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Monuments and Historical Sites of St. Petersburg - Admiralty

One of the magnificent expressions of naval triumphalism - the Admiralty, initially founded by Peter the Great in 1704 as a fortified shipyard, in the course of the time became purely administrative in function, and after a disastrous fire in 1783 professor Adrian Zakharov was commissioned to design a suitable replacement. He maintained the original plan of the building, but turned it into a marvelous example of the Russian Empire style, with rows of white columns, wonderful relief detail and numerous statues.  The Admiralty was fortified to be an extra defense for the newly acquired territory of the Neva delta.  The gilded spire of the Admiralty (and particularly its weather-vane korablik - "the little ship") is another of St. Petersburg’s famous landmarks.

The responsibilities of the Admiralty Board had been changing throughout its history. It supervised the construction of military ships, ports, harbors, and canals and administered Admiralty Shipyard. The Admiralty Board was also in charge of naval armaments and equipment, preparation of naval officers etc. In 1802 the Admiralty Board became a part of the Ministry of the Navy. Along with the Admiralty Board, there was also the Admiralty Department in 1805-1827 with the responsibilities of the Chief Office of the Ministry. In 1827 the Admiralty Board was turned into the Admiralty Council, which would exist until the October Revolution of 1917. In new Russia the historic Admiralty Board has been re-born as the Maritime Board having broad functions to coordinate Russia's maritime future.

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