Aurora is a protected cruiser, currently preserved as a museum ship in St. Petersburg. One of the first incidents of the October Revolution in Russia took place on the cruiser.

Aurora was one of three Pallada-class cruisers, built in St. Petersburg for service in the Pacific Far East. All three ships of this class served during the Russo-Japanese War. The second ship, Pallada, was sunk by the Japanese at Port Arthur in 1904. The third ship, Diana, was interned in Saigon after the Battle of the Yellow Sea. Aurora was part of the Russian 2nd Pacific Squadron formed mostly from the Russian Baltic Fleet, which was sent from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific, under the command of Vice-Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky. On the way to the Far East, she sustained light damage from confused friendly fire in the Dogger Bank incident.

On 27 and 28 May 1905, Aurora took part in the Battle of Tsushima, along with the rest of the Russian squadron. During the battle, the wounded Senior officer of the ship, Captain of 2nd rank Arkadiy Konstantinovich Nebolsine took command of the cruiser. After that Aurora, covering other, much slower Russian vessels, under the command of Rear-Admiral Oskar Enkvist, with two other Russian cruisers broke through to neutral Manila, where she was interned. In 1906, Aurora returned to the Baltic and became a cadet training ship. From 1906 until 1912 the cruiser visited a number of other countries; in November 1911 the ship was in Bangkok as part of the celebrations in honour of the coronation of the new King of Siam.

During the First World War the ship operated in the Baltic Sea. In 1915, her armament was changed to fourteen 152 mm guns. At the end of 1916, the ship was moved to Petrograd (the renamed St Petersburg) for a major repair. The city was brimming with revolutionary ferment and part of her crew joined the 1917 February Revolution. A revolutionary committee was created on the ship, with Aleksandr Belyshev elected as its captain. Most of the crew joined the Bolsheviks, who were preparing for a Communist revolution.

According to the Soviet account of history, on 25 October 1917, Aurora refused to carry out an order to put to sea, which sparked the October Revolution. At 9.45 p.m on that date, a blank shot from her forecastle gun signaled the start of the assault on the Winter Palace, which was to be the last episode of the October Revolution. The cruiser's crew allegedly took part in that attack.

In 1922, Aurora was brought to service again as a training ship. During the Second World War, the guns were taken from the ship and used in the land defence of Leningrad. The ship herself was docked in Oranienbaum port, and was repeatedly shelled and bombed. On 30 September 1941 she was damaged and sunk in the harbour. After extensive repairs in 1945 - 1947, Aurora was permanently anchored on the Neva in Leningrad as a monument to the Great October Socialist Revolution and in 1957 became a museum-ship. From 1956 to the present day 28 million people have visited the cruiser Aurora.

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Founded: 1900-1903
Category: Museums in Russia

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Konstantin K (2 years ago)
It's a fairly impressive battleship but surprisingly poor exposition. Museum is pretty small. Most areas are out of bounds for visitors. Extremely dangerous, slippery ramp from shore to ship - may be OK in summer but in winter with snow and ice it is a real hazard. The best part of the ship is actually its exterior.
Jeroen Wijnands (2 years ago)
OK, yes it's an historical site and the ship is maintained beautifully but.. It's rather expensive at 700 ruble. There isn't really all that much too see in the ship itself. To make it even less attractive to foreigners the entire exhibition is in Russian and there are no guides in other languages available. My advice, admire the ship from the quay and spend your 700 rubles elsewhere. Additional warning, the actors in period costume in front of the ship are not part of the exhibition and just demand 1000 rubles for a photo!
Dmitry M (2 years ago)
A highly recommended place to visit. This cruiser has a lot of history. Try to read all posts about war participation.
piotr michalski (3 years ago)
Extremely well made historical exhibition. The ship took part in most epic sea battle of modern era, then the revolution, then siege of Leningrad.
Kelly Robbins (3 years ago)
Very well worth a visit for the historical significance, not to mention the rare chance to visit any ship well over 100 years old. I wish it hadn't been so cold and blustery so I could have spent more time exploring the upper deck and enjoying the amazing views. Fortunately it was nice and warm below deck and the exhibits on the ship's history were very interesting. Makes a nice combined visit with the Museum of Political History, and the neighborhood is nice and quiet and much less changed than along Nevsky.
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