» » Museum "Crosses", Russia, Saint Petersburg


Museum "Crosses", Russia, Saint Petersburg

Museum
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   In the territory of the no. 1 pre-trial prison in Saint Petersburg the "Crosses" museum was founded in 1993. Till 1999 it could only be attended by the staff of the executive powers. Nowadays the museum is open for all citizens of Russia and guests of the country.

   The excursion over the museum is very interesting. At the beginning the visitors get into the administrative building and from there to the controlled-access building. After that all of them may visit the Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky. In addition, in the museum there are various handmade articles produced by the prisoners. In this prison many famous personalities used to be imprisoned for their political views. That is why in the "Crosses" museums you can see the huge numbers of the photographs of the famous people who were imprisoned.

How the "Crosses" were built


   Till XVI century there were no prisons in Russia. The prisoners were held in the vaults, basements and other spaces not actually suitable for keeping the humans. The conditions in such spaces left much to be desired.

   In 1884 the erection of the new prison for 100 persons started in Saint Petersburg. The place for the prison was chosen to be on the Neva River's bank, where prior to that the so-called "Wine town" was located. It was abolished in 1867, and the prison was built here as per V. Lvov's project.

One of the rooms of the museum CrossesOne of the rooms of the museum Crosses


   After 20 years the necessity to widen the prison appeared, as there was no more space in it. Using the prisoners' efforts, in 1890 the new prison was erected and the old one demolished. The area of the newly constructed prison was very big. It housed the morgue, the hospital, the forge and two buildings with the solitary cells. People started to call this prison "Crosses" as its shape resembled the two crosses. This was the architect's idea – he thought that the prisoner should repent his sins. Two architectural crosses are connected with the use of one more building (administrative building), on the top of which there is the cathedral named after Alexander Nevsky. Its construction was supported by private alms.

   Since 1964 the "Crosses" serve as the no. 1 pre-trial prison of Saint Petersburg.

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