Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg

Overview
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject
Federal subjects of Russia
Russia is a federation which, since March 1, 2008, consists of 83 federal subjects . In 1993, when the Constitution was adopted, there were 89 federal subjects listed...

 (a federal city
Federal cities of Russia
The Russian Federation is divided into 83 federal subjects, two of which are federal cities....

) of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 located on the Neva River
Neva River
The Neva is a river in northwestern Russia flowing from Lake Ladoga through the western part of Leningrad Oblast to the Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland. Despite its modest length , it is the third largest river in Europe in terms of average discharge .The Neva is the only river flowing from Lake...

 at the head of the Gulf of Finland
Gulf of Finland
The Gulf of Finland is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland and Estonia all the way to Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into it. Other major cities around the gulf include Helsinki and Tallinn...

 on the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

. In 1914 the name of the city was changed to Petrograd , in 1924 to Leningrad and in 1991 back to Saint Petersburg.

In Russian literature and informal documents the "Saint" (Санкт-) is usually omitted, leaving Petersburg (Петербург, Peterburg).
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Encyclopedia
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject
Federal subjects of Russia
Russia is a federation which, since March 1, 2008, consists of 83 federal subjects . In 1993, when the Constitution was adopted, there were 89 federal subjects listed...

 (a federal city
Federal cities of Russia
The Russian Federation is divided into 83 federal subjects, two of which are federal cities....

) of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 located on the Neva River
Neva River
The Neva is a river in northwestern Russia flowing from Lake Ladoga through the western part of Leningrad Oblast to the Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland. Despite its modest length , it is the third largest river in Europe in terms of average discharge .The Neva is the only river flowing from Lake...

 at the head of the Gulf of Finland
Gulf of Finland
The Gulf of Finland is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland and Estonia all the way to Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into it. Other major cities around the gulf include Helsinki and Tallinn...

 on the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

. In 1914 the name of the city was changed to Petrograd , in 1924 to Leningrad and in 1991 back to Saint Petersburg.

In Russian literature and informal documents the "Saint" (Санкт-) is usually omitted, leaving Petersburg (Петербург, Peterburg). In common parlance Russians may drop "-burg" (-бург) as well, leaving only Peter (Питер, pronounced as "Piter"; IPA: [ˈpʲitʲɪr]).

Saint Petersburg was founded by Tsar
Tsar
Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism...

 Peter the Great on . From 1713 to 1728 and from 1732 to 1918, Saint Petersburg was the Imperial capital of Russia. In 1918 the central government bodies moved from Saint Petersburg (then named Petrograd) to Moscow. It is Russia's second largest city after Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 with 4.8 million inhabitants. Saint Petersburg is a major European cultural centre, and an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea
Ports of the Baltic Sea
There are over 200 ports in the Baltic Sea. When only those ports that handle minimum of 50,000 tonnes of cargo annually, and where at least part of this cargo is international, are taken into account the number of ports reaches approximately 190. In 2008, the total amount of cargo handled in the...

.

Saint Petersburg is often described as the most Western
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

 city of Russia. Among cities of the world with over one million people, Saint Petersburg is the northernmost. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments
Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments
Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments is the name used by UNESCO when it collectively designated the historic core of the Russian city of St...

 constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

. Saint Petersburg is also home to The Hermitage
Hermitage Museum
The State Hermitage is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. One of the largest and oldest museums of the world, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been opened to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display,...

, the largest art museum in the world. A large number of foreign consulates, international corporations
Multinational corporation
A multi national corporation or enterprise , is a corporation or an enterprise that manages production or delivers services in more than one country. It can also be referred to as an international corporation...

, banks and other businesses are located in Saint Petersburg.

History


On May , during the Great Northern War
Great Northern War
The Great Northern War was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in northern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The initial leaders of the anti-Swedish alliance were Peter I the Great of Russia, Frederick IV of...

, Peter the Great captured the Swedish
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 fortress of Nyenskans on the Neva
Neva River
The Neva is a river in northwestern Russia flowing from Lake Ladoga through the western part of Leningrad Oblast to the Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland. Despite its modest length , it is the third largest river in Europe in terms of average discharge .The Neva is the only river flowing from Lake...

 river in Ingria
Ingria
Ingria is a historical region in the eastern Baltic, now part of Russia, comprising the southern bank of the river Neva, between the Gulf of Finland, the Narva River, Lake Peipus in the west, and Lake Ladoga and the western bank of the Volkhov river in the east...

. On May , closer to the estuary
Estuary
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....

 (5 km/3 miles inland from the gulf
Gulf of Finland
The Gulf of Finland is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland and Estonia all the way to Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into it. Other major cities around the gulf include Helsinki and Tallinn...

), on Zayachy (Hare) Island
Zayachy Island
Zayachy Island is an island in the Neva River in St. Petersburg, Russia...

, he laid down the Peter and Paul Fortress
Peter and Paul Fortress
The Peter and Paul Fortress is the original citadel of St. Petersburg, Russia, founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and built to Domenico Trezzini's designs from 1706-1740.-History:...

, which became the first brick and stone building of the new city.

The city was built by conscripted peasants
Serfdom
Serfdom is the status of peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to Manorialism. It was a condition of bondage or modified slavery which developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe and lasted to the mid-19th century...

 from all over Russia; a number of Swedish prisoners of war were also involved in some years under the supervision of Alexander Menshikov
Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov
Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov was a Russian statesman, whose official titles included Generalissimus, Prince of the Russian Empire and Duke of Izhora , Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, Duke of Cosel. A highly appreciated associate and friend of Tsar Peter the Great, he was the de facto ruler of...

. Tens of thousands of serfs died building the city. Later the city became the centre of Saint Petersburg Governorate
Saint Petersburg Governorate
Saint Petersburg Governorate , or Government of Saint Petersburg, was an administrative division of the Russian Empire, which existed in 1708–1927....

. Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712, 9 years before the Treaty of Nystad
Treaty of Nystad
The Treaty of Nystad was the last peace treaty of the Great Northern War. It was concluded between the Tsardom of Russia and Swedish Empire on 30 August / 10 September 1721 in the then Swedish town of Nystad , after Sweden had settled with the other parties in Stockholm and Frederiksborg.During...

 of 1721 ended the war.

During the first few years of its existence the city grew spontaneously around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress. However, Saint Petersburg soon started to develop according to a plan. By 1716 Domenico Trezzini
Domenico Trezzini
Domenico Trezzini was a Swiss Italian architect who elaborated the Petrine Baroque style of Russian architecture.Domenico was born in Astano, near Lugano, in the Italian-speaking Ticino . He probably studied in Rome...

 had elaborated a project whereby the city centre would be located on Vasilyevsky Island and shaped by a rectangular grid of canals. The project was not completed, but is still evident in the layout of the streets. In 1716 Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond
Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond
Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond was a French architect and garden designer who became the chief architect of Saint Petersburg in 1716.- Career in France :...

 was appointed chief architect
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

 of Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great.

The style of Petrine Baroque
Petrine Baroque
Petrine Baroque is a name applied by art historians to a style of Baroque architecture and decoration favoured by Peter the Great and employed to design buildings in the newly-founded Russian capital, Saint Petersburg, under this monarch and his immediate successors.Unlike contemporaneous Naryshkin...

, developed by Trezzini and other architects and exemplified by such buildings as the Menshikov Palace
Menshikov Palace
The Menshikov Palace is a Petrine Baroque edifice in Saint Petersburg, situated on Universitetskaya Embankment of the Bolshaya Neva on Vasilyevsky Island. It was the first stone building in the city...

, Kunstkamera
Kunstkamera
The Kunstkamera was the first museum in Russia. Established by Peter the Great and completed in 1727, the Kunstkammer Building hosts the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, with a collection of almost 2,000,000 items...

, Peter and Paul Cathedral
Peter and Paul Cathedral
The Peter and Paul Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox cathedral located inside the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is the first and oldest landmark in St. Petersburg, built between 1712 and 1733 on Zayachy Island along the Neva River. Both the cathedral and the fortress were...

, Twelve Collegia
Twelve Collegia
The Twelve Collegia, or Twelve Colleges is the largest edifice from the Petrine era still extant in Saint Petersburg. It was designed by Domenico Trezzini and Theodor Schwertfeger and built from 1722 to 1744.- Description :...

, became prominent in the city architecture of the early 18th century. In 1724 the Academy of Sciences
Russian Academy of Sciences
The Russian Academy of Sciences consists of the national academy of Russia and a network of scientific research institutes from across the Russian Federation as well as auxiliary scientific and social units like libraries, publishers and hospitals....

, University
Saint Petersburg State University
Saint Petersburg State University is a Russian federal state-owned higher education institution based in Saint Petersburg and one of the oldest and largest universities in Russia....

 and Academic Gymnasium were established in Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great.

In 1725 Peter died at age 52. His push for modernisation of Russia had met opposition from the old-fashioned Russian nobility
Russian nobility
The Russian nobility arose in the 14th century and essentially governed Russia until the October Revolution of 1917.The Russian word for nobility, Dvoryanstvo , derives from the Russian word dvor , meaning the Court of a prince or duke and later, of the tsar. A nobleman is called dvoryanin...

 — resulting in several attempts on his life and a treason case involving his own son. Thus, in 1728, Peter II of Russia
Peter II of Russia
Pyotr II Alekseyevich was Emperor of Russia from 1727 until his death. He was the only son of Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich, son of Peter I of Russia by his first wife Eudoxia Lopukhina, and Princess Charlotte, daughter of Duke Louis Rudolph of Brunswick-Lüneburg and sister-in-law of Charles VI,...

 moved his seat back to Moscow. But four years later, in 1732, under Empress Anna of Russia
Anna of Russia
Anna of Russia or Anna Ivanovna reigned as Duchess of Courland from 1711 to 1730 and as Empress of Russia from 1730 to 1740.-Accession to the throne:Anna was the daughter of Ivan V of Russia, as well as the niece of Peter the Great...

, Saint Petersburg again became the capital of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. It remained the seat of the Romanov Dynasty and the Imperial Court of the Russian Tzars, as well as the seat of the Russian government, for another 186 years until the communist revolution of 1917.

In 1736–1737 the city suffered from catastrophic fires. To rebuild the damaged boroughs, a new plan was commissioned in 1737 by a committee under Burkhard Christoph von Münnich
Burkhard Christoph von Munnich
Count Burkhard Christoph von Münnich was a Danish-born German soldier-engineer who became a field marshal and political figure in the Russian Empire. He was the major Russian Army reformer and founder of several elite military formations during the reign of Anna of Russia. As a statesman, he is...

. The city was divided into five boroughs, and the city centre was moved to the Admiralty borough, situated on the east bank between the Neva and Fontanka
Fontanka
Fontanka is a left branch of the river Neva, which flows through the whole of Central Saint Petersburg, Russia. Its length is 6,700 meters, its width is up to 70 meters, and its depth is up to 3,5 meters. The Fontanka Embankment is lined with the former private residences of Russian nobility.This...

.


It developed along three radial streets, which meet at the Admiralty building
Admiralty building, Saint Petersburg
The Admiralty building is the former headquarters of the Admiralty Board in St. Petersburg, russia.-History:The building you see now was re-built in the nineteenth century to support the Tsar's maritime ambitions. The original design was a fortified ship yars which was later surrounded by four...

 and are now known as Nevsky Prospekt
Nevsky Prospekt
Nevsky Avenue |Prospekt]]) is the main street in the city of St. Petersburg, Russia. Planned by Peter the Great as beginning of the road to Novgorod and Moscow, the avenue runs from the Admiralty to the Moscow Railway Station and, after making a turn at Vosstaniya Square, to the Alexander...

 (which is now perceived as the main street of the city), Gorokhovaya Street
Gorokhovaya Street
Gorokhovaya Street is a north-south thoroughfare in the Central Business District of Saint Petersburg.Gorokhovaya Street extends from the Admiralty and runs south, crossing the Moyka River and the Griboyedov Canal, crossing the Garden Street near Sennaya Square. Running south, crossing Fontanka...

 and Voznesensky Prospekt
Voznesensky Prospekt
Voznesensky Prospekt is a 1.8 km long street in Admiralteysky District of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Crossing Saint Isaac's Square, the Moika and Griboyedov Canal , the street spans from Admiralteysky Prospekt to Izmaylovsky Bridge across Fontanka, where it turns into Izmaylovsky Prospekt...

. A Baroque style
Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

 dominated the city architecture during the first sixty years, culminating in the Elizabethan Baroque, represented most notably by Bartolomeo Rastrelli
Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli
Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli was an Italian architect naturalized Russian. He developed an easily recognizable style of Late Baroque, both sumptuous and majestic...

 with such buildings as the Winter Palace
Winter Palace
The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was, from 1732 to 1917, the official residence of the Russian monarchs. Situated between the Palace Embankment and the Palace Square, adjacent to the site of Peter the Great's original Winter Palace, the present and fourth Winter Palace was built and...

. In the 1760s Baroque architecture was succeeded by neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

.
The Commission of Stone Buildings of Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 and Saint Petersburg established in 1762 ruled that no structure in the city be higher than the Winter Palace and prohibited spacing between buildings. During the reign of Catherine the Great in the 1760s–1780s, the banks of the Neva were lined with granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

 embankments.

However, it was not until 1850 that the first permanent bridge across the Neva, Blagoveshchensky Bridge, was allowed to open. Before that, only pontoon bridge
Pontoon bridge
A pontoon bridge or floating bridge is a bridge that floats on water and in which barge- or boat-like pontoons support the bridge deck and its dynamic loads. While pontoon bridges are usually temporary structures, some are used for long periods of time...

s were allowed. Obvodny Canal
Obvodny Canal
Obvodny Canal is the longest canal in Saint Petersburg, Russia, which in the 19th century served as the southern limit of the city. It is 8 km long and flows from the Neva River near Alexander Nevsky Lavra to the Yekaterinhofka not far from the sea port. The canal was dug in 1769-1780 and 1805-1833...

 (dug in 1769–1833) became the southern limit of the city.

Among the most prominent neoclassical architects in Saint Petersburg (including those working within the Empire style) were Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe
Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe
thumb|St. Petersburg's [[Imperial Academy of Arts]]Jean-Baptiste Michel Vallin de la Mothe was a French architect whose major career was spent in St...

 (Imperial Academy of Arts
Imperial Academy of Arts
The Russian Academy of Arts, informally known as the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, was founded in 1757 by Ivan Shuvalov under the name Academy of the Three Noblest Arts. Catherine the Great renamed it the Imperial Academy of Arts and commissioned a new building, completed 25 years later in 1789...

, Small Hermitage
Hermitage Museum
The State Hermitage is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. One of the largest and oldest museums of the world, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been opened to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display,...

, Gostiny Dvor, New Holland Arch
New Holland Island
New Holland Island in Saint Petersburg was created in 1720, when the newly built Kryukov Canal and Admiralty Canal connected the Moika River with the Neva...

, Catholic Church of St. Catherine
Catholic Church of St. Catherine
The Catholic Church of St. Catherine in St. Petersburg is one of the oldest Catholic churches in Russia. It is part of the Archdiocese of Moscow headed by H.E. Msgr. Paolo Pezzi. It is located on the Nevsky Prospekt.- Construction :...

), Antonio Rinaldi (Marble Palace
Marble Palace
Marble Palace is one of the first Neoclassical palaces in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is situated between the Field of Mars and Palace Quay, slightly to the east from New Michael Palace....

), Yury Felten
Yury Felten
Yury Matveyevich Felten was a court architect to Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia.Yuri Felten was born Georg Veldten, into a family of German immigrants in Russia. His father worked for the Russian Academy of Sciences...

 (Old Hermitage, Chesme Church
Chesme Church
The Chesme Church , also called the Church of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, is a small Russian Orthodox church at 12 Lensoveta Street, in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It was built by the Russian court architect Yury Felten in 1780 at the direction of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia...

), Giacomo Quarenghi
Giacomo Quarenghi
Giacomo Quarenghi was the foremost and most prolific practitioner of Palladian architecture in Imperial Russia, particularly in Saint Petersburg.- Career in Italy :...

 (Academy of Sciences, Hermitage Theatre
Hermitage Theatre
The Hermitage Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia is one of five Hermitage buildings lining the Palace Embankment of the Neva River.The palatial theatre was built between 1783 and 1787 at the behest of Catherine the Great to a Palladian design by Giacomo Quarenghi...

, Yusupov Palace
Moika Palace
The Moika Palace or Yusupov Palace was once the primary residence in St. Petersburg, Russia of the House of Yusupov. The building was the site of Grigori Rasputin's murder in 1916....

), Andrey Voronikhin
Andrey Voronikhin
Andrey Nikiforovich Voronikhin was a Russian architect and painter. As a representative of classicism he was also one of the founders of the monumental Russian Empire style...

 (Mining Institute
Saint Petersburg Mining Institute
The G. V. Plekhanov Saint Petersburg State Mining Institute and Technical University is Russia's oldest higher education institute devoted to engineering...

, Kazan Cathedral), Andreyan Zakharov
Andreyan Zakharov
Andreyan Zakharov was a Russian architect and representative of the Empire style. His designs also alternated neoclassicism with eclecticism. He was born to a family that was employed by the Admiralty board, and his greatest work was his renovation and expansion of the Admiralty building...

 (Admiralty building
Admiralty building, Saint Petersburg
The Admiralty building is the former headquarters of the Admiralty Board in St. Petersburg, russia.-History:The building you see now was re-built in the nineteenth century to support the Tsar's maritime ambitions. The original design was a fortified ship yars which was later surrounded by four...

), Jean-François Thomas de Thomon
Jean-François Thomas de Thomon
Jean-François Thomas de Thomon was a French neoclassical architect who worked in Eastern Europe in 1791–1813. Thomas de Thomon was the author of Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange and Rostral Columns on the spit of Vasilievsky Island in Saint Petersburg and the first building of the Odessa...

 (Spit of Vasilievsky Island), Carlo Rossi
Carlo Rossi (architect)
Carlo di Giovanni Rossi, was an Italian architect, who worked the major portion of his life in Russia. He was the author of many classical buildings and architectural ensembles in Saint Petersburg and its environments...

 (Yelagin Palace
Yelagin Palace
Yelagin Palace completed in 1822 is a palace in Saint Petersburg which is situated on Yelagin Island in the Neva River and served as a royal summer palace during the reign of Tsar Alexander I...

, Mikhailovsky Palace
Russian Museum
The State Russian Museum is the largest depository of Russian fine art in St Petersburg....

, Alexandrine Theatre, Senate and Synod Buildings, General Staff Building
General Staff Building (Saint Petersburg)
The General Staff Building is an edifice with a 580 m long bow-shaped facade, situated on Palace Square in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in front of the Winter Palace.The building was designed by Carlo Rossi in the Empire style and built in 1819-1829...

, design of many streets and squares), Vasily Stasov
Vasily Stasov
Vasily Petrovich Stasov was a Russian architect.-Biography:Stasov was born in Moscow....

 (Moscow Triumphal Gate, Trinity Cathedral), and Auguste de Montferrand
Auguste de Montferrand
Auguste de Montferrand was a French Neoclassical architect who worked primarily in Russia. His two best known works are the Saint Isaac's Cathedral and the Alexander Column in St. Petersburg.-Family:...

 (Saint Isaac's Cathedral
Saint Isaac's Cathedral
Saint Isaac's Cathedral or Isaakievskiy Sobor in Saint Petersburg, Russia is the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in the city...

, Alexander Column
Alexander Column
The Alexander Column also known as Alexandrian Column , is the focal point of Palace Square in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The monument was erected after the Russian victory in the war with Napoleon's France...

). In 1810 the first engineering Higher learning institution, the Saint Petersburg Main military engineering School
Military Engineering-Technical University
The Saint Petersburg Military Engineering-Technical University , previously known as the Saint Petersburg Nikolaevsky Engineering Academy, was established in 1810 under Alexander I...

 were established in Saint Petersburg by Alexander I
Alexander I
Alexander I may refer to:*Alexander I of Macedon, king of Macedon 495–450 BC*Alexander I of Epirus King of Epirus about 342 BC*Pope Alexander I, Pope from 106 to 115*Alexander I of Scotland Alexander I may refer to:*Alexander I of Macedon, king of Macedon 495–450 BC*Alexander I of Epirus (370...

. The victory over Napoleonic France
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...

 in the Patriotic War of 1812
French invasion of Russia
The French invasion of Russia of 1812 was a turning point in the Napoleonic Wars. It reduced the French and allied invasion forces to a tiny fraction of their initial strength and triggered a major shift in European politics as it dramatically weakened French hegemony in Europe...

 was commemorated with many monuments, including the Alexander Column
Alexander Column
The Alexander Column also known as Alexandrian Column , is the focal point of Palace Square in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The monument was erected after the Russian victory in the war with Napoleon's France...

 by Montferrand, erected in 1834, and the Narva Triumphal Gate
Narva Triumphal Gate
The Narva Triumphal Arch was erected in the vast Narva Square , Saint Petersburg, in 1814 to commemorate the Russian victory over Napoleon. The wooden structure was constructed on the Narva highway with the purpose of greeting the soldiers who were returning from abroad after their victory over...

.
In 1825 the suppressed Decembrist revolt
Decembrist revolt
The Decembrist revolt or the Decembrist uprising took place in Imperial Russia on 14 December , 1825. Russian army officers led about 3,000 soldiers in a protest against Nicholas I's assumption of the throne after his elder brother Constantine removed himself from the line of succession...

 against Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I , was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855, known as one of the most reactionary of the Russian monarchs. On the eve of his death, the Russian Empire reached its historical zenith spanning over 20 million square kilometers...

 took place on the Senate Square in the city, a day after he assumed the throne.

By the 1840s neoclassical architecture had given way to various romanticist styles, which dominated until the 1890s, represented by such architects as Andrei Stackenschneider (Mariinsky Palace
Mariinsky Palace
Mariinsky Palace, also known as Marie Palace , was the last Neoclassical imperial palace to be constructed in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It was built between 1839 and 1844 to a design by the court architect Andrei Stackensneider....

, Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
Belosselsky-Belozersky Palace is a Neo-Baroque palace at the intersection of the Fontanka River and Nevsky Prospekt in Saint Petersburg, Russia...

, Nicholas Palace
Nicholas Palace
Nicholas Palace was one of several St Petersburg palaces designed by Andreas Stackensneider for the children of Nicholas I of Russia...

, New Michael Palace) and Konstantin Thon
Konstantin Thon
Konstantin Andreyevich Thon, also spelled Ton was an official architect of Imperial Russia during the reign of Nicholas I. His major works include the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the Grand Kremlin Palace and the Kremlin Armoury in Moscow....

 (Moskovsky Rail Terminal).

With the emancipation of the peasants
Emancipation reform of 1861
The Emancipation Reform of 1861 in Russia was the first and most important of liberal reforms effected during the reign of Alexander II of Russia. The reform, together with a related reform in 1861, amounted to the liquidation of serf dependence previously suffered by peasants of the Russian Empire...

 undertaken by Alexander II
Alexander II of Russia
Alexander II , also known as Alexander the Liberator was the Emperor of the Russian Empire from 3 March 1855 until his assassination in 1881...

 in 1861 and an industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, the influx of former peasants into the capital increased greatly. Poor boroughs spontaneously emerged on the outskirts of the city. Saint Petersburg surpassed Moscow in population and industrial growth and grew into one of the largest industrial cities in Europe, with a major naval base (in Kronstadt
Kronstadt
Kronstadt , also spelled Kronshtadt, Cronstadt |crown]]" and Stadt for "city"); is a municipal town in Kronshtadtsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located on Kotlin Island, west of Saint Petersburg proper near the head of the Gulf of Finland. Population: It is also...

), river and sea port.

The names of saints Peter
Saint Peter
Saint Peter or Simon Peter was an early Christian leader, who is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The son of John or of Jonah and from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, his brother Andrew was also an apostle...

 and Paul, bestowed upon original city's citadel
Peter and Paul Fortress
The Peter and Paul Fortress is the original citadel of St. Petersburg, Russia, founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and built to Domenico Trezzini's designs from 1706-1740.-History:...

 and its cathedral
Peter and Paul Cathedral
The Peter and Paul Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox cathedral located inside the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is the first and oldest landmark in St. Petersburg, built between 1712 and 1733 on Zayachy Island along the Neva River. Both the cathedral and the fortress were...

 (from 1725 – a burial vault
Burial vault (tomb)
A burial vault is a structural underground tomb.It is a stone or brick-lined underground space or 'burial' chamber for the interment of a dead body or bodies. They were originally and are still often vaulted and usually have stone slab entrances...

 of Russian emperors) coincidentally were mirrored by the names of the first two assassinated Russian Emperors, Peter III
Peter III of Russia
Peter III was Emperor of Russia for six months in 1762. He was very pro-Prussian, which made him an unpopular leader. He was supposedly assassinated as a result of a conspiracy led by his wife, who succeeded him to the throne as Catherine II.-Early life and character:Peter was born in Kiel, in...

 (1762, supposedly a conspiracy led by his wife, Catherine) and Paul I
Paul I of Russia
Paul I was the Emperor of Russia between 1796 and 1801. He also was the 72nd Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta .-Childhood:...

 (1801, Nicholas Zubov and other conspirators who brought to power Alexander I
Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia , served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and the first Russian King of Poland from 1815 to 1825. He was also the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland and Lithuania....

, the son of their victim). The third emperor's assassination took place in Petersburg in 1881 when Alexander II
Alexander II of Russia
Alexander II , also known as Alexander the Liberator was the Emperor of the Russian Empire from 3 March 1855 until his assassination in 1881...

 fell victim of narodniki (see the Church of the Savior on Blood
Church of the Savior on Blood
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood Khram Spasa na Krovi is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg, Russia. It is also variously called the Church on Spilt Blood and the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ , its official name....

).

1900 to present



The Revolution of 1905 began in Saint Petersburg and spread rapidly into the provinces.

In March 1917, during the February Revolution
February Revolution
The February Revolution of 1917 was the first of two revolutions in Russia in 1917. Centered around the then capital Petrograd in March . Its immediate result was the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, the end of the Romanov dynasty, and the end of the Russian Empire...

Nicholas II abdicated both for himself and on behalf of his son, thus putting an end to the Russian monarchy.
The October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

which ultimately brought Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

 to power, broke out in Petrograd on November 7–8, 1917 (months mismatch due to Julian
Julian calendar
The Julian calendar began in 45 BC as a reform of the Roman calendar by Julius Caesar. It was chosen after consultation with the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria and was probably designed to approximate the tropical year .The Julian calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months...

/Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

 differences). After that the city acquired a new descriptive name, "the city of three revolutions" which recalls the fact that all these three major developments in the political history of Russia of the early 20th century occurred here.

In September and October 1917, German troops invaded
Operation Albion
Operation Albion was the German land and naval operation in September-October 1917 to invade and occupy the Estonian islands of Saaremaa , Hiiumaa and Muhu , then part of the Russian Republic...

 the West Estonian archipelago thus threatening Petrograd with bombardment and invasion. Thus on March 12, 1918, the Soviets transferred the government to Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

. During the ensuing Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 in 1919 general Yudenich advancing from Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

 repeated the attempt to capture the city, but Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

 mobilised the army and forced him to retreat.

On January 26, 1924, five days after Lenin's death, Petrograd was renamed Leningrad. Later some streets and other toponyms were renamed accordingly. The city has over 230 places associated with the life and activities of Lenin. Some of them were turned into museums, as well as cruiser Aurora – a symbol of the October Revolution and the oldest ship in the Russian Navy.

In the 1920s–1930s the poor outskirts were reconstructed into regularly planned boroughs. Constructivist architecture
Constructivist architecture
Constructivist architecture was a form of modern architecture that flourished in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and early 1930s. It combined advanced technology and engineering with an avowedly Communist social purpose. Although it was divided into several competing factions, the movement produced...

 flourished around that time. Housing was nationalized; many 'bourgeois' apartments were so large, that many people who had previously lived in slums now shared these 'communal' apartments (kommunalkas). By the 1930s, 68% of the population lived in such housing. In 1935 a new general plan was outlined, whereby the city should expand to the south. Constructivism was rejected in favor of a more pompous Stalinist architecture
Stalinist architecture
Stalinist architecture , also referred to as Stalinist Gothic, or Socialist Classicism, is a term given to architecture of the Soviet Union between 1933, when Boris Iofan's draft for Palace of the Soviets was officially approved, and 1955, when Nikita Khrushchev condemned "excesses" of the past...

. Moving the city centre further from the border with Finland, Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 adopted a plan to build a new city hall with a huge adjacent square at the southern end of Moskovsky Prospekt
Moskovsky Prospekt
Moskovsky Prospekt is a 10 km-long prospekt in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It runs from Sennaya Square and Sadovaya Street, to the Victory Square, where it splits into Pulkovo Highway and Moscow Highway. It crosses Fontanka River, Zagorodny Prospekt, Obvodny Canal, and Ligovsky Prospekt...

 which could thereby become a new main street of Leningrad. However, after the war, the Soviet-Finnish border was moved to the north, and Nevsky Prospekt with the Palace Square maintained the functions and the role of a city center.

In December 1931 Leningrad was administratively separated from Leningrad Oblast
Leningrad Oblast
Leningrad Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . It was established on August 1, 1927, although it was not until 1946 that the oblast's borders had been mostly settled in their present position...

. At that time it included Leningrad Suburban District, some parts of which were transferred back to Leningrad Oblast in 1936 and turned into Vsevolozhsky District
Vsevolozhsky District
Vsevolozhsky District is a district of Leningrad Oblast, Russia, located in the southeastern part of the Karelian Isthmus. The area of the district is . Its administrative center is the town of Vsevolozhsk. District's population:...

, Krasnoselsky District
Krasnoselsky District, Saint Petersburg
Krasnoselsky District, Saint Petersburg is an administrative and municipal district , one of the 18 in Saint Petersburg, Russia....

, Pargolovsky District and Slutsky District (renamed Pavlovsky District in 1944).

On December 1, 1934, Sergey Kirov
Sergey Kirov
Sergei Mironovich Kirov , born Sergei Mironovich Kostrikov, was a prominent early Bolshevik leader in the Soviet Union. Kirov rose through the Communist Party ranks to become head of the Party organization in Leningrad...

, popular communist leader of Leningrad, was assassinated, which became the pretext for the Great Purge
Great Purge
The Great Purge was a series of campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin from 1936 to 1938...

.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Leningrad was besieged by German forces
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

. The siege lasted 872 days from September 1941 to January 1944. The Siege of Leningrad
Siege of Leningrad
The Siege of Leningrad, also known as the Leningrad Blockade was a prolonged military operation resulting from the failure of the German Army Group North to capture Leningrad, now known as Saint Petersburg, in the Eastern Front theatre of World War II. It started on 8 September 1941, when the last...

 was one of the longest, most destructive, and most lethal sieges of a major city in modern history
Modern history
Modern history, or the modern era, describes the historical timeline after the Middle Ages. Modern history can be further broken down into the early modern period and the late modern period after the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution...

. It isolated the city from most supplies except those provided through the Road of Life
Road of Life
The Road of Life was the ice road transport route across the frozen Lake Ladoga, which provided the only access to the besieged city of Leningrad in the winter months during 1941–1944 while the perimeter in the siege was maintained by the German Army Group North and the Finnish Defence Forces. ...

 across Lake Ladoga
Lake Ladoga
Lake Ladoga is a freshwater lake located in the Republic of Karelia and Leningrad Oblast in northwestern Russia, not far from Saint Petersburg. It is the largest lake in Europe, and the 14th largest lake by area in the world.-Geography:...

, and more than a million civilians died, mainly from starvation. Many others were eventually evacuated or escaped by themselves, so the city became largely depopulated.
On May 1, 1945 Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

, in his Supreme Commander Order #20, named Leningrad, alongside Stalingrad, Sevastopol
Sevastopol
Sevastopol is a city on rights of administrative division of Ukraine, located on the Black Sea coast of the Crimea peninsula. It has a population of 342,451 . Sevastopol is the second largest port in Ukraine, after the Port of Odessa....

, and Odessa
Odessa
Odessa or Odesa is the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the northwest shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,029,000 .The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement,...

, hero cities
Hero City
Hero City is a Soviet honorary title awarded for outstanding heroism during the German-Soviet War of 1941 to 1945. It was awarded to twelve cities of the Soviet Union. In addition the Brest Fortress was awarded an equivalent title of Hero-Fortress...

 of the war. However, a statute bestowing the honorary title of 'Hero City' was only officially adopted on 8 May 1965 (the 20th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War), during the Brezhnev era
Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev  – 10 November 1982) was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , presiding over the country from 1964 until his death in 1982. His eighteen-year term as General Secretary was second only to that of Joseph Stalin in...

. The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet
Presidium of the Supreme Soviet
The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet was a Soviet governmental institution – a permanent body of the Supreme Soviets . This body was of the all-Union level , as well as in all Soviet republics and autonomous republics...

 of the USSR awarded Leningrad as a Hero City the Order of Lenin
Order of Lenin
The Order of Lenin , named after the leader of the Russian October Revolution, was the highest decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union...

 and the Gold Star medal 'for the heroic resistance of the city and tenacity of the survivors of the Siege'. The Hero-City Obelisk
Hero-City Obelisk
The Hero-City Obelisk is located in Vosstaniya Square in Saint Petersburg, Russia, which was known as Leningrad from 1924 to 1991. It was installed on Victory Day of May 1985 to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the Red Army's victory the in the German-Soviet War. The monument was designed...

 bearing the Gold Star sign was installed later, in April 1985.

In October 1946 some territories along the northern coast of the Gulf of Finland
Gulf of Finland
The Gulf of Finland is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland and Estonia all the way to Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into it. Other major cities around the gulf include Helsinki and Tallinn...

, which had passed to the USSR from Finland in 1940 under the peace treaty following the Winter War
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

 were transferred from Leningrad Oblast to Leningrad and divided into Sestroretsky District
Sestroretsk
Sestroretsk is a municipal town in Kurortny District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, the Sestra River and the Sestroretskiy Lake northwest of St. Petersburg...

 and Kurortny District
Kurortny District
Kurortny District is a district of Saint Petersburg, Russia, located on the Karelian Isthmus along the northern shore of the Gulf of Finland. Population:...

, including the town of Terijoki
Zelenogorsk, Saint Petersburg
Zelenogorsk , ' before 1948, is a municipal town in Kurortny District of the federal city of Saint Petersburg, Russia, located in part of the Karelian Isthmus on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, and a station on the St. Petersburg-Vyborg railroad. It is located about northwest of central Saint...

 (renamed Zelenogorsk
Zelenogorsk
Zelenogorsk may refer to one of the following:*Zelenogorsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai, a town in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia*Zelenogorsk, Saint Petersburg, a municipal town in Russia under jurisdiction of Saint Petersburg...

 in 1948). Leningrad and many of its suburbs were rebuilt over the post-war decades, partially according to pre-war plans. The 1948 general plan for Leningrad featured radial urban development
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

 in the north as well as in the south. In 1953 Pavlovsky District
Pavlovsky District
Pavlovsky District is the name of several administrative and municipal districts in Russia. The district names are generally related to or derived from the male first name Pavel.-Districts of the federal subjects:...

 in Leningrad Oblast was abolished, and parts of its territory, including Pavlovsk, merged with Leningrad. In 1954 the settlements Levashovo, Pargolovo and Pesochny
Pesochny
Pesochny is a municipal settlement in Kurortny District of the federal city of St. Petersurg, Russia, located on the Karelian Isthmus, on the northern shore of the Gulf of Finland. Population:...

 merged with Leningrad.

Leningrad gave its name to the Leningrad Affair
Leningrad Affair
The Leningrad Affair, or Leningrad case , was a series of criminal cases fabricated in the late 1940s–early 1950s in order to accuse a number of prominent members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union of treason and intention to create an anti-Soviet organization out of the Leningrad Party...

 (1949–1952), a notable event in the postwar political processes in the USSR. A product of clan rivalries (where one side was represented by the leaders of the city Communist Party
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the only legal, ruling political party in the Soviet Union and one of the largest communist organizations in the world...

 organization – one of the most significant in the country), it afflicted only an elite circle, so the victims of this affair were comparatively few. 23 leaders were sentenced to death, 181 to prison or exile (exonerated in 1954). About 2 thousand were expelled from the party and Komsomol and removed from leadership positions.

The Leningrad Metro
Saint Petersburg Metro
The Saint Petersburg Metro is the underground railway system in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, Russia. It has been open since November 15, 1955.Formerly known as the V.I...

 underground rapid transit system
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

, designed before the war, opened in 1955 with its first eight stations decorated with marble and bronze. However, after the death of Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

, the perceived ornamental excesses of the Stalinist architecture were abandoned. In the 1960s–1980s, as many new residential boroughs were built on the outskirts with few series of functionalist
Functionalism (architecture)
Functionalism, in architecture, is the principle that architects should design a building based on the purpose of that building. This statement is less self-evident than it first appears, and is a matter of confusion and controversy within the profession, particularly in regard to modern...

 apartment blocks identical to each other, many families moved there from kommunalkas in the city centre in order to live in separate apartments.
On June 12, 1991, simultaneously with the first Russian presidential elections
Russian presidential election, 1991
Presidential elections were held in the Russian Federation on 12 June 1991. It was the first presidential election in the country's history. Boris Yeltsin was elected President of the Russian SFSR. His running-mate, Alexander Rutskoi, became Vice-President....

 the city authorities arranged the mayoral elections and the referendum upon the name of the city. The turnout was 65%; 66.13% of the total count of votes went to Anatoly Sobchak
Anatoly Sobchak
Anatoly Alexandrovich Sobchak was a Russian politician, a co-author of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the first democratically elected mayor of Saint Petersburg, and a mentor and teacher of both Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev....

 who became the first democratically elected mayor of the city. Meanwhile the economy conditions continued to deteriorate. For the first time since 1940s the food rationing
Rationing
Rationing is the controlled distribution of scarce resources, goods, or services. Rationing controls the size of the ration, one's allotted portion of the resources being distributed on a particular day or at a particular time.- In economics :...

 was introduced, and the city received humanitarian food aid
World Food Programme
The World Food Programme is the food aid branch of the United Nations, and the world's largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger worldwide. WFP provides food, on average, to 90 million people per year, 58 million of whom are children...

 from abroad. This dramatic time was being depicted in photographic series of Russian photographer Alexey Titarenko
Alexey Titarenko
Alexey Viktorovich Titarenko is a Soviet and Russian photographer and artist.-Biography:At age 15, he became the youngest member of the independent photo club Zerkalo [Mirror]...

. In 1995 a northern section of the Kirovsko-Vyborgskaya Line of the Saint Petersburg Metro
Saint Petersburg Metro
The Saint Petersburg Metro is the underground railway system in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, Russia. It has been open since November 15, 1955.Formerly known as the V.I...

 was cut off by underground flooding, thus creating a major obstacle to the city development for almost ten years.
In 1996 Anatoly Sobchak
Anatoly Sobchak
Anatoly Alexandrovich Sobchak was a Russian politician, a co-author of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the first democratically elected mayor of Saint Petersburg, and a mentor and teacher of both Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev....

 was defeated by Vladimir Yakovlev
Vladimir Anatolyevich Yakovlev
Vladimir Anatolyevich Yakovlev is a Russian politician, currently retired.In 1996–2003, he was the Governor of Saint Petersburg. In 2003-2004, prior to the Beslan school hostage crisis, he was Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Southern Federal District...

 in the elections of the head of the city administration. The title of the city head was changed from "mayor" to "governor". In 2000 Yakovlev was reelected again. His second term expired in 2004; the long-awaited restoration of broken subway connection was expected to finish by that time. However in 2003 Yakovlev suddenly resigned, leaving a governor's office to Valentina Matviyenko
Valentina Matviyenko
Valentina Ivanovna Matviyenko , born 7 April 1949 in the Ukrainian SSR), is currently the highest-ranking female politician in Russia, the former governor of Saint Petersburg and the current Chairman of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation...

.

After that the law on the City Governor was changed, breaking the tradition of its democratic election by a universal suffrage, and in 2006 Matvienko was reapproved as governor by the city legislature
Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg
The Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg is the legislative power body of Saint Petersburg, a federal subject of Russia, which has existed since 1994 and succeeded the Leningrad Council of People Deputies...

. The residential building had intensified again, real estate prices
Real estate pricing
Real estate pricing deals with the valuation of real estate and all the standard methods of determining the price of fixed assets apply....

 inflated greatly which caused many new problems for the preserving of the historical part of the city.

Although the central part of the city is watched by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 (there are about 8,000 architectural monuments in Petersburg), the safety of its historical and architectural environment became disputable since after 2005 the demolition of older buildings in the historical centre went into practice. In 2006 Gazprom
Gazprom
Open Joint Stock Company Gazprom is the largest extractor of natural gas in the world and the largest Russian company. Its headquarters are in Cheryomushki District, South-Western Administrative Okrug, Moscow...

 announced an ambitious project to erect a 396-meter skyscraper
Okhta Center
Okhta Centre , known before March 2007 as Gazprom City , is a construction project of a business centre in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It will include the first supertall skyscraper in the city, museums and a concert hall...

 opposite to Smolny
Smolny
The Smolny Institute is a Palladian edifice in St Petersburg that has played a major part in the history of Russia.The building was commissioned from Giacomo Quarenghi by the Society for Education of Noble Maidens and constructed in 1806-08 to house the Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens,...

, which could result in irretrievable loss of the unique line of Petersburg landscape. Urgent protests of citizen and prominent public figures of Russia against this project were not considered by Governor Valentina Matvienko and the city authorities until December 2010, when after the statement of President Dmitry Medvedev
Dmitry Medvedev
Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev is the third President of the Russian Federation.Born to a family of academics, Medvedev graduated from the Law Department of Leningrad State University in 1987. He defended his dissertation in 1990 and worked as a docent at his alma mater, now renamed to Saint...

 it was finally decided to find a more appropriate location for this construction site.

Geography



The area of Saint Petersburg city proper is 605.8 km² (233.9 sq mi). The area of the federal subject is 1439 km² (556 sq mi), which contains Saint Petersburg proper (consisting of eighty-one okrug
Okrug
Okrug is an administrative division of some Slavic states. The word "okrug" is a loanword in English, but it is nevertheless often translated as "area", "district", or "region"....

s), nine municipal towns – (Kolpino
Kolpino
Kolpino is a municipal city in Kolpinsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located on the Izhora River southeast of St. Petersburg proper. Population: 81,000 ; 8,076 ....

, Krasnoye Selo
Krasnoye Selo
Krasnoye Selo is a municipal town in Krasnoselsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia. It is located south-southeast of the city center. Population:...

, Kronstadt
Kronstadt
Kronstadt , also spelled Kronshtadt, Cronstadt |crown]]" and Stadt for "city"); is a municipal town in Kronshtadtsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located on Kotlin Island, west of Saint Petersburg proper near the head of the Gulf of Finland. Population: It is also...

, Lomonosov
Lomonosov, Russia
Lomonosov is a municipal town in Petrodvortsovy District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, situated on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, west of St. Petersburg proper. Population:...

, Pavlovsk, Petergof, Pushkin
Pushkin (town)
Pushkin is a municipal town in Pushkinsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located south from the center of St. Petersburg proper, and its train station, Detskoye Selo, is directly connected by railway to the Vitebsky Rail Terminal of the city...

, Sestroretsk
Sestroretsk
Sestroretsk is a municipal town in Kurortny District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, the Sestra River and the Sestroretskiy Lake northwest of St. Petersburg...

, Zelenogorsk
Zelenogorsk, Saint Petersburg
Zelenogorsk , ' before 1948, is a municipal town in Kurortny District of the federal city of Saint Petersburg, Russia, located in part of the Karelian Isthmus on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, and a station on the St. Petersburg-Vyborg railroad. It is located about northwest of central Saint...

) – and twenty-one municipal settlements.
Petersburg is situated on the middle taiga
Taiga
Taiga , also known as the boreal forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests.Taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States and is known as the Northwoods...

 lowlands along the shores of the Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland
Gulf of Finland
The Gulf of Finland is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland and Estonia all the way to Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into it. Other major cities around the gulf include Helsinki and Tallinn...

, and islands of the river delta. The largest are Vasilyevsky Island (besides the artificial island
Artificial island
An artificial island or man-made island is an island or archipelago that has been constructed by people rather than formed by natural means...

 between Obvodny canal and Fontanka
Fontanka
Fontanka is a left branch of the river Neva, which flows through the whole of Central Saint Petersburg, Russia. Its length is 6,700 meters, its width is up to 70 meters, and its depth is up to 3,5 meters. The Fontanka Embankment is lined with the former private residences of Russian nobility.This...

, and Kotlin
Kotlin Island
Kotlin is a Russian island, located near the head of the Gulf of Finland, west of Saint Petersburg in the Baltic Sea. Kotlin separates the Neva Bay from the rest of the gulf...

 in the Neva Bay), Petrogradsky, Dekabristov and Krestovsky
Krestovsky Island
Krestovsky Island is a 3.4 km² island in Saint Petersburg, Russia, situated between several tributaries of the Neva: the Srednyaya Nevka, the Malaya Nevka and the Krestovka. The island is served by the Krestovsky Ostrov "Крестовский остров" station of Saint Petersburg Metro...

. The latter together with Yelagin
Yelagin Island
Yelagin Island is an island at the mouth of the Neva River which is part of St. Petersburg, Russia. Yelagin Island is home to the Yelagin Palace but has few other buildings; the island initially served as a wooded retreat for the ruling class...

 and Kamenny island
Kamenny Island
Kamenny Ostrov, Kamenny Island, or Stony Island is one of the islands in the Neva delta. It is part of Saint Petersburg, Russia....

 are covered mostly by parks. The Karelian Isthmus
Karelian Isthmus
The Karelian Isthmus is the approximately 45–110 km wide stretch of land, situated between the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga in northwestern Russia, to the north of the River Neva . Its northwestern boundary is the relatively narrow area between the Bay of Vyborg and Lake Ladoga...

, North of the city, is a popular resort area
Tourist destination
A tourist destination is a city, town, or other area that is dependent to a significant extent on the revenues accruing from tourism. It may contain one or more tourist attractions and possibly some "tourist traps."...

. In the south Saint Petersburg crosses the Baltic-Ladoga Klint
Baltic Klint
The Baltic Klint is an erosional limestone escarpment on several islands of the Baltic Sea, in Estonia and in Leningrad Oblast of Russia...

 and meets the Izhora Plateau
Izhora Plateau
The Izhora Plateau is an elevated landform on Ordovician limestone bedrock in the southwestern part of Leningrad Oblast, between the Gulf of Finland in the north and the Luga River in the south. Its northern edge is formed by the erosional cliff known as the Baltic-Ladoga Klint...

.

The elevation of Saint Petersburg ranges from the sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

 to its highest point of 175.9 m (577 ft) at the Orekhovaya Hill in the Duderhof Heights
Duderhof Heights
Duderhof Heights or Duderhof Hills is a small highland area in the southwestern part of Saint Petersburg , to the south of the town of Krasnoye Selo, on the northern edge of the Izhora Plateau, which consists of several hills, most notably, the Orekhovaya hill , the highest point of Saint...

 in the south. Part of the city's territory west of Liteyny Prospekt
Liteyny Prospekt
Liteyny Avenue is a wide avenue in the Central District of Saint Petersburg, Russia. The avenue runs from Liteyny Bridge to Nevsky Avenue....

 is no higher than 4 m (13 ft) above sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

, and has suffered from numerous floods. Floods in Saint Petersburg
Floods in Saint Petersburg
Floods in Saint Petersburg refer to a rise of water on the territory of St. Petersburg, a major city in Russia and its former capital. They are usually caused by the overflow of the delta of Neva River and surging water in the eastern part of Neva Bay but sometimes caused by melting snow...

 are triggered by a long wave in the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

, caused by meteorological conditions, winds and shallowness of the Neva Bay. The four most disastrous floods occurred in 1824 (421 cm (13.8 ft) above sea-level, during which over 300 buildings were destroyed), 1924 380 cm (12.5 ft), 1777 321 cm (10.5 ft), 1955 293 cm (9.6 ft) and 1975 281 cm (9.2 ft). To prevent floods, the Saint Petersburg Dam
Saint Petersburg Dam
The Saint Petersburg Flood Prevention Facility Complex , unofficially the Saint Petersburg Dam, is a complex of dams for flood control near Saint Petersburg, Russia...

 has been constructed.

Since the 18th century the terrain in the city has been raised artificially, at some places by more than 4 m (13 ft), making mergers of several islands, and changing the hydrology of the city. Besides the Neva and its tributaries, other important rivers of the federal subject of Saint Petersburg are Sestra
Sestra River (Leningrad Oblast)
Sestra River is a river in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, Russia.The length of the river is 74 km . The area of its basin is 393 km² . The Sestra River flows over the Karelian Isthmus. It used to fall into the Gulf of Finland until the early 18th century...

, Okhta and Izhora
Izhora River
The Izhora , also known as Inger River, is a left tributary of the Neva River on its run through Ingria in northwestern Russia from Lake Ladoga to Gulf of Finland. A settlement of Ust-Izhora is situated at the confluence of Izhora and Neva, halfway between Saint Petersburg and Schlisselburg. The...

. The largest lake is Sestroretsky Razliv in the north, followed by Lakhtinsky Razliv
Lakhtinsky Razliv
Lake Lakhta is a lake in St. Petersburg's Primorsky District connected to the Neva Bay of the Baltic Sea by the 500-meter-long Bobylka River. The Kamenka, Glukharka and Yuntolovka rivers empty into the lake. Its area is 1.76 km², with the maximum depth of 8.3 meters...

, Suzdal Lakes and other smaller lakes.

Due to location at ca. 60° N latitude
Latitude
In geography, the latitude of a location on the Earth is the angular distance of that location south or north of the Equator. The latitude is an angle, and is usually measured in degrees . The equator has a latitude of 0°, the North pole has a latitude of 90° north , and the South pole has a...

 the day length
Day length
Day length, or length of day, or length of daytime, refers to the time each day from the moment the upper limb of the sun's disk appears above the horizon during sunrise to the moment when the upper limb disappears below the horizon during sunset...

 in Petersburg varies across seasons, ranging from 5:53 to 18:50. A period from mid-May to mid-July when twilight
Twilight
Twilight is the time between dawn and sunrise or between sunset and dusk, during which sunlight scattering in the upper atmosphere illuminates the lower atmosphere, and the surface of the earth is neither completely lit nor completely dark. The sun itself is not directly visible because it is below...

 may last all night is called the white nights
White Nights Festival
The White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia is an annual international arts festival during the season of the midnight sun. The White Nights Festival consists of a series of classical ballet, opera and music events and includes performances by Russian dancers, singers, musicians and actors,...

.

Climate



By Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Petersburg is classified as Dfb, a humid continental climate
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 of the cool summer subtype. Distinct moderating influence of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 cyclones result in warm, humid and short summers and long, cold wet winters.

The average daily temperature in July is 22 °C (72 °F); maximum about 37 °C (99 °F) occurred during the 2010 Northern Hemisphere summer heat wave. A winter minimum of -35.9 °C was recorded in 1883. The average annual temperature is 5.4 °C (42 °F). The River Neva within the city limits usually freezes up in November–December and break-up occurs in April. From December to March there are 123 days average with snow cover, which reaches the average of 24 cm (9 in) by February. The frost-free period in the city lasts on average for about 135 days. The city has a climate slightly warmer than its suburbs. Weather conditions are quite variable all year round.

Average annual precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 varies across the city, averaging 600 mm (24 in) per year and reaching maximum in late summer. Soil moisture is almost always high because of lower evapotranspiration
Evapotranspiration
Evapotranspiration is a term used to describe the sum of evaporation and plant transpiration from the Earth's land surface to atmosphere. Evaporation accounts for the movement of water to the air from sources such as the soil, canopy interception, and waterbodies...

 due to the cool climate. Air humidity
Relative humidity
Relative humidity is a term used to describe the amount of water vapor in a mixture of air and water vapor. It is defined as the partial pressure of water vapor in the air-water mixture, given as a percentage of the saturated vapor pressure under those conditions...

 is 78% on average, while overcast
Overcast
Overcast or overcast weather, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization, is the meteorological condition of clouds obscuring all of the sky. Overcast, written as "OVC" in the METAR observation, is reported when the cloud cover is observed to equal eight oktas .Sometimes clouds can be...

 is 165 days a year on average.

Toponymy



The first and fairly rich chapter of the history of the local toponymy is the story of the own name of the city itself. The name day
Name day
A name day is a tradition in many countries in Europe and Latin America that consists of celebrating the day of the year associated with one's given name....

 of Peter I
Saint Peter
Saint Peter or Simon Peter was an early Christian leader, who is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The son of John or of Jonah and from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, his brother Andrew was also an apostle...

 falls on June, 29 when the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 observes the memory of Saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

 Apostles
Apostle (Christian)
The term apostle is derived from Classical Greek ἀπόστολος , meaning one who is sent away, from στέλλω + από . The literal meaning in English is therefore an "emissary", from the Latin mitto + ex...

 Peter
Saint Peter
Saint Peter or Simon Peter was an early Christian leader, who is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The son of John or of Jonah and from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, his brother Andrew was also an apostle...

 and Paul. The consecration of the small wooden church in their names (its construction began simultaneously with the citadel) made them the heavenly patrons of the Peter and Paul Fortress
Peter and Paul Fortress
The Peter and Paul Fortress is the original citadel of St. Petersburg, Russia, founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and built to Domenico Trezzini's designs from 1706-1740.-History:...

, while St. Peter at the same time became the eponym
Eponym
An eponym is the name of a person or thing, whether real or fictitious, after which a particular place, tribe, era, discovery, or other item is named or thought to be named...

 of the whole city.

Explanation of "Sankt-" by the appreciation of Dutch culture
Culture of the Netherlands
Dutch culture, or the culture of the Netherlands, is diverse, reflecting regional differences as well as the foreign influences thanks to the merchant and exploring spirit of the Dutch and the influx of immigrants...

 by Peter the Great is one of common misconceptions: "Saint-" in Dutch is "Sint". The sample which czar Peter followed sounds in the names of another European cities: Sankt Goar
Sankt Goar
Sankt Goar is a town on the left bank of the Middle Rhine in the Rhein-Hunsrück-Kreis in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It belongs to the Verbandsgemeinde of Sankt Goar-Oberwesel, whose seat is in the town of Oberwesel....

 in Germany, Sankt Michael
Sankt Michael im Lungau
Sankt Michael im Lungau is a market town on the upper Mur River in the Tamsweg district in the Austrian state of Salzburg.-History:The parish church dedicated to Saint Michael was first mentioned in 1147...

 in Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 and some others, of which the closest to Sankt Petersburg was Sankt Michel in rival Swedish Empire
Swedish Empire
The Swedish Empire refers to the Kingdom of Sweden between 1561 and 1721 . During this time, Sweden was one of the great European powers. In Swedish, the period is called Stormaktstiden, literally meaning "the Great Power Era"...

 (now Mikkeli
Mikkeli
Mikkeli is a town and municipality in Finland. It is located in what used to be the province of Eastern Finland and is part of the Southern Savonia region. The municipality has a population of and covers an area of of which is water...

 in Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

). "Sankt-" in these toponyms is merely a Germanized form of .

A 14-15-letter long name, composed of the three roots proved too cumbersome, and a lot of shortened versions appeared in habitual use. The first General Governor of the city Menshikov
Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov
Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov was a Russian statesman, whose official titles included Generalissimus, Prince of the Russian Empire and Duke of Izhora , Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, Duke of Cosel. A highly appreciated associate and friend of Tsar Peter the Great, he was the de facto ruler of...

 is maybe also the author of the first nickname of Petersburg which he called Петри (Petri). It took some years until the known Russian spelling of this name finally settled. In 1740s Mikhail Lomonosov
Mikhail Lomonosov
Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov was a Russian polymath, scientist and writer, who made important contributions to literature, education, and science. Among his discoveries was the atmosphere of Venus. His spheres of science were natural science, chemistry, physics, mineralogy, history, art,...

 uses a derivative of (Petropolis, Петрополис) in a russified form Petropol’ (Петрополь). A combo Piterpol (Питерпол) also appears at this time. Anyway, eventually the usage of prefix "Sankt-" ceased except for the formal official documents, where a 3-letter abbreviation "СПб" (SPb) was very widely used as well.

In the 1830s Alexander Pushkin translated the 'foreign' city name of 'Saint Petersburg' to the more Russian Petrograd in one of his poems. However, it was only on , after the war
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 with Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 had began, did tzar Nicholas II
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until...

 rename the capital to Petrograd. Since the prefix 'Saint' was omitted, this act also changed the eponym
Eponym
An eponym is the name of a person or thing, whether real or fictitious, after which a particular place, tribe, era, discovery, or other item is named or thought to be named...

 and the 'patron' of the city, from Apostle Peter to Peter the Great, its founder.

After the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

, and until the city was renamed Leningrad in January 1924, the name Красный Петроград (Red Petrograd) was often used in newspapers and other prints.

In the referendum on reversing the renaming of Leningrad on June 12, 1991, renaming it to Petrograd was not an option. Because of this only 54.86% of the voters (with a turnout of 65%) supported "St.Petersburg". This change officially took effect on September 6, 1991. Meanwhile the oblast
Oblast
Oblast is a type of administrative division in Slavic countries, including some countries of the former Soviet Union. The word "oblast" is a loanword in English, but it is nevertheless often translated as "area", "zone", "province", or "region"...

 which administrative center is also in Petersburg is still named Leningradskaya.

Having passed the role of capital to Petersburg, Moscow never relinquished the title of 'capital', being called "pervoprestolnaya" ("first-throned") for 200 years. A mirroring name for Petersburg in this connotation, the "Northern Capital", is reintroduced today in the sense that several federal institutions were moved from Moscow to Petersburg recently. Solemn descriptive names like "the city of three revolutions" and "the cradle of the October revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

" used in Soviet era reminded the pivot events of national history which occurred here. For their part, poetic names of the city, like the "Venice of the North
Venice of the North
The term Venice of the North refers to various cities in northern Europe that contain canals, comparing them to Venice, Italy, which is renowned for its canals .* Saint Petersburg* Amsterdam* Bruges* Stockholm* Copenhagen* Hamburg...

" and the "Northern Palmyra
Palmyra
Palmyra was an ancient city in Syria. In the age of antiquity, it was an important city of central Syria, located in an oasis 215 km northeast of Damascus and 180 km southwest of the Euphrates at Deir ez-Zor. It had long been a vital caravan city for travellers crossing the Syrian desert...

" emphasize town-planning and architectural features contrasting these parallels to the northern location of this megalopolis
Megalopolis (city type)
A megalopolis is typically defined as a chain of roughly adjacent metropolitan areas. The term was used by Oswald Spengler in his 1918 book, The Decline of the West, and Lewis Mumford in his 1938 book, The Culture of Cities, which described it as the first stage in urban overdevelopment and...

. Petropolis is a translation of a city name to Greek, and is also a kind of descriptive name: Πέτρ~ is a Greek root for "stone", so the "city from stone" emphasizes the material which had been forcibly made obligatory for construction from the very first years of the city.

After 1991 a wave of re-namings started within the city. It affected not only toponyms of the Soviet era, but in some cases their pre-revolutionary ones (in 1993 Gogol Street which bore the name of Nikolai Gogol
Nikolai Gogol
Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol was a Ukrainian-born Russian dramatist and novelist.Considered by his contemporaries one of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism, later critics have found in Gogol's work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strains of Surrealism...

 since 1902, was renamed to Malaya Morskaya).

Demographics


Saint Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia. Per the preliminary results of the 2010 Census, the city's population is 4,848,700, or 3.39% of the total population of Russia; up from 4,661,219 (3.21%) recorded in the 2002 census
Russian Census (2002)
Russian Census of 2002 was the first census of the Russian Federation carried out on October 9 through October 16, 2002. It was carried out by the Russian Federal Service of State Statistics .-Resident population:...

. The 2002 census recorded twenty-two ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

s of more than two thousand persons each. The ethnic composition was: Russian
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 84.72%, Ukrainian
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

 1.87%, Belarusians
Belarusians
Belarusians ; are an East Slavic ethnic group who populate the majority of the Republic of Belarus. Introduced to the world as a new state in the early 1990s, the Republic of Belarus brought with it the notion of a re-emerging Belarusian ethnicity, drawn upon the lines of the Old Belarusian...

 1.17%, Jewish 0.78%, Tatar
Tatars
Tatars are a Turkic speaking ethnic group , numbering roughly 7 million.The majority of Tatars live in the Russian Federation, with a population of around 5.5 million, about 2 million of which in the republic of Tatarstan.Significant minority populations are found in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,...

 0.76%, Armenian
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

 0.41%, Azeri
Azeris in Russia
Aside from the large Azeri community native to Russia's Dagestan Republic, the majority of Azeris in Russia are fairly recent immigrants. Azeris started settling in Russia around the late 19th century, but their migration became intensive after World War II. It rapidly increased with the collapse...

 0.36%, Georgian
Georgians
The Georgians are an ethnic group that have originated in Georgia, where they constitute a majority of the population. Large Georgian communities are also present throughout Russia, European Union, United States, and South America....

 0.22%, Chuvash
Chuvash people
The Chuvash people are a Turkic ethnic group, native to an area stretching from the Volga Region to Siberia. Most of them live in Republic of Chuvashia and surrounding areas, although Chuvash communities may be found throughout all Russia.- Etymology :...

 0.13%, Polish
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

 0.10%, and many other smaller ethnic groups, while 7.89% of the inhabitants declined to state their ethnicity.
The 20th century saw hectic ups and downs in population. From 2.4 million in 1916 it had dropped to less than 740,000 by 1920 during the Russian Revolution of 1917 and Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

. The minorities of Germans, Poles, Finns, Estonians and Latvians were almost completely transferred
Population transfer in the Soviet Union
Population transfer in the Soviet Union may be classified into the following broad categories: deportations of "anti-Soviet" categories of population, often classified as "enemies of workers," deportations of entire nationalities, labor force transfer, and organized migrations in opposite...

 from Leningrad during the 1930s. From 1941 to the end of 1943, population dropped from 3 million to less than 600,000, as people died in battles, starved to death during the Siege of Leningrad
Siege of Leningrad
The Siege of Leningrad, also known as the Leningrad Blockade was a prolonged military operation resulting from the failure of the German Army Group North to capture Leningrad, now known as Saint Petersburg, in the Eastern Front theatre of World War II. It started on 8 September 1941, when the last...

, or were evacuated. After the siege, some of the evacuees returned, but most influx was due to migration from other parts of the Soviet Union. The city absorbed about 3 million people in the 1950s and grew to over 5 million in the 1980s. From 1991 to 2006 the city's population decreased to the current 4.6 million, while the suburban population increased due to privatization of land and massive move to suburbs. Based on the 2010 census results the current population is over 4.8 million. The birth rate
Birth rate
Crude birth rate is the nativity or childbirths per 1,000 people per year . Another word used interchangeably with "birth rate" is "natality". When the crude birth rate is subtracted from the crude death rate, it reveals the rate of natural increase...

 remains lower than the death rate
Mortality rate
Mortality rate is a measure of the number of deaths in a population, scaled to the size of that population, per unit time...

; people over 65 constitute more than twenty percent of the population; and the median age is about 40 years.

People in urban Saint Petersburg live mostly in apartments. Between 1918 and the 1990s, the Soviets nationalised
Nationalization
Nationalisation, also spelled nationalization, is the process of taking an industry or assets into government ownership by a national government or state. Nationalization usually refers to private assets, but may also mean assets owned by lower levels of government, such as municipalities, being...

 housing and forced residents to share communal apartments (kommunalkas). With 68% living in shared flats in the 1930s, Leningrad was the city in the USSR with the largest number of kommunalkas. Resettling residents of kommunalkas is now on the way out, albeit shared apartments are still not uncommon. As new boroughs were built on the outskirts in the 1950s–1980s, over half a million low income families eventually received free apartments, and about an additional hundred thousand condos were purchased. While economic and social activity is concentrated in the historic city centre
Central Saint Petersburg
Central Saint Petersburg is the central and the leading part of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It looks nothing like the downtown district of a typical major city, and has no skyscrapers...

, the richest part of Saint Petersburg, most people live in commuter areas
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

. For the first half of 2007, the birth rate was 9.1 per 1000.

Government


Saint Petersburg is a federal subject of Russia
Federal subjects of Russia
Russia is a federation which, since March 1, 2008, consists of 83 federal subjects . In 1993, when the Constitution was adopted, there were 89 federal subjects listed...

. The political life of Saint Petersburg is regulated by the city charter
Municipal corporation
A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body, including cities, counties, towns, townships, charter townships, villages, and boroughs. Municipal incorporation occurs when such municipalities become self-governing entities under the laws of the state or province in which...

 adopted by the city legislature in 1998. The superior executive body is the Saint Petersburg City Administration
Saint Petersburg City Administration
Saint Petersburg City Administration is the superior executive body of Saint Petersburg , Russian Federation. It is located in a historic building, Smolny....

, led by the governor (mayor before 1996). Saint Petersburg has a single-chamber legislature, the Saint Petersburg Legislative Assembly
Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg
The Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg is the legislative power body of Saint Petersburg, a federal subject of Russia, which has existed since 1994 and succeeded the Leningrad Council of People Deputies...

.

According to the federal law passed in 2004, heads of federal subjects, including the governor of Saint Petersburg, are nominated by the President of Russia and approved by local legislatures. If the legislature disapproves the nominee, it is dissolved. The former governor, Valentina Matviyenko
Valentina Matviyenko
Valentina Ivanovna Matviyenko , born 7 April 1949 in the Ukrainian SSR), is currently the highest-ranking female politician in Russia, the former governor of Saint Petersburg and the current Chairman of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation...

, was approved according to the new system in December 2006. She was the only woman governor in the whole of Russia till her resignation on August 22, 2011. Matviyenko stood for elections as member of the Regional Council of St. Petersburg and won comprehensively with allegations of rigging and ballot stuffing by the opposition. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has already backed her for the position of Speaker to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and her election qualifies her for that job. After her resignation, Georgy Poltavchenko
Georgy Poltavchenko
Georgy Sergeyevich Poltavchenko was the Russian Presidential Envoy to the Central Federal District. He was assigned acting governor of Saint Petersburg in August 2011....

 was appointed as the new acting governor the same day.

Saint Petersburg city is currently divided into eighteen districts
Administrative divisions of Saint Petersburg
The federal city of Saint Petersburg, Russia, is divided into eighteen city districts , which are in turn subdivided into municipal okrugs, municipal towns, and municipal settlements.-Admiralteysky District:...

. Saint Petersburg is also the administrative centre of Leningrad Oblast
Leningrad Oblast
Leningrad Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . It was established on August 1, 1927, although it was not until 1946 that the oblast's borders had been mostly settled in their present position...

, and of the Northwestern Federal District
Northwestern Federal District
Northwestern Federal District is one of the eight federal districts of Russia. It consists of the northern part of European Russia. Its population was 13,583,800 according to the 2010 Census, living on an area of...

. The Constitutional Court of Russia
Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation
The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation is a high court which is empowered to rule on whether or not certain laws or presidential decrees are in fact contrary to the Constitution of Russia...

 moved to Saint Petersburg from Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 in May 2008.

Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, being two different federal subjects, share a number of local departments of federal executive agencies and courts, such as court of arbitration, police, FSB, postal service, drug enforcement administration, penitentiary service, federal registration service, and other federal services.

Economy



Saint Petersburg is a major trade gateway, financial and industrial centre of Russia specialising in oil and gas trade, shipbuilding yards, aerospace industry
Aerospace
Aerospace comprises the atmosphere of Earth and surrounding space. Typically the term is used to refer to the industry that researches, designs, manufactures, operates, and maintains vehicles moving through air and space...

, radio and electronics, software and computers; machine building, heavy machinery and transport, including tanks and other military equipment, mining, instrument
Tool
A tool is a device that can be used to produce an item or achieve a task, but that is not consumed in the process. Informally the word is also used to describe a procedure or process with a specific purpose. Tools that are used in particular fields or activities may have different designations such...

 manufacture, ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy
Metallurgy
Metallurgy is a domain of materials science that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their intermetallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are called alloys. It is also the technology of metals: the way in which science is applied to their practical use...

 (production of aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 alloys), chemicals, pharmaceuticals
Drug
A drug, broadly speaking, is any substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function. There is no single, precise definition, as there are different meanings in drug control law, government regulations, medicine, and colloquial usage.In pharmacology, a...

, medical equipment
Medical equipment
Medical equipment is designed to aid in the diagnosis, monitoring or treatment of medical conditions.-Types:There are several basic types:* Diagnostic equipment includes medical imaging machines, used to aid in diagnosis...

, publishing
Publishing
Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information—the activity of making information available to the general public...

 and printing
Printing
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

, food and catering, wholesale and retail, textile and apparel
Clothing
Clothing refers to any covering for the human body that is worn. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of nearly all human societies...

 industries, and many other businesses. It was also home to Lessner, one of Russia's two pioneering automobile manufacturers (along with Russo-Balt
Russo-Balt
Russo-Balt was one of the first Russian companies that produced cars between 1909 and 1923.- Russo-Baltic Wagon Corp. :...

ic), Lessner; founded by machine tool and boiler maker G. A. Lessner in 1904, with designs by Boris Loutsky, it survived until 1910.


10% of the world's power turbine
Turbine
A turbine is a rotary engine that extracts energy from a fluid flow and converts it into useful work.The simplest turbines have one moving part, a rotor assembly, which is a shaft or drum with blades attached. Moving fluid acts on the blades, or the blades react to the flow, so that they move and...

s are made there at the LMZ
Leningradsky Metallichesky Zavod
Leningradsky Metallichesky Zavod , also known as LMZ, is the largest Russian manufacturer of power machines and turbines for electric power stations.-History:...

, which built over two thousand turbines for power plants
Power station
A power station is an industrial facility for the generation of electric energy....

 across the world. Major local industries are Admiralty Shipyard
Admiralty Shipyard
The Admiralty Shipyard is one of the oldest and largest shipyards in Russia, located in Saint Petersburg. The shipyard's building ways can accommodate ships of up to , 250 meters in length and 35 meters in width...

, Baltic Shipyard
Baltic Shipyard
The Baltic Shipyard is one of the oldest shipyards in Russia. It is located in Saint Petersburg in the south-western part of the Vasilievsky Island. It is one of the three shipyards active in Saint Petersburg...

, LOMO
LOMO
LOMO or Leningrad Optical Mechanical Amalgamation is a manufacturer of advanced optical instruments, medical equipment, consumer still and movie cameras, projectors, lenses, film editors, splicers, professional sound recorders for motion-picture production based in St. Petersburg, Russia...

, Kirov Plant
Kirov Plant
The Kirov Plant Kirov Factory or Leningrad Kirov Plant is a major Russian machine-building plant in St. Petersburg, Russia....

, Elektrosila, Izhorskiye Zavody; also registered in Saint Petersburg are Sovkomflot, Petersburg Fuel Company
Petersburg Fuel Company
The Petersburg Fuel Company is a joint stock company of Saint Petersburg, Russia, specializing mostly in gasoline refining, storage, transportation and retailing, founded in September 1994, after a fuel supply crisis had hit the city hard...

 and SIBUR
Sibur
Sibur is a Russian petrochemicals company controlled by Russian billionaire Leonid Mikhelson. The activities of Sibur include refining of the feedstock gas, production of monomers and polymers, methanol production , mineral fertilizer, tires, synthetic rubber and plastics processing.Russian...

 among other major Russian and international companies.

Saint Petersburg has three large cargo seaports
Ports of the Baltic Sea
There are over 200 ports in the Baltic Sea. When only those ports that handle minimum of 50,000 tonnes of cargo annually, and where at least part of this cargo is international, are taken into account the number of ports reaches approximately 190. In 2008, the total amount of cargo handled in the...

: Bolshoi Port Saint Petersburg, Kronstadt
Kronstadt
Kronstadt , also spelled Kronshtadt, Cronstadt |crown]]" and Stadt for "city"); is a municipal town in Kronshtadtsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located on Kotlin Island, west of Saint Petersburg proper near the head of the Gulf of Finland. Population: It is also...

, and Lomonosov
Lomonosov, Russia
Lomonosov is a municipal town in Petrodvortsovy District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, situated on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, west of St. Petersburg proper. Population:...

. International cruise liners
Cruise ship
A cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship's amenities are part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way...

 have been served at the passenger port at Morskoy Vokzal on the south-west of Vasilyevsky Island. In 2008 the first two berths were opened at the New Passenger Port on the west of the island. The new port is part of the city's "Marine Facade" development project and is due to have seven berths in operation by 2010.

A complex system of riverports on both banks of the Neva river
Neva River
The Neva is a river in northwestern Russia flowing from Lake Ladoga through the western part of Leningrad Oblast to the Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland. Despite its modest length , it is the third largest river in Europe in terms of average discharge .The Neva is the only river flowing from Lake...

 are interconnected with the system of seaports, thus making Saint Petersburg the main link between the Baltic sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 and the rest of Russia through the Volga-Baltic Waterway.

The Saint Petersburg Mint
Saint Petersburg Mint
Saint Petersburg Mint is one of the world's largest mints. It was founded by Peter the Great in 1724 on the territory of Peter and Paul Fortress, so it is one of the oldest industrial enterprises in Saint Petersburg....

 (Monetny Dvor), founded in 1724, is one of the largest mints
Mint (coin)
A mint is an industrial facility which manufactures coins for currency.The history of mints correlates closely with the history of coins. One difference is that the history of the mint is usually closely tied to the political situation of an era...

 in the world, it mints Russian coins
Russian ruble
The ruble or rouble is the currency of the Russian Federation and the two partially recognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Formerly, the ruble was also the currency of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union prior to their breakups. Belarus and Transnistria also use currencies with...

, medals and badges. Saint Petersburg is also home to the oldest and largest Russian foundry, Monumentskulptura, which made thousands of sculptures and statues that are now gracing public parks of Saint Petersburg, as well as many other cities. Monuments and bronze statues
Bronze sculpture
Bronze is the most popular metal for cast metal sculptures; a cast bronze sculpture is often called simply a "bronze".Common bronze alloys have the unusual and desirable property of expanding slightly just before they set, thus filling the finest details of a mold. Then, as the bronze cools, it...

 of the Czars, as well as other important historic figures and dignitaries, and other world famous monuments, such as the sculptures by Peter Clodt von Jürgensburg
Peter Clodt von Jürgensburg
Baron Peter Clodt von Jürgensburg, known in Russian as Pyotr Karlovich Klodt , was a favourite sculptor of Nicholas I of Russia.Stemming from a distinguished family of Baltic Germans, Clodt von Jürgensburg, Klodt started his career as a professional artillery officer and amateur sculptor...

, Paolo Troubetzkoy
Paolo Troubetzkoy
Prince Paolo or Paul Troubetzkoy was an artist and a sculptor, of Russia's Troubetzkoy princely family, who was described by G.B. Shaw as "the most astonishing sculptor of modern times".-Life:He worked in Russia, America, England and Italy...

, Pavel Antokolsky
Pavel Antokolsky
Pavel Grigoryevich Antokolsky - a Russian poet, a nephew of Mark Antokolsky. His poem, "All we who in his name..." was written in 1956, the year of Nikita Khrushchev's "secret speech" condemning Stalinism, and widely circulated among student groups in the 1950s.Pavel Antokolsky translated in...

, and others, were made there.

In 2007 Toyota opened a Camry
Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry is a series of mid-size automobiles manufactured by Toyota since 1982, and sold in the majority of automotive markets throughout the world...

 plant after investing 5 billion dollars in Shushary, one of the southern suburbs of Saint Petersburg. Opel
Opel
Adam Opel AG, generally shortened to Opel, is a German automobile company founded by Adam Opel in 1862. Opel has been building automobiles since 1899, and became an Aktiengesellschaft in 1929...

, Hyundai and Nissan have signed deals with the Russian government
Politics of Russia
The politics of Russia take place in a framework of a federal semi-presidential republic. According to the Constitution of Russia, the President of Russia is head of state, and of a multi-party system with executive power exercised by the government, headed by the Prime Minister, who is appointed...

 to build their automotive plants in Saint Petersburg too. Automotive and auto-parts industry is on the rise there during the last decade.
Saint Petersburg is the location of a significant brewery and distillery industry. It is known as the "beer capital" of Russia, due to the supply and quality of local water, contributing over 30% of the domestic production of beer with its five large-scale breweries including Europe's second largest brewery Baltika, Vena (both operated by BBH), Heineken Brewery, Stepan Razin
Stenka Razin
Stepan Timofeyevich Razin Тимофеевич Разин, ; 1630 – ) was a Cossack leader who led a major uprising against the nobility and Tsar's bureaucracy in South Russia.-Early life:...

 (both by Heineken
Heineken Pilsener
Heineken is a Dutch beer which has been brewed by Heineken International since 1873. It is available in a 4.6% alcohol variety in countries such as Ireland. It is the flagship product of the Heineken company and is made of purified water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. In 1886 H...

) and Tinkoff brewery
Tinkoff brewery
Tinkoff Brewery is a Russian brewery founded in St. Petersburg by local businessman Oleg Tinkov in 1998 as a brewpub. In 2005 it was sold to InBev.-Brief details:...

 (SUN-InBev
InBev
InBev is a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev. The company existed independently for several years - since the merger between Interbrew and AmBev and until the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch. InBev has operations in over 30 countries and sales in over 130 countries...

).

The city has a lot of local distilleries which produce a broad range of vodka
Vodka
Vodka , is a distilled beverage. It is composed primarily of water and ethanol with traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made by the distillation of fermented substances such as grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruits....

 brands. The oldest ones is LIVIZ (founded in 1897). Among the youngest is Russian Standard Vodka introduced in Moscow in 1998, which opened in 2006 a new $60 million distillery in Petersburg (an area of 30,000 square meters, production rate of 22,500 bottles per hour. In 2007 this brand was exported to over 70 countries.

Saint Petersburg has the second largest construction industry
Construction
In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...

 in Russia, including commercial, housing and road construction.

In 2006 Saint Petersburg's city budget was 179.9 billion rubles (about 6.651 billion USDollars
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 at 2006 exchange rates), and is planned to double by 2012. The federal subject's gross regional product
Gross Regional Product
A metropolitan area's gross regional product, i.e. GMP or GRP, is one of several measures of the size of its economy. Similar to GDP, GRP is defined as the market value of all final goods and services produced within a metropolitan area in a given period of time.-See also:*List of European...

 as of 2005 was 667.905 billion Russian ruble
Russian ruble
The ruble or rouble is the currency of the Russian Federation and the two partially recognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Formerly, the ruble was also the currency of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union prior to their breakups. Belarus and Transnistria also use currencies with...

s (about 23.611 billion USDollars
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 at 2005 exchange rates), ranked 4th in Russia, after Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Tyumen Oblast
Tyumen Oblast
Tyumen Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Tyumen. The oblast has administrative jurisdiction over two autonomous okrugs—Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Tyumen is the largest city, with over half a million inhabitants...

, and Moscow Oblast
Moscow Oblast
Moscow Oblast , or Podmoskovye , is a federal subject of Russia . Its area, at , is relatively small compared to other federal subjects, but it is one of the most densely populated regions in the country and, with the 2010 population of 7,092,941, is the second most populous federal subject...

, or 145,503.3 rubles per capita (about 5,143.6 USDollars
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 at 2005 exchange rates), ranked 12th among Russia's federal subjects, contributed mostly by wholesale and retail trade
Retailing
Retail consists of the sale of physical goods or merchandise from a fixed location, such as a department store, boutique or kiosk, or by mail, in small or individual lots for direct consumption by the purchaser. Retailing may include subordinated services, such as delivery. Purchasers may be...

 and repair services (24.7%) as well as processing industry (20.9%) and transportation and telecommunications (15.1%).

Budget revenues of the city in 2009 amounted to 294.3 billion rubles (about 10.044 billion USDollars
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 at 2009 exchange rates), expenses – 336.3 billion rubles (about 11.477 billion USDollars
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 at 2009 exchange rates). The budget deficit amounted to about 42 billion rubles. (about 1.433 billion USDollars
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 at 2009 exchange rates)

Cityscape


Saint Petersburg has no skyscraper
Skyscraper
A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building of many stories, often designed for office and commercial use. There is no official definition or height above which a building may be classified as a skyscraper...

s and a relatively low skyline. Current regulations forbid construction of high buildings in the city centre. The 310 metres (1,017.1 ft) tall Saint Petersburg TV Tower
Saint Petersburg TV Tower
The Saint Petersburg TV Tower is a 310 meter high lattice steel tower in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It was built in 1962 and was the first dedicated TV tower in the Soviet Union. It is used for FM- and TV-broadcasting....

 is the tallest structure in the city, while the 122.5 m (401.9 ft) Peter and Paul Cathedral
Peter and Paul Cathedral
The Peter and Paul Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox cathedral located inside the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is the first and oldest landmark in St. Petersburg, built between 1712 and 1733 on Zayachy Island along the Neva River. Both the cathedral and the fortress were...

 is by far the highest building. However, there is a controversial project endorsed by the city authorities and known as the Ohkta Centre
Okhta Center
Okhta Centre , known before March 2007 as Gazprom City , is a construction project of a business centre in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It will include the first supertall skyscraper in the city, museums and a concert hall...

 to build a 396 m (1,299.21 ft) supertall skyscraper. In 2008 the World Monuments Fund
World Monuments Fund
World Monuments Fund is a private, international, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic architecture and cultural heritage sites around the world through fieldwork, advocacy, grantmaking, education, and training....

 included the Saint Petersburg historic skyline on the watch list of the 100 most endangered sites due to the expected construction, which threatens to alter it drastically.
Unlike in Moscow, in Saint Petersburg the historic architecture of the city centre, mostly consisting of Baroque and neoclassical buildings of the 18th and 19th centuries, has been largely preserved; although a number of buildings were demolished after the Bolsheviks' seizure of power, during the Siege of Leningrad and in recent years. The oldest of the remaining building is a wooden house built for Peter I in 1703 on the shore of the Neva near Trinity Square. Since 1991 the Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments
Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments
Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments is the name used by UNESCO when it collectively designated the historic core of the Russian city of St...

 in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast have been listed by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 as a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

.

The ensemble of Peter and Paul Fortress
Peter and Paul Fortress
The Peter and Paul Fortress is the original citadel of St. Petersburg, Russia, founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and built to Domenico Trezzini's designs from 1706-1740.-History:...

 with the Peter and Paul Cathedral
Peter and Paul Cathedral
The Peter and Paul Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox cathedral located inside the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is the first and oldest landmark in St. Petersburg, built between 1712 and 1733 on Zayachy Island along the Neva River. Both the cathedral and the fortress were...

 takes a dominant position on Zayachy Island along the right bank of the River Neva. Each noon a cannon fires a blank shot from the fortress. The Saint Petersburg Mosque
Saint Petersburg Mosque
The Saint Petersburg Mosque , when opened in 1913, was the largest mosque in Europe, its minarets attaining 49 meters in height and the impressive dome rising 39 meters high. The mosque is situated in downtown St Petersburg, so its azure dome is perfectly visible from the Trinity Bridge across the...

, the largest mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

 in Europe when opened in 1913, is situated on the right bank nearby. The Spit of Vasilievsky Island, which splits the river into two largest armlets, the Bolshaya Neva
Bolshaya Neva
Bolshaya Neva is the largest armlet of Neva river. It starts near the Vasilievsky Island's Strelka .The length of Bolshaya Neva is 3.5 km, the width is from 200 to 400 meters, depth up to 12.8 meters...

 and Malaya Neva
Malaya Neva
Malaya Neva is the second largest distributary of the Neva River. The Neva splits into Bolshaya Neva and Malaya Neva near the Vasilievsky Island's Strelka , in the historic center of the city of Saint Petersburg.The length of Malaya Neva is 4.25 km, the width is from 200 to 400 meters, depth is...

, is connected to the northern bank (Petrogradsky Island
Petrogradsky Island
Petrogradsky Island is the third largest island in the Neva River deltain Saint Petersburg, Russia.Along with Zayachy Island, Aptekarsky Island, and Petrovsky Island,it constitutes the Petrogradskaya Side...

) via the Exchange Bridge
Exchange Bridge
Birzhevoy Bridge is the bridge across Malaya Neva in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Its length is 239 meters and width is 27 meters. Birzhevoy bridge connects Vasilievsky Island and Petrogradsky Island...

 and occupied by the Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange and Rostral Columns. The southern coast of Vasilyevsky Island along the Bolshaya Neva features some of the city's oldest buildings, dating from the 18th century, including the Kunstkamera
Kunstkamera
The Kunstkamera was the first museum in Russia. Established by Peter the Great and completed in 1727, the Kunstkammer Building hosts the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, with a collection of almost 2,000,000 items...

, Twelve Collegia
Twelve Collegia
The Twelve Collegia, or Twelve Colleges is the largest edifice from the Petrine era still extant in Saint Petersburg. It was designed by Domenico Trezzini and Theodor Schwertfeger and built from 1722 to 1744.- Description :...

, Menshikov Palace
Menshikov Palace
The Menshikov Palace is a Petrine Baroque edifice in Saint Petersburg, situated on Universitetskaya Embankment of the Bolshaya Neva on Vasilyevsky Island. It was the first stone building in the city...

 and Imperial Academy of Arts
Imperial Academy of Arts
The Russian Academy of Arts, informally known as the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, was founded in 1757 by Ivan Shuvalov under the name Academy of the Three Noblest Arts. Catherine the Great renamed it the Imperial Academy of Arts and commissioned a new building, completed 25 years later in 1789...

. It hosts one of two campuses of Saint Petersburg State University
Saint Petersburg State University
Saint Petersburg State University is a Russian federal state-owned higher education institution based in Saint Petersburg and one of the oldest and largest universities in Russia....

.


On the southern, left bank of the Neva, connected to the spit of Vasilyevsky Island via the Palace Bridge
Palace Bridge
Palace Bridge is a road traffic and foot bascule bridge spanning the Neva River in Saint Petersburg between Palace Square and Vasilievsky Island. Like every other Neva bridge , it is drawn by night, making foot travel between various parts of the city virtually impossible...

, lie the Admiralty building
Admiralty building, Saint Petersburg
The Admiralty building is the former headquarters of the Admiralty Board in St. Petersburg, russia.-History:The building you see now was re-built in the nineteenth century to support the Tsar's maritime ambitions. The original design was a fortified ship yars which was later surrounded by four...

, the vast Hermitage Museum
Hermitage Museum
The State Hermitage is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. One of the largest and oldest museums of the world, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been opened to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display,...

 complex stretching along the Palace Embankment
Palace Embankment
The Palace Embankment or Palace Quay is a street along the Neva River in Central Saint Petersburg which contains the complex of the Hermitage Museum buildings , the Hermitage Theatre, the Marble Palace, the Vladimir Palace, the New Michael Palace and the Summer Garden.The street was laid out...

, which includes the baroque Winter Palace
Winter Palace
The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was, from 1732 to 1917, the official residence of the Russian monarchs. Situated between the Palace Embankment and the Palace Square, adjacent to the site of Peter the Great's original Winter Palace, the present and fourth Winter Palace was built and...

, former official residence of Russian emperors, as well as the neoclassical Marble Palace
Marble Palace
Marble Palace is one of the first Neoclassical palaces in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is situated between the Field of Mars and Palace Quay, slightly to the east from New Michael Palace....

. The Winter Palace faces Palace Square
Palace Square
Palace Square , connecting Nevsky Prospekt with Palace Bridge leading to Vasilievsky Island, is the central city square of St Petersburg and of the former Russian Empire...

, the city's main square with the Alexander Column
Alexander Column
The Alexander Column also known as Alexandrian Column , is the focal point of Palace Square in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The monument was erected after the Russian victory in the war with Napoleon's France...

.


Nevsky Prospekt
Nevsky Prospekt
Nevsky Avenue |Prospekt]]) is the main street in the city of St. Petersburg, Russia. Planned by Peter the Great as beginning of the road to Novgorod and Moscow, the avenue runs from the Admiralty to the Moscow Railway Station and, after making a turn at Vosstaniya Square, to the Alexander...

, also situated on the left bank of the Neva, is the main avenue in the city. It starts at the Admiralty and runs eastwards next to Palace Square. Nevsky Prospekt crosses the Moika (Green Bridge
Green Bridge (Saint Petersburg)
Green Bridge is a bridge across Moika River in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It was the first cast iron bridge in the city....

), Griboyedov Canal (Kazansky Bridge
Kazansky Bridge
Kazansky Bridge is a bridge across Griboyedov Canal in Saint Petersburg, Russia. From 1766 to 1830 it had a name Rozhdestvensky Bridge and from 1923 to 1944—Plekhanov Bridge . It is located near the Kazan Cathedral . The bridge's length is 18.8 meters, and the width is 95.5 meters...

), Garden Street, the Fontanka
Fontanka
Fontanka is a left branch of the river Neva, which flows through the whole of Central Saint Petersburg, Russia. Its length is 6,700 meters, its width is up to 70 meters, and its depth is up to 3,5 meters. The Fontanka Embankment is lined with the former private residences of Russian nobility.This...

 (Anichkov Bridge
Anichkov Bridge
The Anichkov Bridge is the first and most famous bridge across the Fontanka River in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The current bridge, built in 1841-42 and reconstructed in 1906-08, combines a simple form with some spectacular decorations...

), meets Liteyny Prospekt
Liteyny Prospekt
Liteyny Avenue is a wide avenue in the Central District of Saint Petersburg, Russia. The avenue runs from Liteyny Bridge to Nevsky Avenue....

 and proceeds to Uprising Square
Vosstaniya Square
Vosstaniya Square is a major square in the Central Business District of Saint Petersburg, Russia. The square lies at the crossing of Nevsky Prospekt, Ligovsky Prospekt, Vosstaniya Street and Goncharnaya Street, in front of the Moskovsky Rail Terminal, which is the northern terminus of the line...

 near the Moskovsky railway station, where it meets Ligovsky Prospekt
Ligovsky Prospekt
Ligovsky Prospekt is a major street in Saint Petersburg. Before the establishment of the city, it was a street leading to Novgorod, used by the people living in the villages around the delta of Neva....

 and turns to the Alexander Nevsky Lavra
Alexander Nevsky Lavra
Saint Alexander Nevsky Lavra or Saint Alexander Nevsky Monastery was founded by Peter I of Russia in 1710 at the eastern end of the Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg supposing that that was the site of the Neva Battle in 1240 when Alexander Nevsky, a prince, defeated the Swedes; however, the battle...

. The Passage
The Passage
For the novel by Justin Cronin see The Passage The Passage , from the French word Passage, is an elite department store on Nevsky Avenue in Saint Petersburg, Russia, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1998...

, Catholic Church of St. Catherine
Catholic Church of St. Catherine
The Catholic Church of St. Catherine in St. Petersburg is one of the oldest Catholic churches in Russia. It is part of the Archdiocese of Moscow headed by H.E. Msgr. Paolo Pezzi. It is located on the Nevsky Prospekt.- Construction :...

, Book House
Singer House
Singer House , also widely known as House of Books is a historical landmark building located at intersection of Nevsky Prospekt with Griboyedov Canal, just opposite to the Kazan Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, Russia...

 (former Singer Manufacturing Company
Singer Corporation
Singer Corporation is a manufacturer of sewing machines, first established as I.M. Singer & Co. in 1851 by Isaac Merritt Singer with New York lawyer Edward Clark. Best known for its sewing machines, it was renamed Singer Manufacturing Company in 1865, then The Singer Company in 1963. It is...

 Building in the Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

 style), Grand Hotel Europe
Grand Hotel Europe
Grand Hotel Europe vies with Corinthia Nevskij Palace Hotel and Hotel Astoria for the title of the most luxurious five-star hotel in Saint Petersburg, Russia....

, Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul
Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul
The Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul is a Lutheran church located in Saint Petersburg, Russia...

, Great Gostiny Dvor, Russian National Library, Alexandrine Theatre behind Mikeshin
Mikhail Mikeshin
Mikhail Osipovich Mikeshin was a Russian artist who regularly worked for the Romanov family and designed a number of outdoor statues in the major cities of the Russian Empire.Mikeshin was born on 21 February 1835 in a village near Roslavl...

's statue of Catherine the Great, Kazan Cathedral, Stroganov Palace
Stroganov Palace
The Stroganov Palace is a Late Baroque palace at the intersection of the Moika River and Nevsky Prospekt in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The palace was built to Bartolomeo Rastrelli's designs for Baron Sergei Grigoriyevich Stroganov in 1753-1754...

, Anichkov Palace
Anichkov Palace
Anichkov Palace is a former imperial palace in Saint Petersburg, at the intersection of Nevsky Avenue and the Fontanka.-History:The palace, situated on the plot formerly owned by Antonio de Vieira, takes its name from the nearby Anichkov Bridge across the Fontanka...

 and Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
Belosselsky-Belozersky Palace is a Neo-Baroque palace at the intersection of the Fontanka River and Nevsky Prospekt in Saint Petersburg, Russia...

 are all situated along that avenue.

The Alexander Nevsky Lavra, intended to house the relics of St. Alexander Nevsky
Alexander Nevsky
Alexander Nevsky was the Prince of Novgorod and Grand Prince of Vladimir during some of the most trying times in the city's history. Commonly regarded as the key figure of medieval Rus, Alexander was the grandson of Vsevolod the Big Nest and rose to legendary status on account of his military...

, is an important centre of Christian education
Religious studies
Religious studies is the academic field of multi-disciplinary, secular study of religious beliefs, behaviors, and institutions. It describes, compares, interprets, and explains religion, emphasizing systematic, historically based, and cross-cultural perspectives.While theology attempts to...

 in Russia. It also contains the Tikhvin Cemetery
Tikhvin Cemetery
Tikhvin Cemetery is located at the Alexander Nevsky Monastery, in Saint Petersburg, Russia.Established in 1823, some of the notables buried here are:* Mily Balakirev - , composer* Alexander Borodin - , composer...

 with graves of many notable Petersburgers.

On the territory between the Neva and Nevsky Prospekt the Church of the Savior on Blood
Church of the Savior on Blood
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood Khram Spasa na Krovi is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg, Russia. It is also variously called the Church on Spilt Blood and the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ , its official name....

, Mikhailovsky Palace housing the Russian Museum
Russian Museum
The State Russian Museum is the largest depository of Russian fine art in St Petersburg....

, Field of Mars
Field of Mars (Saint Petersburg)
The Field of Mars or Marsovo Polye is a large park named after the Mars - Roman god of war situated in the center of Saint-Petersburg, with an area of about 9 hectares. Bordering the Field of Mars to the north are the Marble Palace, Suvorova Square and Betskoi’s and Saltykov’s houses. To the west...

, St. Michael's Castle
Saint Michael's Castle
St. Michael's Castle , also called the Mikhailovsky Castle or the Engineers Castle , is a former royal residence in the historic centre of Saint Petersburg, Russia. St. Michael's Castle was built as a residence for Emperor Paul I by architects Vincenzo Brenna and Vasili Bazhenov in 1797-1801...

, Summer Garden
Summer Garden
The Summer Garden occupies an island between the Fontanka, Moika, and the Swan Canal in Saint Petersburg and shares its name with the adjacent Summer Palace of Peter the Great.-Original:...

, Tauride Palace
Tauride Palace
Tauride Palace is one of the largest and most historic palaces in Saint Petersburg, Russia.- Potemkin :...

, Smolny Institute and Smolny Convent
Smolny Convent
Smolny Convent or Smolny Convent of the Resurrection , located on Ploschad Rastrelli, on the bank of the River Neva in Saint Petersburg, Russia, consists of a cathedral and a complex of buildings surrounding it, originally intended for a convent.-History:This Russian Orthodox convent was built to...

 are located.

Many notable landmarks are situated to the west and south of the Admiralty Building, including the Trinity Cathedral, Mariinsky Palace
Mariinsky Palace
Mariinsky Palace, also known as Marie Palace , was the last Neoclassical imperial palace to be constructed in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It was built between 1839 and 1844 to a design by the court architect Andrei Stackensneider....

, Hotel Astoria, famous Mariinsky Theatre
Mariinsky Theatre
The Mariinsky Theatre is a historic theatre of opera and ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Opened in 1860, it became the preeminent music theatre of late 19th century Russia, where many of the stage masterpieces of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov received their premieres. The...

, New Holland Island
New Holland Island
New Holland Island in Saint Petersburg was created in 1720, when the newly built Kryukov Canal and Admiralty Canal connected the Moika River with the Neva...

, Saint Isaac's Cathedral
Saint Isaac's Cathedral
Saint Isaac's Cathedral or Isaakievskiy Sobor in Saint Petersburg, Russia is the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in the city...

, the largest in the city, and Senate Square, also known as Decemberist's Square with the Bronze Horseman, 18th century equestrian monument to Peter the Great, which is considered among the city's most recognisable symbols.
Other symbols of Saint Petersburg include the weather vane
Weather vane
A weather vane is an instrument for showing the direction of the wind. They are typically used as an architectural ornament to the highest point of a building....

 in the shape of a small ship on top of the Admiralty's golden spire and the golden angel on top of the Peter and Paul Cathedral. The Palace Bridge drawn
Drawbridge
A drawbridge is a type of movable bridge typically associated with the entrance of a castle surrounded by a moat. The term is often used to describe all different types of movable bridges, like bascule bridges and lift bridges.-Castle drawbridges:...

 at night is yet another symbol of the city. Every night during the navigation period from April to November, 22 bridges across the Neva and main canals are drawn to let ships pass in and out of the Baltic Sea according to a schedule. It wasn't until 2004 that the first high bridge across the Neva, which doesn't need to be drawn, Big Obukhovsky Bridge, was opened. There are hundreds of smaller bridges in Saint Petersburg spanning across numerous canals and distributaries of the Neva, some of the most important of which are the Moika, Fontanka
Fontanka
Fontanka is a left branch of the river Neva, which flows through the whole of Central Saint Petersburg, Russia. Its length is 6,700 meters, its width is up to 70 meters, and its depth is up to 3,5 meters. The Fontanka Embankment is lined with the former private residences of Russian nobility.This...

, Griboyedov Canal, Obvodny Canal
Obvodny Canal
Obvodny Canal is the longest canal in Saint Petersburg, Russia, which in the 19th century served as the southern limit of the city. It is 8 km long and flows from the Neva River near Alexander Nevsky Lavra to the Yekaterinhofka not far from the sea port. The canal was dug in 1769-1780 and 1805-1833...

, Karpovka
Karpovka River
The Karpovka is a small river of the Neva basin in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It separates Aptekarsky Island from Petrogradsky Island . The Karpovka flows from the Bolshaya Nevka to the Malaya Nevka and is 3 km long. The Russian name is derived from the old Finnish name of the river, Korpijoki...

 and Smolenka
Smolenka
Smolenka is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Filipów, within Suwałki County, Podlaskie Voivodeship, in north-eastern Poland.-References:...

. Due to the intricate web of canals, Saint Petersburg is often called Venice of the North
Venice of the North
The term Venice of the North refers to various cities in northern Europe that contain canals, comparing them to Venice, Italy, which is renowned for its canals .* Saint Petersburg* Amsterdam* Bruges* Stockholm* Copenhagen* Hamburg...

. The rivers and canals in the city centre are lined with granite embankments. The embankments and bridges are separated from rivers and canals by granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

 or cast iron
Cast iron
Cast iron is derived from pig iron, and while it usually refers to gray iron, it also identifies a large group of ferrous alloys which solidify with a eutectic. The color of a fractured surface can be used to identify an alloy. White cast iron is named after its white surface when fractured, due...

 parapet
Parapet
A parapet is a wall-like barrier at the edge of a roof, terrace, balcony or other structure. Where extending above a roof, it may simply be the portion of an exterior wall that continues above the line of the roof surface, or may be a continuation of a vertical feature beneath the roof such as a...

s.

Southern suburbs of the city feature former imperial residences, including Petergof, with majestic fountain cascades and parks, Tsarskoe Selo
Tsarskoye Selo
Tsarskoye Selo is the town containing a former Russian residence of the imperial family and visiting nobility, located south from the center of St. Petersburg. It is now part of the town of Pushkin and of the World Heritage Site Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.-History:In...

, with the baroque Catherine Palace
Catherine Palace
The Catherine Palace was the Rococo summer residence of the Russian tsars, located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo , 25 km south-east of St. Petersburg, Russia.- History :...

 and the neoclassical Alexander Palace
Alexander Palace
The Alexander Palace is a former imperial residence at Tsarskoye Selo, on a plateau around 30 minutes by train from St Petersburg. It is known as the favourite residence of the last Russian Emperor, Nicholas II, and his family and their initial place of imprisonment after the revolution that...

, and Pavlovsk
Pavlovsk Palace
Pavlovsk Palace is an 18th-century Russian Imperial residence built by Paul I of Russia near Saint Petersburg. After his death, it became the home of his widow, Maria Feodorovna...

, which contains a domed palace of Emperor Paul
Paul I of Russia
Paul I was the Emperor of Russia between 1796 and 1801. He also was the 72nd Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta .-Childhood:...

 and one of the largest English-style parks in Europe. Some other residences situated nearby and making part of the world heritage site, including a castle and park in Gatchina
Gatchina
Gatchina is a town and the administrative center of Gatchinsky District of Leningrad Oblast, Russia, located south of St. Petersburg by the road leading to Pskov...

, actually belong to Leningrad Oblast
Leningrad Oblast
Leningrad Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . It was established on August 1, 1927, although it was not until 1946 that the oblast's borders had been mostly settled in their present position...

 rather than Saint Petersburg. Another notable suburb is Kronstadt
Kronstadt
Kronstadt , also spelled Kronshtadt, Cronstadt |crown]]" and Stadt for "city"); is a municipal town in Kronshtadtsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located on Kotlin Island, west of Saint Petersburg proper near the head of the Gulf of Finland. Population: It is also...

 with its 19th century fortifications and naval monuments, occupying the Kotlin Island
Kotlin Island
Kotlin is a Russian island, located near the head of the Gulf of Finland, west of Saint Petersburg in the Baltic Sea. Kotlin separates the Neva Bay from the rest of the gulf...

 in the Gulf of Finland.

Since around the end of the 20th century a great deal of active building and restoration works have been carried out in a number of the city's older districts.
The authorities have recently been compelled to transfer the ownership of state-owned private residences in the city centre to private lessors.
Many older buildings have been reconstructed to allow their use as apartments and penthouses.

Some of these structures, such as the Saint Petersburg Commodity and Stock Exchange
Saint Petersburg Commodity and Stock Exchange
Building of Commodity-stock exchange Saint Petersburg and a housing complex Financier is Group office and the residential buildings constructed in 2007–2008 in Saint Petersburg on Vasilievsky Island near to a recreation centre by it...

 have been recognised as town-planning errors.

Museums


Saint Petersburg is home to more than two hundred museums, many of them hosted in historic buildings. The largest of the museums is the Hermitage Museum
Hermitage Museum
The State Hermitage is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. One of the largest and oldest museums of the world, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been opened to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display,...

, featuring interiors of the former imperial residence and a vast collection of art. The Russian Museum
Russian Museum
The State Russian Museum is the largest depository of Russian fine art in St Petersburg....

 is a large museum devoted to the Russian fine art specifically. The apartments of some famous Petersburgers, including Alexander Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov was a Russian composer, and a member of the group of composers known as The Five.The Five, also known as The Mighty Handful or The Mighty Coterie, refers to a circle of composers who met in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in the years 1856–1870: Mily Balakirev , César...

, Feodor Chaliapin
Feodor Chaliapin
Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin was a Russian opera singer. The possessor of a large and expressive bass voice, he enjoyed an important international career at major opera houses and is often credited with establishing the tradition of naturalistic acting in his chosen art form.During the first phase...

, Alexander Blok
Alexander Blok
Alexander Alexandrovich Blok was a Russian lyrical poet.-Life and career:Blok was born in Saint Petersburg, into a sophisticated and intellectual family. Some of his relatives were literary men, his father being a law professor in Warsaw, and his maternal grandfather the rector of Saint Petersburg...

, Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a multilingual Russian novelist and short story writer. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist...

, Anna Akhmatova
Anna Akhmatova
Anna Andreyevna Gorenko , better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova , was a Russian and Soviet modernist poet, one of the most acclaimed writers in the Russian canon.Harrington p11...

, Mikhail Zoshchenko
Mikhail Zoshchenko
-Biography:Zoshchenko was born in 1895, in Poltava, but spent most of his life in St. Petersburg / Leningrad. His Ukrainian father was a mosaicist responsible for the exterior decoration of the Suvorov Museum in Saint Petersburg. The future writer attended the Faculty of Law at the Saint Petersburg...

, Joseph Brodsky
Joseph Brodsky
Iosif Aleksandrovich Brodsky , was a Russian poet and essayist.In 1964, 23-year-old Brodsky was arrested and charged with the crime of "social parasitism" He was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972 and settled in America with the help of W. H. Auden and other supporters...

, as well as some palace and park ensembles of the southern suburbs and notable architectural monuments such as St. Isaac's Cathedral, have also been turned into public museums.

The Kunstkamera
Kunstkamera
The Kunstkamera was the first museum in Russia. Established by Peter the Great and completed in 1727, the Kunstkammer Building hosts the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, with a collection of almost 2,000,000 items...

, with its collection established in 1714 by Peter the Great to collect curiosities from all over the world, is sometimes considered the first museum in Russia, which has evolved into the present-day Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography
Kunstkamera
The Kunstkamera was the first museum in Russia. Established by Peter the Great and completed in 1727, the Kunstkammer Building hosts the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, with a collection of almost 2,000,000 items...

. The Russian Ethnography Museum, which has been split from the Russian Museum, is devoted to the cultures of the people of Russia, the former Soviet Union
Post-Soviet states
The post-Soviet states, also commonly known as the Former Soviet Union or former Soviet republics, are the 15 independent states that split off from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in its dissolution in December 1991...

 and Russian Empire.

Other notable museums include the Central Naval Museum
Central Naval Museum
Central Naval Museum is one of the oldest Russian museums and one of the world's largest naval museums.The museum's history officially started in 1709 with the foundation of Model-kammer by Peter the Great for the conservation of ship drafts and models....

 hosted in the building of the former stock exchange and Zoological Museum, the Railway Museum, Museum of the Siege of Leningrad, Museum of contemporary art Erarta, Saint Petersburg Museum of History
Saint Petersburg Museum of History
St. Petersburg Museum of History, formerly Museum of Leningrad History from 1955 to 1991, is a museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.The headquarters of the museum are located in the Peter and Paul Fortress. It was established in 1938 as the Museum of History and Development of Leningrad. It is a...

 in the Peter and Paul Fortress
Peter and Paul Fortress
The Peter and Paul Fortress is the original citadel of St. Petersburg, Russia, founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and built to Domenico Trezzini's designs from 1706-1740.-History:...

 and Artillery Museum
Military Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineers and Signal Corps
The Military Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineers and Signal Corps , also known simply as the Artillery Museum, is a state-owned military museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia...

, which in fact includes not only artillery items, but also a huge collection of other military equipment, uniform and decorations.

Parks


Saint Petersburg is home to numerous parks and gardens, some of the most famous of which are situated in the southern suburbs, including one of the largest English garden
English garden
The English garden, also called English landscape park , is a style of Landscape garden which emerged in England in the early 18th century, and spread across Europe, replacing the more formal, symmetrical Garden à la française of the 17th century as the principal gardening style of Europe. The...

s of Europe in Pavlovsk. Sosnovka is the largest park within the limits of the city proper, occupying 240 ha. The Summer Garden
Summer Garden
The Summer Garden occupies an island between the Fontanka, Moika, and the Swan Canal in Saint Petersburg and shares its name with the adjacent Summer Palace of Peter the Great.-Original:...

 is the oldest one, dating back to the early 18th century and designed in the regular style. It is situated on the southern bank of the Neva at the head of the Fontanka and is famous for its cast iron railing and marble sculptures.

Among other notable parks are the Maritime Victory Park on Krestovsky Island
Krestovsky Island
Krestovsky Island is a 3.4 km² island in Saint Petersburg, Russia, situated between several tributaries of the Neva: the Srednyaya Nevka, the Malaya Nevka and the Krestovka. The island is served by the Krestovsky Ostrov "Крестовский остров" station of Saint Petersburg Metro...

 and the Moscow Victory Park in the south, both commemorating the victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War, as well as the Central Park of Culture and Leisure occupying Yelagin Island
Yelagin Island
Yelagin Island is an island at the mouth of the Neva River which is part of St. Petersburg, Russia. Yelagin Island is home to the Yelagin Palace but has few other buildings; the island initially served as a wooded retreat for the ruling class...

 and the Tauride Garden around the Tauride Palace
Tauride Palace
Tauride Palace is one of the largest and most historic palaces in Saint Petersburg, Russia.- Potemkin :...

. The most common trees grown in the parks are the English oak, Norway maple, green ash, silver birch, Siberian larch
Siberian Larch
The Siberian Larch or Russian Larch is a frost-hardy tree native to western Russia, from close to the Finnish border east to the Yenisei valley in central Siberia, where it hybridises with the Dahurian Larch L...

, blue spruce, crack willow, limes
Tilia
Tilia is a genus of about 30 species of trees native throughout most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere. The greatest species diversity is found in Asia, and the genus also occurs in Europe and eastern North America, but not western North America...

, and poplars. Important dendrological
Dendrology
Dendrology or xylology is the science and study of wooded plants . There is no sharp boundary between plant taxonomy and dendrology. However, woody plants not only belong to many different plant families, but these families may be made up of both woody and non-woody members. Some families include...

 collections dating back to the 19th century are hosted by the Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden
Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden
The Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden, also known as the Botanic Gardens of the Komarov Botanical Institute or the Komarov Botanical Garden, is the oldest botanical garden in Russia, consisting of outdoor and rich indoor collections, which is situated on Aptekarsky Island in Saint Petersburg and...

 and the Park of the Forestry Academy.

Tourism



Saint Petersburg has significant historical and cultural heritage and is thus a highly attractive tourist destination.

The 18th and 19th century architectural ensemble of the city and its environs is preserved in virtually unchanged form. For various reasons (including large-scale destruction during World War II and construction of modern buildings during the postwar period in the largest historical centers of Europe), Saint Petersburg has now become a unique nature reserve of European architectural styles of the past three centuries. Saint Petersburg's loss of capital city status significantly helped the city in retaining many pre-revolutionary buildings, as modern architectural 'prestige projects' tended to be built in Moscow; this largely prevented the rise of mid- to late-20th century architecture in the city and helped maintain the architectural appearance of the historic center.
Saint Petersburg is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list as an area with 36 historical architectural complexes, and around 4000 outstanding individual monuments of architecture, history and culture. New tourist programs and sightseeing tours have been developed for those wishing to see Saint Petersburg's cultural heritage.


The city has 221 museums, 2000 libraries, more than 80 theaters, 100 concert organizations, 45 galleries and exhibition halls, 62 cinemas, and around 80 other cultural establishments. Every year the city hosts around 100 festivals and various competitions of art and culture, including more than 50 international ones.

Despite the economic instability of the 1990s not a single major theatre or museum has been closed in Saint Petersburg; on the contrary many new ones have opened, for example, a private museum of puppets (opened in 1999) is the third museum of its kind in Russia, where collections of more than 2000 dolls are presented, including 'The multinational Saint Petersburg' and 'Pushkin's Petersburg'.
The museum world of Saint Petersburg is incredibly diverse. The city is not only home to the world-famous Hermitage Museum and The Russian State Museum with its rich collection of Russian art, but also the palaces of Saint Petersburg and its suburbs, so-called small town museums and others like the museum of famous Russian writer Dostoyevsky; Museum of Musical Instruments, the museum of decorative arts and the museum of professional orientation.
The musical life of Saint Petersburg is rich and diverse, with the city now playing host to a number of annual carnivals.

Ballet performances occupy a special place in the cultural life of Saint Petersburg. The Petersburg School of Ballet is deservedly named as one of the best in the world. Traditions of the Russian classical school have been passed down from generation to generation amongst outstanding educators. The art of famous and prominent Saint Petersburg dancers like Rudolf Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, Mikhail Baryshnikov was, and is, admired throughout the world. Contemporary Petersburg ballet is made up not only of traditional Russian classical school, but also ballets by those like Boris Eifman's, who expanded the scope of strict classical Russian ballet to almost unimaginable limits. Remaining faithful to the classical basis (he was a choreographer in Vaganova Academy of Dance), he combined classical ballet with the avant-garde style, and then, in turn, with acrobatics, rhythmic gymnastics, dramatic expressiveness, cinema, color, light, and finally with spoken word.

With a packed cultural program and a large number of world heritage sites, as well as a developing tourist infrastructure, Saint Petersburg has started to enter into the number of the world's leading centers of culture and tourism.

Transportation



Saint Petersburg is a major transport hub. The first Russian railway was built here in 1837, and since then the city's transport infrastructure has continued to develop and keep pace with the growth of the city. Petersburg has an extensive system of local roads and railway services, maintains a large public transport system that includes the Saint Petersburg tram
Tramways in Saint Petersburg
The city of Saint Petersburg, Russia once had the largest tram network in the world, consisting of about 340 kilometres of unduplicated track in the late 1980s. However, since 1995 the tramway network has declined sharply in size as major portions of track were removed, particularly in the city...

 and the Saint Petersburg Metro
Saint Petersburg Metro
The Saint Petersburg Metro is the underground railway system in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, Russia. It has been open since November 15, 1955.Formerly known as the V.I...

, and is home to a number of riverine services that convey passengers around the city efficiently and in relative comfort.

The city is connected to the rest of Russia and the wider world by a number of federal highways and national and international rail routes. Pulkovo International Airport serves the majority of air passengers departing from or arriving to the city.

Railways



Today, the city is the final destination of a web of intercity and suburban railways, served by five different railway terminals (Baltiysky, Finlyandsky, Ladozhsky, Moskovsky, and Vitebsky), as well as dozens of non-terminal railway stations
Train station
A train station, also called a railroad station or railway station and often shortened to just station,"Station" is commonly understood to mean "train station" unless otherwise qualified. This is evident from dictionary entries e.g...

 within the federal subject. Saint Petersburg has international railway connections to Helsinki
Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, and all former republics of the USSR. The Helsinki railway was built in 1870, 443 km (275 mi), commutes three times a day, in a journey lasting about three and a half hours with the new Allegro train.

The Moscow-Saint Petersburg Railway opened in 1851, 651 km (405 mi); the commute to Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 now requires from three and a half to nine hours.

In 2009 Russian Railways
Russian Railways
The Russian Railways , is the government owned national rail carrier of the Russian Federation, headquartered in Moscow. The Russian Railways operate over of common carrier routes as well as a few hundred kilometers of industrial routes, making it the second largest network in the world exceeded...

 launched a high speed service on the Moscow-Saint Petersburg route. The new train, known as Sapsan
Sapsan
Sapsan is a gauge high speed train in Russia. The design is part of the Siemens Velaro family....

, is a deriative of the popular Siemens Velaro
Siemens Velaro
Siemens Velaro is a family of high-speed EMU trains used in Europe and China. The Velaro is based on Deutsche Bahn's ICE 3 high-speed trains, but is a full Siemens product unlike the ICE 3 which involved other manufacturers....

 train; various versions of which are already in service in a number of European countries. It set records for the fastest train in Russia on May 2, 2009, travelling at 281 km/h and on May 7, 2009, travelling at 290 km/h (180 mph).

Since December 12, 2010 Karelian Trains
Karelian Trains
Oy Karelian Trains Ltd is a joint venture agreed on 23 November 2006 between Russian Railways and VR Group to facilitate the operation of international express passenger rail services between Helsinki, Finland and Saint Petersburg, Russia. Karelian Trains is registered in Helsinki, VR and RZhD...

, a joint venture between Russian Railways
Russian Railways
The Russian Railways , is the government owned national rail carrier of the Russian Federation, headquartered in Moscow. The Russian Railways operate over of common carrier routes as well as a few hundred kilometers of industrial routes, making it the second largest network in the world exceeded...

 and VR (Finnish Railways)
VR Group
VR or VR Group is a state-owned railway company in Finland. Formerly known as Suomen Valtion Rautatiet until 1922 and Valtionrautatiet / Statsjärnvägarna until 1995...

, has been running Alstom Pendolino operated high-speed services between Saint Petersburg's Finlyandsky and Helsinki's Central
Helsinki Central railway station
Helsinki Central railway station is a widely recognised landmark in central Helsinki, Finland, and the focal point of public transport in the Greater Helsinki area. The station is used by approximately 200,000 passengers per day, making it Finland's most-visited building...

 railway stations. These services are branded as 'Allegro' trains.




Waterways


The city is also served by the passenger and cargo seaports in the Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland
Gulf of Finland
The Gulf of Finland is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland and Estonia all the way to Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into it. Other major cities around the gulf include Helsinki and Tallinn...

, Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

, the river port higher up the Neva, and tens of smaller passenger stations on both banks of the Neva river. It is a terminus of the Volga-Baltic and White Sea-Baltic waterways.

In 2004 the first high bridge that doesn't need to be drawn, a 2824 m (9,265 ft) long Big Obukhovsky Bridge, was opened. Meteor hydrofoil
Hydrofoil
A hydrofoil is a foil which operates in water. They are similar in appearance and purpose to airfoils.Hydrofoils can be artificial, such as the rudder or keel on a boat, the diving planes on a submarine, a surfboard fin, or occur naturally, as with fish fins, the flippers of aquatic mammals, the...

s link the city centre to the coastal towns of Kronstadt
Kronstadt
Kronstadt , also spelled Kronshtadt, Cronstadt |crown]]" and Stadt for "city"); is a municipal town in Kronshtadtsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located on Kotlin Island, west of Saint Petersburg proper near the head of the Gulf of Finland. Population: It is also...

, Lomonosov
Lomonosov, Russia
Lomonosov is a municipal town in Petrodvortsovy District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, situated on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, west of St. Petersburg proper. Population:...

, Petergof, Sestroretsk
Sestroretsk
Sestroretsk is a municipal town in Kurortny District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, the Sestra River and the Sestroretskiy Lake northwest of St. Petersburg...

, and Zelenogorsk
Zelenogorsk, Saint Petersburg
Zelenogorsk , ' before 1948, is a municipal town in Kurortny District of the federal city of Saint Petersburg, Russia, located in part of the Karelian Isthmus on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, and a station on the St. Petersburg-Vyborg railroad. It is located about northwest of central Saint...

 from May through October. Throughout the city, smaller boats and water-taxis maneuver the many canals in the warmer months.

The shipping company St Peter Line
St Peter Line
St. Peter Line is a Russian shipping company, which operates services from Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Stockholm . The company was founded in 2010 with it starting operations in April of that year...

 operates two ferries which sails from Helsinki
Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

 to St Petersburg and from Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

 to St Petersburg.

Roads and public transport



Saint Petersburg has an extensive city-funded network of public transport
Public transport
Public transport is a shared passenger transportation service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, car pooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement.Public transport modes include buses, trolleybuses, trams...

 (buses, trams
Tramways in Saint Petersburg
The city of Saint Petersburg, Russia once had the largest tram network in the world, consisting of about 340 kilometres of unduplicated track in the late 1980s. However, since 1995 the tramway network has declined sharply in size as major portions of track were removed, particularly in the city...

, trolleybus
Trolleybus
A trolleybus is an electric bus that draws its electricity from overhead wires using spring-loaded trolley poles. Two wires and poles are required to complete the electrical circuit...

es) and several hundred routes served by marshrutka
Marshrutka
Marshrutka , from marshrutnoye taksi is a share taxi in the CIS countries, the Baltic states, and Bulgaria. Marshrutnoye taksi literally means routed taxicab...

s
. Trams in Saint Petersburg
Tramways in Saint Petersburg
The city of Saint Petersburg, Russia once had the largest tram network in the world, consisting of about 340 kilometres of unduplicated track in the late 1980s. However, since 1995 the tramway network has declined sharply in size as major portions of track were removed, particularly in the city...

 used to be the main transport; in the 1980s, Leningrad had the largest tramway network in the world, but many tramway rail tracks were dismantled in the 2000s.

Buses carry up to 3 million passengers daily, serving over 250 urban and a number of suburban bus routes. Saint Petersburg Metro
Saint Petersburg Metro
The Saint Petersburg Metro is the underground railway system in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, Russia. It has been open since November 15, 1955.Formerly known as the V.I...

 underground rapid transit system was opened in 1955; it now has five lines with 64 stations, connecting all five railway terminals, and carrying 3.4 million passengers daily. Metro stations are decorated in marble and bronze.

Traffic jams
Traffic congestion
Traffic congestion is a condition on road networks that occurs as use increases, and is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular queueing. The most common example is the physical use of roads by vehicles. When traffic demand is great enough that the interaction...

 are common in the city, because of high daily traffic volumes between the commuter boroughs and the city centre, intercity traffic, and at times excessive snow in winter. Five segments of the Saint Petersburg Ring Road
Saint Petersburg Ring Road
The Saint Petersburg Ring Road is an 88-mile orbital freeway encircling Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is the only beltway around the city. The St. Petersburg Ring Road in the Russian road numbering system is listed as the federal public road A-118.-Construction:The need for the construction of a...

 were opened between 2002 and 2006.

Saint Petersburg is part of the important transport corridor
Transport corridor
A transportation corridor is a tract of land in which at least one main line for transport, be it road, rail or canal, has been built...

 linking Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

 to Russia and Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

. The city is a node of the international European routes
International E-road network
The international E-road network is a numbering system for roads in Europe developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe . The network is numbered from E 1 up and its roads cross national borders...

 E18
European route E18
European route E18 runs from Craigavon in the United Kingdom to Saint Petersburg in Russia, passing through Norway, Sweden, and Finland. It is about 1,890 km in length.-United Kingdom:...

 towards Helsinki
Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

, E20
European route E20
The European route E 20 is part of the United Nations International E-road network.It runs roughly west-east through Ireland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and finally Russia. The length is . The road is not continuous, at three points, a sea crossing is required. ...

 towards Tallinn
Tallinn
Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It occupies an area of with a population of 414,940. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg. Tallinn's Old Town is in the list...

, E95
European route E95
The European route E 95 is a road in Europe and a part of the United Nations International E-road network. Approximately long, it connects St Petersburg with Merzifon in north central Turkey. Between its northern terminus in Russia and its southern end, it passes in addition through...

 towards Pskov
Pskov
Pskov is an ancient city and the administrative center of Pskov Oblast, Russia, located in the northwest of Russia about east from the Estonian border, on the Velikaya River. Population: -Early history:...

, Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 and Odessa
Odessa
Odessa or Odesa is the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the northwest shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,029,000 .The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement,...

 and E105
European route E105
The E 105 is part of the International E-road network, which is a series of main roads in Europe.The E 105 starts from Hesseng, , Norway and runs along the Russian route M18, Russian route M10, Russian route M2 and Ukrainian route M18 to Yalta, Ukraine.Major towns and cities on the...

 towards Petrozavodsk
Petrozavodsk
Petrozavodsk is the capital city of the Republic of Karelia, Russia. It stretches along the western shore of the Lake Onega for some . The city is served by Petrozavodsk Airport. Municipally, it is incorporated as Petrozavodsky Urban Okrug . Population:...

, Murmansk
Murmansk
Murmansk is a city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It serves as a seaport and is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland...

 and Kirkenes
Kirkenes
is a town in the municipality of Sør-Varanger in the county of Finnmark in the far northeast of Norway...

 (north) and towards Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 and Kharkiv
Kharkiv
Kharkiv or Kharkov is the second-largest city in Ukraine.The city was founded in 1654 and was a major centre of Ukrainian culture in the Russian Empire. Kharkiv became the first city in Ukraine where the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed in December 1917 and Soviet government was...

 (south).

Air travel


Saint Petersburg is also served by Pulkovo International Airport
Pulkovo Airport
Pulkovo Airport is an international airport serving Saint Petersburg, Russia. It consists of two terminals, Pulkovo-1 and Pulkovo-2 , which are located about and south of the city centre, respectively. The airport serves as a hub for Rossiya Airlines , and as focus city for Nordavia...

, and by three smaller commercial and cargo airports in the suburbs.

Pulkovo airport opened to passengers as a small aerodrome in 1931. As of 2007, the airport is the 4th busiest in Russia after Moscow's Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo airports. With two main terminals (one domestic, one international), Pulkovo is widely regarded as one of the larger and more modern airports in the Russian Federation. However, as it is anticipated that by 2025 Pulkovo airport will handle around 17 million passengers annually, plans have been laid out to build a new mid-field terminal extension directly to the north of Terminal 1 (domestic); it is planned to contain 18 gates. Construction began in November 2010, and is scheduled to complete in 2013.

There is a regular, 24/7, rapid-bus transit connection (marshrutka) between Pulkovo airport and the city center
Central Saint Petersburg
Central Saint Petersburg is the central and the leading part of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It looks nothing like the downtown district of a typical major city, and has no skyscrapers...

.

Education


As of 2006/2007 there were 1024 kindergartens, 716 public schools and 80 vocational
Vocational education
Vocational education or vocational education and training is an education that prepares trainees for jobs that are based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic, and totally related to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation...

 schools in Saint Petersburg. The largest of the public higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 institutions is Saint Petersburg State University
Saint Petersburg State University
Saint Petersburg State University is a Russian federal state-owned higher education institution based in Saint Petersburg and one of the oldest and largest universities in Russia....

, enrolling approximately 32,000 undergraduate students; and the largest non-governmental higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 institutions is the Institute of International Economic Relations, Economics and Law
St. Petersburg Institute of International Trade, Economics and Law
St. Petersburg Institute of International Economic Relations, Economics and Law - IVESEP is an independent institution of higher education in St. Petersburg, Russia. Established in 1994 by the interregional public organization “ZNANIE Society in St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast”.- General...

. Other famous universities are Saint Petersburg Polytechnical University
Saint Petersburg Polytechnical University
Saint Petersburg State Polytechnical University is a major Russian technical university situated in Saint Petersburg. Previously it was known as the Peter the Great Polytechnical Institute and Kalinin Polytechnical Institute .-Imperial Russia:...

, Herzen University
Herzen University
The State Russian Herzen Pedagogical University is one of the largest universities in Russia. Located in Saint Petersburg, it operates 20 faculties and more than 100 departments. Embroidered in its structure are the Institute of Pre-University Courses, the Institute of Continuous Professional...

 and Saint Petersburg Military engineering-technical university
Military Engineering-Technical University
The Saint Petersburg Military Engineering-Technical University , previously known as the Saint Petersburg Nikolaevsky Engineering Academy, was established in 1810 under Alexander I...

. However, the public universities are all federal property and don't belong to the city.

Music



Among the city's more than fifty theaters is the world-famous Mariinsky Theater
Mariinsky Theatre
The Mariinsky Theatre is a historic theatre of opera and ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Opened in 1860, it became the preeminent music theatre of late 19th century Russia, where many of the stage masterpieces of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov received their premieres. The...

 (also known as the Kirov Theater in the USSR ), home to the Mariinsky Ballet
Mariinsky Ballet
The Mariinsky Ballet is a classical ballet company based at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Founded in the 18th century and originally known as the Imperial Russian Ballet, the Mariinsky Ballet is one of the world's leading ballet companies...

 company and opera. Leading ballet dancers, such as Vaslav Nijinsky
Vaslav Nijinsky
Vaslav Nijinsky was a Russian ballet dancer and choreographer of Polish descent, cited as the greatest male dancer of the 20th century. He grew to be celebrated for his virtuosity and for the depth and intensity of his characterizations...

, Anna Pavlova, Rudolph Nureyev
Rudolf Nureyev
Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev was a Russian dancer, considered one of the most celebrated ballet dancers of the 20th century. Nureyev's artistic skills explored expressive areas of the dance, providing a new role to the male ballet dancer who once served only as support to the women.In 1961 he...

, Mikhail Baryshnikov
Mikhail Baryshnikov
Mikhail Nikolaevich Baryshnikov is a Soviet and American dancer, choreographer, and actor, often cited alongside Vaslav Nijinsky and Rudolf Nureyev as one of the greatest ballet dancers of the 20th century. After a promising start in the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, he defected to Canada in 1974...

, Galina Ulanova
Galina Ulanova
Galina Sergeyevna Ulánova is frequently cited as being one of the greatest 20th Century ballerinas. Her flat in Moscow is designated a national museum, and there are monuments to her in Saint Petersburg and Stockholm....

 and Natalia Makarova
Natalia Makarova
Nataliya Romanovna Makarova is the legendary Soviet-Russian-born prima ballerina. The History of Dance, published in 1981, notes that “Her performances set standards of artistry and aristocracy of dance which mark her as the finest ballerina of her generation.” She has also won awards as an...

, were principal stars of the Mariinsky ballet.

Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was a Soviet Russian composer and one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century....

 was born and brought up in Saint Petersburg, and dedicated his Seventh Symphony
Symphony No. 7 (Shostakovich)
Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 60 dedicated to the city of Leningrad was completed on 27 December 1941. In its time, the symphony was extremely popular in both Russia and the West as a symbol of resistance and defiance to Nazi totalitarianism and militarism...

 to the city, calling it the "Leningrad Symphony." He wrote the symphony while in Leningrad during the German siege. The 7th symphony was premiered in 1942; its performance in the besieged Leningrad at the Bolshoy Philharmonic Hall under the baton of conductor Karl Eliasberg
Karl Eliasberg
Karl Ilitch Eliasberg was a Soviet conductor.Eliasberg graduated from the Leningrad Conservatory as a violinist in 1929, and was conductor of the Leningrad Theatre of Musical Comedy from 1929 to 1931 before joining Leningrad Radio as conductor.-The siege of Leningrad:Eliasberg was conductor of...

 was heard over the radio and lifted the spirits of the survivors. In 1992 a reunion performance of the 7th Symphony by the (then) 14 survivors was played in the same hall as they done half a century ago. The Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra remained one of the best known symphony orchestras
Orchestra
An orchestra is a sizable instrumental ensemble that contains sections of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The term orchestra derives from the Greek ορχήστρα, the name for the area in front of an ancient Greek stage reserved for the Greek chorus...

 in the world under the leadership of conductors Yevgeny Mravinsky and Yuri Temirkanov
Yuri Temirkanov
Yuri Khatuevich Temirkanov is a Russian conductor of Circassian origin.Yuri Temirkanov has been the Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic since 1988.-Early life:...

.

The Imperial Choral Capella was founded and modeled after the royal courts of other European capitals.


Saint Petersburg has been home to the newest movements in popular music
Popular music
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local...

 in the country. The first jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 band in the Soviet Union was founded here by Leonid Utyosov
Leonid Utyosov
Leonid Osipovich Utyosov or Utesov ; real name Lazar Vaysbeyn or Weissbein , was a famous Soviet jazz singer and comic actor of jewish origin, who became the first pop singer to be awarded the prestigious title of People's Artist of the USSR .-Biography:Leonid Utyosov was brought up in Odessa...

 in the 1920s, under the patronage of Isaak Dunayevsky
Isaak Dunayevsky
Isaak Osipovich Dunayevsky was the biggest Soviet film composer and conductor of the 1930s and 1940s, who achieved huge success in music for operetta and film comedies, frequently working with the film director Grigori Aleksandrov...

. The first jazz club in the Soviet Union was founded here in the 1950s, and later was named jazz club
Jazz club
A jazz club is a venue where the primary entertainment is the performance of live jazz music. Jazz clubs have been in large rooms in the eras of Orchestral jazz and big band jazz and when its popularity as a dance music was common...

 Kvadrat. In 1956 the popular ensemble Druzhba was founded by Aleksandr Bronevitsky and Edita Piekha
Edita Piekha
Edita Piekha is a French-born popular Soviet and Russian singer and actress of Polish descent. She was the third popular female singer, after Klavdiya Shulzhenko and Sofia Rotaru, to be named a People's Artist of the USSR ....

, becoming the first popular band in the 1950s USSR. In the 1960s student rock-groups Argonavty, Kochevniki and others pioneered a series of unofficial and underground rock
Underground music
Underground music comprises a range of different musical genres that operate outside of mainstream culture. Such music can typically share common values, such as the valuing of sincerity and intimacy; an emphasis on freedom of creative expression; an appreciation of artistic creativity...

 concerts and festivals. In 1972 Boris Grebenshchikov
Boris Grebenshchikov
Boris Borisovich Grebenshchikov also known as Boris Purushottama Grebenshikov, is one of the most prominent members of the generation which is widely considered the "founding fathers" of Russian rock music...

 founded the band Aquarium, that later grew to huge popularity. Since then "Peter's rock" music style
Music genre
A music genre is a categorical and typological construct that identifies musical sounds as belonging to a particular category and type of music that can be distinguished from other types of music...

 was formed.

In the 1970s many bands came out from "underground" and eventually founded the Leningrad rock club
Leningrad Rock Club
The Leningrad Rock Club was a historic music venue of the 1980s in Leningrad, situated on Rubinstein Street in the city center. Opened in 1981 and overseen by the KGB, it became the first legal rock music venue in Leningrad...

, which has been providing stage to such bands as Piknik, DDT
DDT (band)
DDT is a popular Russian rock band founded by its lead singer, Yuri Shevchuk , in Ufa in 1980...

, Kino
Kino (band)
Kino was a Soviet rock band headed by Viktor Tsoi. It was one of the most famous Soviet rock groups of the 1980s.-History:The band was formed in the summer of 1981 in Leningrad, USSR Kino was a Soviet rock band headed by Viktor Tsoi. It was one of the most famous Soviet rock groups of the...

, headed by the legendary Viktor Tsoi
Viktor Tsoi
Viktor Robertovich Tsoi ; 21 June 1962 – 15 August 1990) was a Soviet rock musician, leader of the band Kino.He is regarded as one of the pioneers of Russian rock and has many devoted fans across the countries of the former Soviet Union even today...

, Igry, Mify, Zemlyane, Alisa and many other popular groups. The first Russian-style happening show Pop mekhanika, mixing over 300 people and animals on stage, was directed by the multi-talented Sergey Kuryokhin
Sergey Kuryokhin
Sergey Kuryokhin was a Russian film actor, film composer, pianist, music director, experimental artist and writer, based in St. Petersburg, Russia.-Biography:Kuryokhin began his acting career as a piano and keyboard player with a school band in Leningrad...

 in the 1980s.

Today's Saint Petersburg boasts many notable musicians of various genres, from popular Leningrad's Sergei Shnurov
Sergei Shnurov
Sergey Vladimirovich Shnurov is a Russian musician and songwriter, best known as Shnur, of the ska-punk band Leningrad which he formed in 1997 and was the frontman of till the end of 2008...

 and Tequilajazzz
Tequilajazzz
Tequilajazzz was a Russian alternative rock band led by bassist Evgeny "Ai-yai-yai" Fedorov based in Saint Petersburg...

, to rock veterans Yuri Shevchuk
Yuri Shevchuk
Yuri Yulianovich Shevchuk , born 16 May 1957, is a Soviet and Russian singer/songwriter who leads the rock band DDT, which he founded with Vladimir Sigachev in 1980. Shevchuk was born in Yagodnoye in Magadan Oblast and raised in Ufa, Bashkir ASSR, though he now resides in St. Petersburg, Russia....

, Vyacheslav Butusov
Vyacheslav Butusov
Vyacheslav Butusov , born October 15, 1961, was a lead singer of Nautilus Pompilius, a Russian rock group, until its disbandment. He has since started his own career as a singer.-Biography:...

 and Mikhail Boyarsky
Mikhail Boyarsky
Mikhail Sergeevich Boyarsky is a Soviet/Russian actor and singer, currently living in the city of Saint Petersburg. He is best known and loved for the role of d'Artagnan in the film d'Artagnan and Three Musketeers and its sequels . He was also a popular singer of the 1980s and completed several...

.

The White Nights Festival
White Nights Festival
The White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia is an annual international arts festival during the season of the midnight sun. The White Nights Festival consists of a series of classical ballet, opera and music events and includes performances by Russian dancers, singers, musicians and actors,...

 in Saint Petersburg is famous for spectacular fireworks and massive show celebrating the end of school year
Academic term
An academic term is a division of an academic year, the time during which a school, college or university holds classes. These divisions may be called terms...

.

Film



Over 250 international and Russian movies were filmed in Saint Petersburg. Well over a thousand feature films about tsars, revolution, people and stories set in Saint Petersburg were produced worldwide, but were not filmed in the city. First film studio
Movie studio
A movie studio is a term used to describe a major entertainment company or production company that has its own privately owned studio facility or facilities that are used to film movies...

s were founded in Saint Petersburg in the 20th century, and since the 1920s Lenfilm
Lenfilm
Kinostudiya "Lenfilm" is a production unit of the Russian film industry, with its own film studio, located in Saint Petersburg, Russia, formerly Leningrad, R.S.F.S.R. Today OAO "Kinostudiya Lenfilm" is a corporation with its stakes shared between private owners, and several private film studios,...

 has been the largest film studio based in Saint Petersburg. The first foreign feature movie filmed entirely in Saint Petersburg was the 1997 production of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina (1997 film)
Anna Karenina is a 1997 film by director Bernard Rose, and starring Sophie Marceau and Sean Bean. The film is an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Leo Tolstoy. It was the first international version to be filmed entirely in Russia, at locations in St...

, starring Sophie Marceau
Sophie Marceau
Sophie Marceau is a French actress director, screenwriter, and author. She has appeared in 38 films. As a teenager, Marceau achieved popularity with her debut films La boum and La boum 2 , receiving a César Award for Most Promising Actress...

 and Sean Bean
Sean Bean
Shaun Mark "Sean" Bean is an English film and stage actor. Bean is best known for playing Boromir in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and, previously, British Colonel Richard Sharpe in the ITV television series Sharpe...

, and made by international team of British, American, French and Russian filmmakers.

The cult comedy Irony of Fate (also Ирония судьбы, или С лёгким паром!) is set in Saint Petersburg and pokes fun at Soviet city planning. The 1985 film White Nights received considerable Western attention for having captured genuine Leningrad street scenes at a time when filming in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 by Western production companies was generally unheard of. Other movies include GoldenEye
GoldenEye
GoldenEye is the seventeenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the first to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film was directed by Martin Campbell and is the first film in the series not to take story elements from the works of novelist Ian Fleming...

(1995), Midnight in Saint Petersburg
Midnight in Saint Petersburg
Midnight in Saint Petersburg is a 1996 thriller film starring Michael Caine for the fifth time as British secret agent Harry Palmer.It served as semi-sequel to Bullet to Beijing which had been released the year before, the two films having been shot back-to-back...

(1996), and Brother
Brother (1997 film)
Brother is a 1997 Russian crime film directed by Aleksei Balabanov and starring Sergei Bodrov, Jr. The sequel Brother 2 was released in 2000. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.-Plot:...

(1997). Onegin (1999) is based on the Pushkin poem and showcases many tourist attraction
Tourist attraction
A tourist attraction is a place of interest where tourists visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, or amusement opportunities....

s. In addition, the Russian romantic comedy, Питер FM, showcases the cityscape significantly, almost as if it were a main character in the film.

Several international film festival
Film festival
A film festival is an organised, extended presentation of films in one or more movie theaters or screening venues, usually in a single locality. More and more often film festivals show part of their films to the public by adding outdoor movie screenings...

s are held annually, such as the Festival of Festivals, St. Petersburg
Festival of Festivals, St. Petersburg
The Festival Of Festivals, established in 1993, is Russia’s largest, non-competitive festival of recent outstanding works of international and Russian cinema. It is held annually June 23–29, during St. Petersburg's White Nights. The festival attracts more than 30,000 viewers, as well as a number of...

, as well as the Message to Man International Documentary Film Festival, since its inauguration in 1988 during the White Nights.

Literature


Saint Petersburg has a longstanding and world famous tradition in literature. Dostoyevsky called it “The most abstract and intentional city in the world," emphasizing its artificiality, but it was also a symbol of modern disorder in a changing Russia. It frequently appeared to Russian writers as a menacing and inhuman mechanism. The grotesque and often nightmarish image of the city is featured in Pushkin's last poems, the Petersburg stories of Gogol
Nikolai Gogol
Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol was a Ukrainian-born Russian dramatist and novelist.Considered by his contemporaries one of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism, later critics have found in Gogol's work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strains of Surrealism...

, the novels of Dostoyevsky, the verse of Alexander Blok
Alexander Blok
Alexander Alexandrovich Blok was a Russian lyrical poet.-Life and career:Blok was born in Saint Petersburg, into a sophisticated and intellectual family. Some of his relatives were literary men, his father being a law professor in Warsaw, and his maternal grandfather the rector of Saint Petersburg...

 and Osip Mandelshtam
Osip Mandelstam
Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam was a Russian poet and essayist who lived in Russia during and after its revolution and the rise of the Soviet Union. He was one of the foremost members of the Acmeist school of poets...

, and in the symbolist novel Petersburg by Andrey Bely
Andrei Bely
Andrei Bely was the pseudonym of Boris Nikolaevich Bugaev , a Russian novelist, poet, theorist, and literary critic. His novel Petersburg was regarded by Vladimir Nabokov as one of the four greatest novels of the 20th century.-Biography:...

. According to Lotman in his chapter, 'The Symbolism of Saint Petersburg' in Universe and the Mind, these writers were inspired from symbolism from within the city itself. The effect of life in Saint Petersburg on the plight of the poor clerk in a society obsessed with hierarchy and status also became an important theme for authors such as Pushkin, Gogol
Nikolai Gogol
Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol was a Ukrainian-born Russian dramatist and novelist.Considered by his contemporaries one of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism, later critics have found in Gogol's work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strains of Surrealism...

, and Dostoyevsky. Another important feature of early Saint Petersburg literature is its mythical element, which incorporates urban legend
Urban legend
An urban legend, urban myth, urban tale, or contemporary legend, is a form of modern folklore consisting of stories that may or may not have been believed by their tellers to be true...

s and popular ghost stories
Ghost story
A ghost story may be any piece of fiction, or drama, or an account of an experience, that includes a ghost, or simply takes as a premise the possibility of ghosts or characters' belief in them. Colloquially, the term can refer to any kind of scary story. In a narrower sense, the ghost story has...

, as the stories of Pushkin and Gogol included ghosts returning to Saint Petersburg to haunt other characters as well as other fantastical elements, creating a surreal and abstract image of Saint Petersburg.

20th century writers from Saint Petersburg, such as Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a multilingual Russian novelist and short story writer. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist...

, Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism....

, Andrey Bely and Yevgeny Zamyatin
Yevgeny Zamyatin
Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin was a Russian author of science fiction and political satire. Despite having been a prominent Old Bolshevik, Zamyatin was deeply disturbed by the policies pursued by the CPSU following the October Revolution...

, along with his apprentices, The Serapion Brothers
Serapion Brothers
The Serapion Brothers was a group of writers formed in Petrograd, Russia in 1921. The group was named after a literary group, Die Serapionsbrüder , to which German romantic author E.T.A. Hoffmann belonged and after which he named a collection of his tales...

, created entire new styles in literature and contributed new insights to the understanding of society through their experience in this city. Anna Akhmatova
Anna Akhmatova
Anna Andreyevna Gorenko , better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova , was a Russian and Soviet modernist poet, one of the most acclaimed writers in the Russian canon.Harrington p11...

 became an important leader for Russian poetry. Her poem Requiem focuses on the tragedies of living during the time of the Stalinist terror. Another notable 20th century writer from Saint Petersburg is Joseph Brodsky
Joseph Brodsky
Iosif Aleksandrovich Brodsky , was a Russian poet and essayist.In 1964, 23-year-old Brodsky was arrested and charged with the crime of "social parasitism" He was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972 and settled in America with the help of W. H. Auden and other supporters...

, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

 (1987). While living in the United States, his writings in English reflected on life in Saint Petersburg from the unique perspective of being both an insider and an outsider to the city in essays such as, "A Guide to a Renamed City" and the nostalgic "In a Room and a Half".

Sports


Leningrad hosted part of the football tournament during the 1980 Summer Olympics
Summer Olympic Games
The Summer Olympic Games or the Games of the Olympiad are an international multi-sport event, occurring every four years, organized by the International Olympic Committee. Medals are awarded in each event, with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition that...

. The 1994 Goodwill Games
Goodwill Games
The Goodwill Games was an international sports competition, created by Ted Turner in reaction to the political troubles surrounding the Olympic Games of the 1980s...

 were held here.

The first competition here was the 1703 rowing
Rowing (sport)
Rowing is a sport in which athletes race against each other on rivers, on lakes or on the ocean, depending upon the type of race and the discipline. The boats are propelled by the reaction forces on the oar blades as they are pushed against the water...

 event initiated by Peter the Great, after the victory over the Swedish fleet
Swedish Navy
The Royal Swedish Navy is the naval branch of the Swedish Armed Forces. It is composed of surface and submarine naval units – the Fleet – as well as marine units, the so-called Amphibious Corps .In Swedish, vessels of the Swedish Navy are given the prefix "HMS," short for Hans/Hennes...

. Yachting
Yachting
Yachting refers to recreational sailing or boating, the specific act of sailing or using other water vessels for sporting purposes.-Competitive sailing:...

 events were held by the Russian Navy since the foundation of the city. Yacht club
Yacht club
A yacht club is a sports club specifically related to sailing and yachting.-Description:Yacht Clubs are mostly located by the sea, although there are some that have been established at a lake or riverside locations...

s: St. Petersburg River Yacht Club
St. Petersburg River Yacht Club
The St. Petersburg River Yacht Club, also known as St. Petersburg Central River Yacht Club or simply Central River Yacht Club, is a sailing club in Saint Petersburg. It is located on Petrovsky Island, off Peter's Passage, between the mouths of Malaya Neva and Malaya Nevka rivers...

, Neva Yacht Club
Neva Yacht Club
The Neva Yacht Club, is a sailing club located in Saint Petersburg, close to the Neva River, originally founded in 1718...

, the latter is the oldest yacht club in the world. In the winter, when the sea and lake surfaces are frozen and yachts and dinghies cannot be used, local people sail on ice boat
Ice boat
An ice boat is a boat or purpose-built framework similar in functional design to a sail boat but fitted with skis or runners and designed to run over ice instead of through water. Ice yachting is the sport of sailing and racing iceboats. Sailable ice is known in the sport as "hard water" versus...

s.

Equestrianism
Equestrianism
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 has been a long tradition, popular among the Tsars and aristocracy, as well as part of the military training
Military education and training
Military education and training is a process which intends to establish and improve the capabilities of military personnel in their respective roles....

. Several historic sports arenas were built for equestrianism since the 18th century, to maintain training all year round, such as the Zimny Stadion and Konnogvardeisky Manezh among others.

Chess
Chess
Chess is a two-player board game played on a chessboard, a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.Each player...

 tradition was highlighted by the 1914 international tournament, in which the title "Grandmaster" was first formally conferred by Russian Tsar Nicholas II
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until...

 to five players: Lasker
Emanuel Lasker
Emanuel Lasker was a German chess player, mathematician, and philosopher who was World Chess Champion for 27 years...

, Capablanca
José Raúl Capablanca
José Raúl Capablanca y Graupera was a Cuban chess player who was world chess champion from 1921 to 1927. One of the greatest players of all time, he was renowned for his exceptional endgame skill and speed of play...

, Alekhine
Alexander Alekhine
Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine was the fourth World Chess Champion. He is often considered one of the greatest chess players ever.By the age of twenty-two, he was already among the strongest chess players in the world. During the 1920s, he won most of the tournaments in which he played...

, Tarrasch
Siegbert Tarrasch
Siegbert Tarrasch was one of the strongest chess players and most influential chess teachers of the late 19th century and early 20th century....

 and Marshall, and which the Tsar had partially funded.

Kirov Stadium
Kirov Stadium
Kirov Stadium was a multi-purpose stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was one of the largest stadiums anywhere in the world. The stadium was named after Sergey Kirov....

 (now demolished) was one of the largest stadia anywhere in the world, and the home to FC Zenit St. Petersburg
FC Zenit Saint Petersburg
Football Club Zenit is a Russian football club from the city of Saint-Petersburg. Founded in 1925 , the club plays in the Russian Premier League...

 in 1950–1993 and 1995. In 1951 the attendance of 110,000 set the record for the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 football. In 1984, 2007 and 2010 Zenit became champions of the Soviet
Soviet Top League
The Soviet Top League since 1970 was officially known as the Supreme League serving as the top division of Soviet Union football since 1936.It was one of the best football leagues in Europe ranking second among the UEFA members in 1988-1989 seasons...

 and Russian
Russian Premier League
The Russian Premier League , currently called SOGAZ Russian Football Championship due to sponsorship reasons, is the top division of Russian football. There are 16 teams in the competition...

 leagues, respectively, won the Russian Cup in 1999 and 2010, won the UEFA Cup 2007–08 season and the 2008 UEFA Super Cup
2008 UEFA Super Cup
The 2008 UEFA Super Cup was the 33rd UEFA Super Cup, a football match played between the winners of the previous season's UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup competitions. The 2008 competition was contested by Manchester United of England, who won the 2007–08 UEFA Champions League, and Zenit St....

. Zenit currently plays their home games at Petrovsky Stadium
Petrovsky Stadium
The Petrovsky Stadium is a sport complex that consists of a number of sport buildings. One of them is the Grand Sport Arena which is the home of FC Zenit of Saint Petersburg, Russia and for simplicity referred by everyone as Petrovsky Stadium. The complex also contains another football stadium,...

. The new stadium, which will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup
2018 FIFA World Cup
The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups was the process by which the locations for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups were selected. The process began officially in March 2009; eleven bids from thirteen countries were received, including one which was withdrawn and one that was...

 matches, is currently in construction, replacing the Kirov stadium.

Crime



The crime dynamic in Saint Petersburg is tightly associated with the general social situation in the country. A sharp spike in the crime level occurred at the end of the 1980s – beginning of the 1990s as a result of Perestroika
Perestroika
Perestroika was a political movement within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during 1980s, widely associated with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev...

-time turmoils (redistribution of property, privatization, decline of living standards, decrease of the effectiveness of militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 etc.) By that time the city had fallen under the control of a number of organized criminal groups such as Tambov Gang
Tambov Gang
The Tambov Gang is a large gang in Saint Petersburg, Russia. According to common allegations, it was organized in St. Petersburg in 1988 by two men from Tambov Oblast, Vladimir Kumarin and Valery Ledovskikh. The gang is named after their region of origin, Tambov Oblast...

, Malyshev Gang, Kazan Gang and ethnic criminal groups, engaged in racket
Racket (crime)
A racket is an illegal business, usually run as part of organized crime. Engaging in a racket is called racketeering.Several forms of racket exist. The best-known is the protection racket, in which criminals demand money from businesses in exchange for the service of "protection" against crimes...

, extortion
Extortion
Extortion is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime...

, paying off local government
Local government
Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government...

, and violent clashes with each other.

After the assassinations of City Property Committee Chairman and vice-Governor Mikhail Manevich
Mikhail Manevich
Mikhail Manevich was a Russian economist and official of the Saint Petersburg City Administration.Manevich graduated from Leningrad Institute of Finance and Economics in 1983 and worked with the institute as a research fellow during the 1980s...

(1997), State Duma
State Duma
The State Duma , common abbreviation: Госду́ма ) in the Russian Federation is the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia , the upper house being the Federation Council of Russia. The Duma headquarters is located in central Moscow, a few steps from Manege Square. Its members are referred to...

 deputy Galina Starovoytova (1998), acting City Legislature Speaker Viktor Novosyolov (1999) and a number of prominent businesspeople, Saint Petersburg was dubbed Capital of Crime in the Russian press. There were a number of movies filmed in Saint Petersburg about the life of crime; Banditskiy Peterburg: Advocat, Brother
Brother (1997 film)
Brother is a 1997 Russian crime film directed by Aleksei Balabanov and starring Sergei Bodrov, Jr. The sequel Brother 2 was released in 2000. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.-Plot:...

(1997) reinforcing its image as the Crime Capital of Russia.

According to official sources the number of crimes committed by foreigners in Saint Petersburg in 2010 increased by 11.1%. Law enforcement authorities consider it is associated with an increased number of people from some CIS republics
Commonwealth of Independent States
The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union....

 who live in Saint Petersburg illegally. On the other hand, some media reported that in recent years there had been a notable increase in racially motivated violence, in particular towards foreign students
International student
According to Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development , international students are those who travel to a country different from their own for the purpose of tertiary study. Despite that, the definition of international students varies in each country in accordance to their own national...

. One of notable white supremacist
White supremacy
White supremacy is the belief, and promotion of the belief, that white people are superior to people of other racial backgrounds. The term is sometimes used specifically to describe a political ideology that advocates the social and political dominance by whites.White supremacy, as with racial...

 groups Belaya Energia (White Energy, inspired by US White Power
White supremacy
White supremacy is the belief, and promotion of the belief, that white people are superior to people of other racial backgrounds. The term is sometimes used specifically to describe a political ideology that advocates the social and political dominance by whites.White supremacy, as with racial...

 group), has reportedly been one of the gangs involved in murdering foreign university students.

Official portal of the Government of St. Petersburg provided data on significant improvement in the crime situation. In particular, it is reported the number of crimes against tourists has decreased by more than double during 2009–2011.

Twin towns – sister cities



See also


  • List of consulates in Saint Petersburg
  • List of museums in Saint Petersburg
  • List of notable people from Saint Petersburg
  • List of Saint Petersburg sister cities
  • Flag of Saint Petersburg
    Flag of Saint Petersburg
    The flag of Saint Petersburg, in the Russian Federation, is a red field charged in the center with the arms of the city, which consists of two silver anchors , and a gold scepter....

  • Hotels in Saint Petersburg
    Hotels in Saint Petersburg
    Saint Petersburg was constructed in 1703.The first hotel was built in 1719 on a place of Chicherin House in a Nevsky Prospekt 15.It was a Gostiny Dvor , a gallery where merchants lived, stored the goods and traded in them....


External links