Peter and Paul Fortress - Alexeyevsky Ravelin Prison
Back in the 18th century the Peter and Paul Fortress was converted into a jail where the best men of Russia who fought against the autocracy were incarcerated. In 1790, on the orders of Catherine the Great, Alexander Radishchev, the first Russian revolutionary aristocrat and author of a book condemning autocracy and serfdom entitled A Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow, was imprisoned in the fortress.
In 1825, the leading participants in the uprising of December 14, 1825, the Decembrists were thrown into the prison of Alexeyevsky Ravelin (the western part of the fortress). Most of them were sentenced to hard labor in Siberia, and five of them, Pavel Pestel, Kondrati Ryleyev, Sergei Muravyov-Apostol, Mikhail Bestuzhev-Ryumin, and Pyotr Kakhovsky were executed on July 13, 1826, on a site adjacent to the fortress in the north.
In the 1860s prominent figures in the Russian revolutionary movement languished in the dungeons of the Peter and Paul Fortress. In July 1862 the doors of the Alexeyevesky Ravelin closed behind the Russian revolutionary, write, and philosopher, Nikolai Chernyshevsky, who spent two years there before being sentenced to hard labor.
In 1884 Alexeyevesky Ravelin was demolished and a new building erected on its site, but the Peter and Paul fortress continued to serve as a jail for those those opposed the autocracy. A new prison was constructed inside the Trubetskoi Bastion in 1870-1872.