St. Peter Gate
St. Peter Gate was built in 1717-1718 by Domenico Trezzini. This is the only historical and architectural monument that has come down to us almost unchanged (only the figure of St. Peter that stood above the gate has not remained). Until 1740s the St. Peter Gate was the fortress’ main entrance. Of the initial decoration on the gate the wooden bas-relief (sculptor Niccolo Pineau) depicting armor and the god of Sabaoth in the clouds, has been preserved.
The wooden bas-relief (sculptor Konrad Osner, circa 1708) depicting a pagan priest prostrated by the strength of the prayer of the Apostle Peter, is quite intriguing. The allegorical bas-relief was called upon to instill the thoughts of the omnipotence of the tsar Peter the Great. Below the bas-relief, a lead effigy (1720) of a two-headed eagle, the coat of arms of the Russian Empire, guards the archway of the gate.
Statues of ancient Roman goddesses stand in the niches of the gateway; on the right there is the goddess of war, Bellona, and on the left the patroness of arts and crafts, of schoolteachers and doctors, Minerva. These sculptures glorified in allegorical form Peter the Great’s wisdom as a military leader and statesman. The St. Peter Gate is the only example of a triumphal structure in Saint Petersburg dating from the beginning of the 18th century.