards. Inside the fortress, period dress is available for rent by the hour for those interested in some costumed capering.
Anchored a short walk along the Neva from the Peter and Paul fortress is the Cruiser Aurora (Petrogradskaya nab., daily except Mon & Fri 10.30am–4pm; free; Gorkovskaya), the famous battle ship that fired the opening shot of the revolution of 1917.