Built in 1893, this imposing red brick building was Europe's largest solitary confinement facility, designed to hold political prisoners.
Built in 1893, this imposing red brick building was Europe's largest solitary confinement facility, designed to hold political prisoners. Its inmates included Trotsky in 1905, and in October 1917, the entire provisional government. During the Soviet period, it notably held Joseph Brodsky, who was charged with ‘parasitism’. The prison is built in a cross shape, with a central large dome housing the prison chapel. Kresty became infamous for intense overcrowding, where TB infections ran rife and corruption was common. Plans are in place for prisoners to be moved to a larger and more modern facility outside the city. You should join a guided tour to visit the prison chapel and the in-house museum which has bits and pieces about its more famous inmates past and present. It's not for the faint hearted - inmates can be seen and heard, with packages passed between the railings by other ‘tourists’ on your tour. Nevertheless, this is a fascinating experience where you can feel history happening around you.