When Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov, carrying out the decision of the military council Peter I had called at the time of the siege of Nienshants, placed an earthwork fortress on one of the islands of the Neva Delta, it is highly unlikely that anyone suspected what the consequences of this step would be. It was simply a timely move that made it possible to cut off the Neva’s channel by artillery fire, so that the Swedish fleet could not aid the beleaguered town by sea. The fortress proved useless in all respects: It never had occasion to beat back the enemy, whereas defending the Admiralty Wharf on the other side of the river was beyond its reach. It seemed appropriate to build another fortress around the wharf as quickly as possible. On all sides of both fortifications a small town began to spread out irregularly, and it bore the name of the tsar’s heavenly guardian, the apostle Peter.