Fort Zverev, built in the 1870s by Russian engineer Konstantin Zverev, lies in complete ruins today. Nonetheless, it is as much of an attraction now as it was in its heyday. Located on an artificial island in the Baltic Sea, just north of Kronstadt, the fort is a derelict structure that can well be described as ‘hell on earth’. The rusting bunker hatches, water tubes and machine gun mounts scattered on the surface are hardly an indicator of what lies within.
Back when the fort was still in use, the Russians stored a type of fuel similar to napalm in the basement. Unfortunately, in 1970, an unexpected fire that started in the fort spread to the basement as well, causing an uncontrollable inferno. The incident was simply horrific – the burning fuel reached temperatures over 2000 degrees Celsius. It got so hot that the brick walls and ceiling literally melted and ran down like icicles.
When the fire finally subsided and the fort cooled down, the basement was completely unrecognizable. What was once a chamber with smooth walls had transformed into a rough cave with countless red brick stalactites covering every inch of the ceiling. The basement has many rooms, and each one pretty much has the same story to tell. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you might spot a single icicle among the brick stalactites – an indicator of the cold weather outside.
Honestly, the pictures of the fort are quite depressing. The silent ruins are perhaps the perfect location where hopes and dreams come to die. If you enjoy being in unnerving surroundings, then you know where to go on your next vacation.
Photos via English Russia