The most mysterious building of Kronstadt
Not far from Kronstadt of water rise from the silent walls of the Fort “Emperor Alexander I” or “Plague”. The history of abandoned structures, in which a hundred years ago there was a mysterious laboratory, is still stirring imagination of residents.
What is the Fort? The word Fort comes from the Latin fortis and the French fort, which means strong and sturdy, and the fortification is to strengthen and build defensive structures.
Fort “Emperor Alexander I” (“Plague”) is one of long-term defensive structures included in the system of defense of Kronstadt. Located on a small artificial island South of Kotlin island. From 1899 to 1917 has been used as a laboratory to study the plague.
Since 1923 strengthening again passed into the hands of the military, who created the warehouse mine-sweeping equipment. And by 1983, the Fort was abandoned.
Military history of the Fort “Emperor Alexander I” was quite short. In 1838, Nicholas I, it was decided the construction of a separate fortification facility. Its solemn opening took place on 27 July 1845. During the Crimean war and after it many times the Fort was modernized, and these measures ensured the full inaccessibility of Kronstadt for the Anglo-French fleet.
However, in the late 19th century with FORTS nectarinidae gear “Alexander I” is outdated, and it was taken out of the defence staff, and from that moment began the most mysterious page in the history of the Fort.
In 1894 in Hong Kong and Canton was an outbreak of plague. Killed about a hundred thousand people. From China the disease has started to spread in other countries. By 1896, the plague reached prikaspiiskii steppes. Isolated from the outside world, strengthening the perfect match for deadly work, and here is Comochum — Russia’s first anti-plague laboratory, where the experiments with dangerous microbes killed several doctors. The inhabitants of Kronstadt were afraid of the winds blowing from the Fort.
Admission to the Fort was strictly limited, communication with the outside world was maintained by a small steamer under the ridiculous name “Microbe”, which ran on the waves of the Gulf of Finland. With Kronstadt Fort connected telephone line, with St. Petersburg – Telegraph. But despite strict controls, on-site laboratory were two outbreaks of plague.
Two-storey outside the Fort had three floors. The building was symmetrically divided into two halves, each had its own staircase. One stone, the other of iron. The right part, consisting of office space was contagious, and the left is non-contagious.
In the Fort were located the laboratory, operating room, stables and other premises for animals used in actions tried inventing drugs: cows, goats, camels, monkeys, rabbits and even reindeer. There was also a crematory furnace for the disposal of waste and corpses, sterilizer, Laundry, bath, kitchen, power station, rooms for doctors, a canteen, a Museum, a library is just not right.
It is difficult even to at least partially imagine the importance of the work of all those who worked on “the black death area the Fort”, who gave the opportunity to put a reliable barrier to the most terrible epidemics and thereby save millions of lives.
Today, “Plague Fort” shares the sad fate of other Kronstadt fortifications. Like other FORTS, it gradually over the years become run down and destroyed. Although Forte still has plenty to see: there is a unique cast iron staircase, mechanisms and walls of the Fort. It is said that in the basement you can even find antique stove. Here and there left by the “legacy of filmmakers” — all that was used for filming documentaries.
In summer a small steamer tourists come here to look at the ruins of Fort riddles.
Location: St. Petersburg, Fort “Emperor Alexander I” (in 4 km from Kronshtadt). Coordinates: 59°59’22″N 29°43’4″E