Russian Emperor Peter the Great founded Saint-Petersburg in 1703. The city is situated on the banks of Neva River where it runs into the Finnish Gulf. The city started with the construction of Peter's and Paul's Fortress (named after the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul) located on one of the numerous islands in delta of Neva called Zayachy Island. Later the city and port occupied most of the islands and Neva riverbanks. Since then the city is considered to be the marine gates of Russia to Baltic Sea.
According to the will of its foundator, Saint-Petersburg became a link between Russia and European countries. For more than two centuries Saint-Petersburg was the capital of Russian Empire and even now people call it "Northern capital".
Saint-Petersburg is one of the few world cities, which was constructed according to original plan. The famous European architects invited first by Peter the Great and then by czar's succeedors have made a start for creation of original embankments, bridges, cathedrals, palaces and monuments. Their traditions have been continued and developed in creations of Great Russian architects.
The famous names such as Tresini, Rastrelli, Montferran, Falconet, Voronichin, Kazakov and many others equally and forever belong to the history of Saint-Petersburg. Many important historical events of Russian and European history are linked with St. Petersburg.
Three revolutions having had an outstanding influence not only to the history of Russia but also to the history of the whole world took place in St. Petersburg at the beginning of the 20-th century.
Since 1924 the city was called Leningrad named after the leader of communist revolution.
In 1991 during the democratic reformations the city was given back its historical name: Saint-Petersburg.
During the Second World War for 900 days the city was under the blockade of nazi troops. Inspire of terrible bombarding of the city and death of hundreds thousand fighters and civilians from hunger, frosts and firing, the city survived and won. For courage of the people of Leningrad during the war the city was awarded an honored name: the City-hero.
The city of St. Petersburg is known as the cultural treasure house of Russia. Here, you will find more than 140 museums and around 100 theatres. But St. Petersburg is also much more than culture and beautiful sights. It is also one of Russia's largest industrial, educational and scientific centers. The city is located in the delta of the Neva River on numerous islands, a fact that prompted some observers to call it "The City on 101 islands". St. Petersburg was founded on 16 (27) May, 1703 and celebrates its birthday on May 27.
As you have come to study and stay in Saint-Petersburg for the first time, you may need to learn some major facts about this city.
4 million 848 thousand (2011 est.)
1400 square kilometers
ORIGIN OF THE NAME
Named in honor of St. Peter and NOT Peter the Great, the founder of the city. The name can be translated as "The City of St. Peter".
20 administrative districts, including satellite towns under St. Petersburg's jurisdiction.
MAIN CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS: