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Who Started The Midday Cannon Shot In St. Petersburg?

Ever wonder why everyday at exactly 12 pm the cannon is fired from one of the bastions of the Peter and Paul fortress? Today we will find out where this famous tradition came from.

The cannon shot from the Peter and Paul fortress is an important event in St. Petersburg which began almost immediately after the founding of the city. The cannon shot originally signaled the end of the workday at the fortress.

But the tradition to shoot at noon was not born in St. Petersburg but at the Black Sea, and only for official purposes. In 1819, Admiral Greig, who commanded the Black Sea Fleet, ordered every day at exactly 12 pm to shoot a cannon at the forts of Sevastopol and Nikolayev: this signal checked all the major service chronometers on ships and on land. This tradition took over the rest of the sea capitals of the empire, also at Kronstadt and Vladivostok and in St. Petersburg, where the Admiralty Court produced the first midday shot from a cannon in 1865.

After the revolution, the tradition was considered bourgeois. In Sevastopol, the tradition ceased in 1922, and in Leningrad, citizens stopped doing the midday cannon shot in 1934.

The cannon shooting only began 23 years later.