The Aurora cruiser was laid down at the New Admiralty Shipyard on 23rd May 1897, launched on 11th May 1900 and commissioned to join the Russian Navy in July of 1903.
During the Russo-Japanese war, having been sent to the Far East as part of the 2nd Pacific Squadron (October 1904 – May 1905), the cruiser was baptised by fire in the Battle of Tsushima in May 1905.
Upon returning to the Baltic Sea, the cruiser became a training ship for cadets of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps. From 1906 to 1912, the cruiser visited many foreign ports, and in November 1911, its crew took part in festivities in Bangkok in honour of the coronation of King of Siam (now Thailand).
During the First World War, Aurora operated in the Baltic Sea as part of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron, and at the end of 1916 she was moved to Petrograd (now St-Petersburg) for repairs.
In 1917 the Aurora crew members were crucial participants in the February and October Revolutions as well as the following Civil War and simultaneous defence against foreign intervention.
In 1922–1923, the Aurora was one of the first ships to be commissioned for service as a training ship, and served as such until 1940, allowing cadets from naval schools to complete their sea time practice. During these years, the cruiser also visited lots of foreign ports.
In 1924, the cruiser was awarded the Red Banner of the CEC of the USSR and the Order of the Red Banner in 1927.
As the Great Patriotic War broke out, the Aurora cruiser and her crew took part in the defence of Leningrad. The Aurora sailors fought both far from the city (Chudskaya fleet) and off its coast (Voroniya Hill), adding yet another glorious page to the history of their ship with their heroism. During the Siege of Leningrad from 1941 to 1944, the Aurora cruiser was anchored in the Oranienbaum port (Lomonosov City) and was regularly subjected to fire and bomb attacks. The ship hull was badly damaged and the cruiser took on so much water that it became stranded, but its small crew fought for their ship courageously. In July 1944, the cruiser was refloated and laid up for repairs.
In 1948 the Aurora cruiser was moored at Petrogradskaya Embankment of Leningrad and used as a training ship for the Nakhimov Naval School until 1956.
In 1956, the Aurora cruiser became a naval museum as a subsidiary of the Central Naval Museum.
In 1968, the Aurora cruiser was awarded the Order of the October Revolution, and in 1992 a symbol of naval strength of Russia — St. Andrew's flag — was run up again.
Class: 1st rank cruiser.
Type: CR I Pallada.
Shipyard: New Admiralty, St. Petersburg.
Laid down: May 23 (June 4, Old Style), 1897.
Launched: May 11 (May 24, Old Style), 1900.
Joined the Navy: July 16 (July 29, Old Style), 1903 (the Baltic Fleet).
Full load displacement: 6731 g.
Length: 126.7 m.
Width: 16.8 m.
Draft: 6.2 m.
Machine power: 11971 hp.
Speed: 20.0 knots.
Cruising distance: 4000 miles (7200 km).
Fuel: 964 tons of coal.
Artillery armament (1917): 152 mm (Canet gun) — 14; 76.2 mm (Lender air-defense gun) — 6
Torpedo tubes — 3 (1 above water and 2 underwater tubes).
Weight of metal fired in one broadside: 267 kg per a salvo; 652 kg per a minute.
Crew: 570 people (including 20 officers).