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Saint Petersburg ( rus, links=no, Санкт-Петербург, a=Ru-Sankt Peterburg Leningrad Petrograd Piter.ogg, r=Sankt-Peterburg, p=ˈsankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk), formerly known as Petrograd (1914–1924) and later Leningrad (1924–1991), is the second-largest city in
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
. It is situated on the Neva River, at the head of the
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and E ...
on the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that is enclosed by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden and the North European Plain, North and Central European Plain. The sea stretches from 53°N to 66° ...
, with a population of roughly 5.4 million residents. Saint Petersburg is the fourth-most populous city in Europe after Istanbul, Moscow and London, the most populous city on the Baltic Sea, and the world's northernmost city of more than 1 million residents. As Russia's Imperial capital, and a historically strategic port, it is governed as a federal city. The city was founded by Tsar
Peter the Great Peter I ( – ), most commonly known as Peter the Great,) or Pyotr Alekséyevich ( rus, Пётр Алексе́евич, p=ˈpʲɵtr ɐlʲɪˈksʲejɪvʲɪtɕ, , group=pron was a List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarch who ruled the ...
on 27 May 1703 on the site of a captured Swedish fortress, and was named after apostle
Saint Peter Saint Peter; he, שמעון בר יונה, Šimʿōn bar Yōnāh; ar, سِمعَان بُطرُس, translit=Simʿa̅n Buṭrus; grc-gre, Πέτρος, Petros; cop, Ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ, Petros; lat, Petrus; ar, شمعون الصفـا, Sham'un ...
. In Russia, Saint Petersburg is historically and culturally associated with the birth of the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across large parts of Eurasia. It succeeded the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad, which ended th ...
and Russia's entry into modern history as a European great power. It served as a capital of the
Tsardom of Russia The Tsardom of Russia or Tsardom of Rus' also externally referenced as the Tsardom of Muscovy, was the centralized Russian state from the assumption of the title of Tsar by Ivan the Terrible, Ivan IV in 1547 until the foundation of the Russian E ...
, and the subsequent Russian Empire, from 1713 to 1918 (being replaced by Moscow for a short period of time between 1728 and 1730). After the October Revolution in 1917, the
Bolsheviks The Bolsheviks (russian: Большевики́, from большинство́ ''bol'shinstvó'', 'majority'),; derived from ''bol'shinstvó'' (большинство́), "majority", literally meaning "one of the majority". also known in English ...
moved their government to Moscow. As Russia's cultural center, Saint Petersburg received over 15 million tourists in 2018. It is considered an important economic, scientific, and tourism centre of Russia and Europe. In modern times, the city has the nickname of being "the Northern Capital of Russia" and is home to notable federal government bodies such as the
Constitutional Court of Russia A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of Legal entity, entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When ...
and the Heraldic Council of the President of the Russian Federation. It is also a seat for the National Library of Russia and a planned location for the Supreme Court of Russia, as well as the home to the headquarters of the Russian Navy, and the Western Military District of the Russian Armed Forces. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNES ...
. Saint Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world, the Lakhta Center, the tallest skyscraper in Europe, and was one of the host cities of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Euro 2020.


Toponymy

A proponent of westernising Russia,
Peter the Great Peter I ( – ), most commonly known as Peter the Great,) or Pyotr Alekséyevich ( rus, Пётр Алексе́евич, p=ˈpʲɵtr ɐlʲɪˈksʲejɪvʲɪtɕ, , group=pron was a List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarch who ruled the ...
, the then
Tsar Tsar ( or ), also spelled ''czar'', ''tzar'', or ''csar'', is a title used by East Slavs, East and South Slavs, South Slavic monarchs. The term is derived from the Latin word ''Caesar (title), caesar'', which was intended to mean "emperor" i ...
, who established the city, originally named it () in Dutch manner and later its spelling was standardised as Sankt-Peterburg () under German influence. On 1 September 1914, after the outbreak of
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
, the Imperial government renamed the city ''Petrograd'' ( rus, links=no, Петроград, p=pʲɪtrɐˈgrat), meaning 'Peter's city', in order to expunge the German words and . On 26 January 1924, shortly after the death of
Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known as Vladimir Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of t ...
, it was renamed to ''Leningrad'' ( rus, links=no, Ленинград, p=lʲɪnʲɪnˈgrat), meaning 'Lenin's City'. On 6 September 1991, the original name, ''Sankt-Peterburg'', was returned by citywide referendum. Today, in English the city is known as ''Saint Petersburg''. Local residents often refer to the city by its shortened nickname, ''Piter'' ( rus, links=no, Питер, p=ˈpʲitʲɪr). A former spelling of the city's name in English was ''Saint Petersburgh'', under the influence of ''burgh''. This spelling survives in the name of a street in the Bayswater district of London, near St Sophia's Cathedral, named after a visit by the Tsar to London in 1814. Saint Petersburg has been traditionally called the "Window to Europe" and the "Window to the West" by the Russians. The city is the northernmost metropolis in the world, and is also often described as the "
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto Regions of Italy, region. It is built on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400  ...
of the North" or the "Russian Venice" due to its many water corridors, as the city is built on swamp and water. Furthermore, it has strongly Western European-inspired architecture and culture, which is combined with the city's Russian heritage. Another nickname of Saint Petersburg is "The City of the White Nights" because of a natural phenomenon which arises due to the closeness to the polar region and ensures that in summer the night skies of the city do not get completely dark for a month. The city is also often called the "Northern Palmyra", due to its extravagant architecture.


History


Imperial era (1703–1917)

Swedish colonists built Nyenskans, a fortress at the mouth of the Neva River in 1611, which was later called Ingermanland. This area was inhabited by a Finnic tribe of Ingrians. The small town of Nyen grew up around the fort. At the end of the 17th century, Peter the Great, who was interested in seafaring and maritime affairs, wanted Russia to gain a seaport to trade with the rest of Europe. He needed a better seaport than the country's main one at the time, Arkhangelsk, which was on the
White Sea The White Sea (russian: Белое море, ''Béloye móre''; Karelian language, Karelian and fi, Vienanmeri, lit. Dvina Sea; yrk, Сэрако ямʼ, ''Serako yam'') is a southern inlet of the Barents Sea located on the northwest coast o ...
in the far north and closed to shipping during the winter. On , during the
Great Northern War The Great Northern War (1700–1721) was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in Northern Europe, Northern, Central Europe, Central and Eastern Europe. The i ...
,
Peter the Great Peter I ( – ), most commonly known as Peter the Great,) or Pyotr Alekséyevich ( rus, Пётр Алексе́евич, p=ˈpʲɵtr ɐlʲɪˈksʲejɪvʲɪtɕ, , group=pron was a List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarch who ruled the ...
captured Nyenskans and soon replaced the fortress. On , closer to the
estuary An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea. Estuaries form a transition zone between river environments and maritime environment ...
( inland from the gulf), on Zayachy (Hare) Island, he laid down the Peter and Paul Fortress, which became the first brick and stone building of the new city. The city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia; in some years several Swedish
prisoners of war A prisoner of war (POW) is a person who is held Captivity, captive by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the phrase "prisoner of war" dates back to 1610. Belligerents hold priso ...
were also involved under the supervision of Alexander Menshikov. Tens of thousands of serfs died while building the city. Later, the city became the centre of the Saint Petersburg Governorate. Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712, 9 years before the Treaty of Nystad of 1721 ended the war. He referred to Saint Petersburg as the capital (or seat of government) as early as 1704. While the city was being built, Peter lived in a three-room log cabin with his wife Catherine and their children. During its first few years, the city developed around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress. However, Saint Petersburg soon started to be built out according to a plan. By 1716 the Swiss Italian Domenico Trezzini had elaborated a project whereby the city centre would be on Vasilyevsky Island and shaped by a rectangular grid of canals. The project was not completed but is evident in the layout of the streets. In 1716, Peter the Great appointed Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond as the chief architect of Saint Petersburg. The style of Petrine Baroque, developed by Trezzini and other architects and exemplified by such buildings as the Menshikov Palace, Kunstkamera, Peter and Paul Cathedral, Twelve Collegia, became prominent in the city architecture of the early 18th century. In 1724 the Academy of Sciences,
University A university () is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in several Discipline (academia), academic disciplines. Universities ty ...
and Academic Gymnasium were established in Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great. In 1725, Peter died at age fifty-two. His endeavors to modernize Russia had been opposed by the
Russian nobility The Russian nobility (russian: дворянство ''dvoryanstvo'') originated in the 14th century. In 1914 it consisted of approximately 1,900,000 members (about 1.1% of the population) in the Russian Empire. Up until the February Revolution ...
. There were several attempts on his life and a treason case involving his son. In 1728, Peter II of Russia moved his seat back to Moscow. But four years later, in 1732, under Empress Anna of Russia, Saint Petersburg was again designated as the capital of the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across large parts of Eurasia. It succeeded the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad, which ended th ...
. It remained the seat of the Romanov dynasty and the Imperial Court of the Russian tsars, 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 committee under Burkhard Christoph von Münnich commissioned a new plan in 1737. The city was divided into five boroughs, and the city centre was moved to the Admiralty borough, on the east bank between the Neva and Fontanka. It developed along three radial streets, which meet at the Admiralty building and are now known as Nevsky Prospect (which is considered the main street of the city), Gorokhovaya Street and Voznesensky Avenue.
Baroque architecture Baroque architecture is a highly decorative and theatrical style which appeared in Italy in the early 17th century and gradually spread across Europe. It was originally introduced by the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known ...
became dominant in the city during the first sixty years, culminating in the Elizabethan Baroque, represented most notably by Italian Bartolomeo Rastrelli with such buildings as the Winter Palace. In the 1760s, Baroque architecture was succeeded by
neoclassical architecture Neoclassical architecture is an architectural style produced by the Neoclassicism, Neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century in Italy and France. It became one of the most prominent architectural styles in the Western world. The pr ...
. Established in 1762, the Commission of Stone Buildings of Moscow and Saint Petersburg ruled that no structure in the city could be higher than the Winter Palace and prohibited spacing between buildings. During the reign of
Catherine the Great Catherine II (born Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst; 2 May 172917 November 1796), most commonly known as Catherine the Great, was the reigning empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796. She came to power following the overthrow of her husband, Peter III of Rus ...
in the 1760s–1780s, the banks of the Neva were lined with
granite Granite () is a coarse-grained (phanerite, phaneritic) intrusive rock, intrusive igneous rock composed mostly of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase. It forms from magma with a high content of silica and alkali metal oxides that slowly cool ...
embankments. However, it was not until 1850 that the first permanent bridge across the Neva, Annunciation Bridge, was allowed to open. Before that, only pontoon bridges were allowed. Obvodny Canal (dug in 1769–1833) became the southern limit of the city. The most prominent neoclassical and Empire-style architects in Saint Petersburg included: * Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe ( Imperial Academy of Arts, Small Hermitage, Gostiny Dvor, New Holland Arch, Catholic Church of St. Catherine) * Antonio Rinaldi ( Marble Palace) * Yury Felten ( Old Hermitage, Chesme Church) * Giacomo Quarenghi (Academy of Sciences, Hermitage Theatre, Yusupov Palace) * Andrey Voronikhin ( Mining Institute, Kazan Cathedral) * Andreyan Zakharov ( Admiralty building) * Jean-François Thomas de Thomon ( Spit of Vasilievsky Island) * Carlo Rossi ( Yelagin Palace, Mikhailovsky Palace, Alexandrine Theatre, Senate and Synod Buildings, General staff Building, design of many streets and squares) * Vasily Stasov ( Moscow Triumphal Gate, Trinity Cathedral) * Auguste de Montferrand ( Saint Isaac's Cathedral, Alexander Column) In 1810, Alexander I established the first engineering
Higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also called post-secondary education, third-level or tertiary education, is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completio ...
, the Saint Petersburg Main military engineering School in Saint Petersburg. Many monuments commemorate the Russian victory over Napoleonic France in the Patriotic War of 1812, including the Alexander Column by Montferrand, erected in 1834, and the Narva Triumphal Arch. In 1825, the suppressed Decembrist revolt against Nicholas I took place on the Senate Square in the city, a day after Nicholas 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, Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace, Nicholas Palace, New Michael Palace) and Konstantin Thon ( Moskovsky railway station). With the emancipation of the serfs undertaken by Alexander II in 1861 and an
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going fr ...
, the influx of former peasants into the capital increased greatly. Poor boroughs spontaneously developed on the outskirts of the city. Saint Petersburg surpassed Moscow in population and industrial growth; it became one of the largest industrial cities in Europe, with a major naval base (in Kronstadt), the Neva River, and a seaport on the Baltic. The names of Saints Peter and Paul, bestowed upon the original city's citadel and its
cathedral A cathedral is a church (building), church that contains the ''cathedra'' () of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, Annual conferences within Methodism, conference, or episcopate. Churches with the function of "cathedral ...
(from 1725—a burial vault of Russian emperors) coincidentally were the names of the first two assassinated Russian emperors, Peter III (1762, supposedly killed in a conspiracy led by his wife,
Catherine the Great Catherine II (born Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst; 2 May 172917 November 1796), most commonly known as Catherine the Great, was the reigning empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796. She came to power following the overthrow of her husband, Peter III of Rus ...
) and Paul I (1801, Nikolay Alexandrovich Zubov and other conspirators who brought to power Alexander I, the son of their victim). The third emperor's assassination took place in Saint Petersburg in 1881 when Alexander II was murdered by terrorists (see the Church of the Savior on Blood). The Revolution of 1905 began in Saint Petersburg and spread rapidly into the provinces. On 1 September 1914, after the outbreak of
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
, the Imperial government renamed the city ''Petrograd'', meaning "Peter's City", to remove the German words '' Sankt'' and '' Burg''.


Revolution and Soviet era (1917–1941)

In March 1917, during the
February Revolution The February Revolution ( rus, Февра́льская револю́ция, r=Fevral'skaya revolyutsiya, p=fʲɪvˈralʲskəjə rʲɪvɐˈlʲutsɨjə), known in Soviet historiography as the February Bourgeois Democratic Revolution and somet ...
Nicholas II abdicated for himself and on behalf of his son, ending the Russian monarchy and over three hundred years of Romanov dynastic rule. On , the
Bolshevik The Bolsheviks (russian: Большевики́, from большинство́ ''bol'shinstvó'', 'majority'),; derived from ''bol'shinstvó'' (большинство́), "majority", literally meaning "one of the majority". also known in English ...
s, led by
Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known as Vladimir Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of t ...
, stormed the Winter Palace in an event known thereafter as the October Revolution, which led to the end of the post-Tsarist
provisional government A provisional government, also called an interim government, an emergency government, or a transitional government, is an emergency governmental authority set up to manage a political transition generally in the cases of a newly formed State (pol ...
, the transfer of all political power to the
Soviets Soviet people ( rus, сове́тский наро́д, r=sovyétsky naród), or citizens of the USSR ( rus, гра́ждане СССР, grázhdanye SSSR), was an umbrella demonym for the population of the Soviet Union The Soviet Unio ...
, and the rise of the
Communist Party A communist party is a political party that seeks to realize the Socioeconomics, socio-economic goals of communism. The term ''communist party'' was popularized by the title of ''The Communist Manifesto, The Manifesto of the Communist Party'' (1 ...
. After that the city acquired a new descriptive name, "the city of three revolutions", referring to the three major developments in the political history of Russia of the early 20th century. In September and October 1917, German troops invaded the West Estonian archipelago and threatened Petrograd with bombardment and invasion. On 12 March 1918, the Soviets transferred the government to Moscow, to keep it away from the state border. During the
Russian Civil War , date = October Revolution, 7 November 1917 – Yakut revolt, 16 June 1923{{Efn, The main phase ended on 25 October 1922. Revolt against the Bolsheviks continued Basmachi movement, in Central Asia and Tungus Republic, the Far East th ...
, in mid-1919 Russian anti-communist forces with the help of
Estonians Estonians or Estonian people ( et, eestlased) are a Finnic peoples, Finnic ethnic group native to Estonia who speak the Estonian language. The Estonian language is spoken as the first language by the vast majority of Estonians; it is closely r ...
attempted to capture the city, but
Leon Trotsky Lev Davidovich Bronstein. ( – 21 August 1940), better known as Leon Trotsky; uk, link= no, Лев Давидович Троцький; also transliterated ''Lyev'', ''Trotski'', ''Trotskij'', ''Trockij'' and ''Trotzky''. (), was a Russian M ...
mobilized the army and forced them to retreat back to
Estonia Estonia, formally the Republic of Estonia, is a country by the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe, Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, sea across from Sweden, to ...
. On 26 January 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, including the cruiser ''Aurora''—a symbol of the October Revolution and the oldest ship in the Russian Navy. In the 1920s and 1930s, the poor outskirts were reconstructed into regularly planned boroughs.
Constructivist architecture Constructivist architecture was a constructivism (art), constructivist style of modern architecture that flourished in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and early 1930s. Abstract and austere, the movement aimed to reflect modern industrial society a ...
flourished around that time. Housing became a government-provided social utility, amenity; many "bourgeois" apartments were so large that numerous families were assigned to what were called "communal" apartments (''kommunal apartment, 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 favour of a more pompous Stalinist architecture. Moving the city centre further from the border with Finland, Joseph Stalin, Stalin adopted a plan to build a new city hall with a huge adjacent square at the southern end of Moskovsky Prospekt, designated as the new main street of Leningrad. After the Winter War, Winter (Soviet-Finnish) war in 1939–1940, the Soviet–Finnish border moved northwards. Nevsky Prospekt with Palace Square maintained the functions and the role of a city centre. In December 1931, Leningrad was administratively separated from Leningrad Oblast. At that time it included the Leningrad Suburban District, some parts of which were transferred back to Leningrad Oblast in 1936 and turned into Vsevolozhsky District, Krasnoselsky District, Saint Petersburg, Krasnoselsky District, Pargolovsky District and Slutsky District (renamed Pavlovsky District in 1944). On 1 December 1934, Sergey Kirov, the popular communist leader of Leningrad, was assassinated, which became the pretext for the Great Purge. In Leningrad, approximately 40,000 were executed during Stalin's purges.


World War II (1941–1945)

During World War II, Nazi Germany, German forces besieged Leningrad following the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941.Siege of Leningrad

The siege lasted 872 days, or almost two and a half years, from 8 September 1941 to 27 January 1944. The Siege of Leningrad proved one of the longest, most destructive, and Most lethal battles in world history#Sieges and urban combat, most lethal sieges of a major city in modern history. It isolated the city from food supplies except those provided through the Road of Life across Lake Ladoga, which could not make it through until the lake froze. More than one million civilians were killed, mainly from starvation. Many others escaped or were evacuated, so the city became largely depopulated. On 1 May 1945 Joseph Stalin, in his Supreme Commander Order No. 20, named Leningrad, alongside Stalingrad, Sevastopol, and Odessa, Hero City (Soviet Union), hero cities of the war. A law acknowledging the honorary title of "Hero City" passed on 8 May 1965 (the 20th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War), during the Leonid Brezhnev, Brezhnev era. The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR awarded Leningrad as a Hero City the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal "for the heroic resistance of the city and tenacity of the survivors of the Siege". The Hero-City Obelisk bearing the Gold Star medal, Gold Star sign was installed in April 1985.


Post-war Soviet era (1945–1991)

In October 1946 some territories along the northern coast of the
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and E ...
, which had passed to the USSR from Finland in 1940 under the Moscow Peace Treaty, peace treaty following the Winter War, were transferred from Leningrad Oblast to Leningrad and divided into Sestroretsk, Sestroretsky District and Kurortny District. These included the town of Zelenogorsk, Saint Petersburg, Terijoki (renamed Zelenogorsk, Saint Petersburg, Zelenogorsk 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 planning, urban development in the north as well as in the south. In 1953 Pavlovsky District in Leningrad Oblast was abolished, and parts of its territory, including Pavlovsk, merged with Leningrad. In 1954 the settlements Levashovo, Saint Petersburg, Levashovo, Pargolovo and Pesochny, Russia, Pesochny merged with Leningrad. Leningrad gave its name to the Leningrad Affair (1949–1952), a notable event in the postwar political struggle in the USSR. It was a product of rivalry between Stalin's potential successors where one side was represented by the leaders of the city
Communist Party A communist party is a political party that seeks to realize the Socioeconomics, socio-economic goals of communism. The term ''communist party'' was popularized by the title of ''The Communist Manifesto, The Manifesto of the Communist Party'' (1 ...
organization—the second most significant one in the country after Moscow. The entire elite leadership of Leningrad was destroyed, including the former mayor Alexey Kuznetsov, Kuznetsov, the acting mayor Pyotr Sergeevich Popkov, and all their deputies; overall 23 leaders were sentenced to the death penalty, 181 to prison or exile (exonerated in 1954). About 2,000 ranking officials across the USSR were expelled from the party and the Komsomol and removed from leadership positions. They were accused of Russian nationalism. The Saint Petersburg Metro, Leningrad Metro underground rapid transit, rapid transit system, designed before the war, opened in 1955 with its first eight stations decorated with marble and bronze. However, after Stalin's death in 1953, the perceived ornamental excesses of the Stalinist architecture were abandoned. From the 1960s to the 1980s many new residential boroughs were built on the outskirts; while the functionalism (architecture), functionalist apartment blocks were nearly identical to each other, many families moved there from ''kommunalkas'' in the city centre to live in separate apartments.


Contemporary era (1991–present)

1991 Leningrad elections, On 12 June 1991, simultaneously with the 1991 Russian presidential election, first Russian presidential elections, the city authorities arranged for the mayoral elections and a referendum upon the city's name, when the name reverted to Saint Petersburg. The turnout was 65%; 66.13% of the total count of votes went to Anatoly Sobchak, who became the first directly elected list of heads of Saint Petersburg government, mayor of the city. Meanwhile, economic conditions started to deteriorate as the country tried to adapt to major changes. For the first time since the 1940s, food rationing was introduced, and the city received humanitarian World Food Programme, food aid from abroad. This dramatic time was depicted in photographic series of Russian photographer Alexey Titarenko. Economic conditions began to improve only at the beginning of the 21st century. In 1995 a northern section of the Line 1 of Saint Petersburg Metro, Kirovsko-Vyborgskaya Line of the Saint Petersburg Metro was cut off by underground flooding, creating a major obstacle to the city development for almost ten years. On 13 June 1996 Saint Petersburg, alongside Leningrad Oblast and Tver Oblast, signed a power-sharing agreement with the federal government, granting it autonomy. This agreement was abolished on 4 April 2002. In 1996, Vladimir Anatolyevich Yakovlev, Vladimir Yakovlev defeated Anatoly Sobchak in the elections for the head of the Saint Petersburg City Administration, city administration. The title of the city head was changed from "mayor" to "governor". In 2000 Yakovlev won re-election. His second term expired in 2004; the long-awaited restoration of the broken subway connection was expected to finish by that time. But in 2003 Yakovlev suddenly resigned, leaving the governor's office to Valentina Matviyenko. The law on election of the City Governor was changed, breaking the tradition of democratic election by universal suffrage. In 2006 the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg, city legislature re-approved Matviyenko as governor. Residential building had intensified again; real estate pricing, real-estate prices inflated greatly, which caused many new problems for the preservation of the historical part of the city. Although the central part of the city has a
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
designation (there are about 8,000 architectural monuments in Petersburg), the preservation of its historical and architectural environment became controversial. After 2005, the demolition of older buildings in the historical centre was permitted. In 2006 Gazprom announced an ambitious project to erect a skyscraper (the Okhta Center) opposite to Smolny, which could result in the loss of the unique line of Petersburg landscape. Urgent protests by citizens and prominent public figures of Russia against this project were not considered by Governor Valentina Matviyenko and the city authorities until December 2010, when after the statement of President Dmitry Medvedev, the city decided to find a more appropriate location for this project. In the same year, the new location for the project was relocated to Lakhta, Saint Petersburg, Lakhta, a historical area northwest of the city centre, and the new project would be named Lakhta Center. Construction was approved by Gazprom and the city administration and commenced in 2012. The high Lakhta Center has become the first List of tallest buildings in Russia, tallest skyscraper in Russia and List of tallest buildings in Europe, Europe outside of Moscow.


Geography

The area of Saint Petersburg city proper is . The area of the federal subject is , which contains Saint Petersburg proper (consisting of eighty-one municipal ''okrugs''), nine municipal towns – (Kolpino, Krasnoye Selo, Kronstadt, Lomonosov, Russia, Lomonosov, Pavlovsk, Saint Petersburg, Pavlovsk, Petergof, Pushkin (town), Pushkin, Sestroretsk, Zelenogorsk, Saint Petersburg, Zelenogorsk) – and twenty-one municipal settlements. Petersburg is on the middle taiga lowlands along the shores of the Neva Bay of the
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and E ...
, and islands of the river delta. The largest are Vasilyevsky Island (besides the artificial island between Obvodny canal and Fontanka, and Kotlin Island, Kotlin in the Neva Bay), Petrogradsky Island, Petrogradsky, Dekabristov Island, Dekabristov and Krestovsky Island, Krestovsky. The latter together with Yelagin Island, Yelagin and Kamenny Island are covered mostly by parks. The Karelian Isthmus, North of the city, is a popular Tourist destination, resort area. In the south, Saint Petersburg crosses the Baltic Klint, Baltic-Ladoga Klint and meets the Izhora Plateau. The elevation of Saint Petersburg ranges from the sea level to its highest point of at the Orekhovaya Hill in the Duderhof Heights in the south. Part of the city's territory west of Liteyny Prospekt is no higher than above mean sea level, above sea level, and has suffered from numerous floods. Floods in Saint Petersburg are triggered by a long wave in the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that is enclosed by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden and the North European Plain, North and Central European Plain. The sea stretches from 53°N to 66° ...
, caused by meteorological conditions, winds and shallowness of the Neva Bay. The five most disastrous floods occurred in 1824 ( above sea level, during which over 300 buildings were destroyed); 1924 (); 1777 (); 1955 (); and 1975 (). To prevent floods, the Saint Petersburg Dam has been constructed. Since the 18th century, the city's terrain has been raised artificially, at some places by more than , 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 River (Leningrad Oblast), Sestra, Okhta River (Neva basin), Okhta and Izhora River, Izhora. The largest lake is Sestroretsky Razliv in the north, followed by Lakhtinsky Razliv, Suzdal Lakes, and other smaller lakes. Due to its northerly location at c. 60° N latitude the day length in Petersburg varies across seasons, ranging from 5 hours 53 minutes to 18 hours 50 minutes. A period from mid-May to mid-July during which twilight may last all night is called ''the Midnight sun, white nights''. Saint Petersburg is about from the border with Finland, connected to it via the M10 highway (Russia), M10 highway (European route E18, E18), along which there is also a connection to the historic city of Vyborg.


Climate

Under the Köppen climate classification, Saint Petersburg is classified as ''Dfb'', a humid continental climate. The distinct moderating influence of
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that is enclosed by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden and the North European Plain, North and Central European Plain. The sea stretches from 53°N to 66° ...
cyclones results in warm, humid, and short summers and long, moderately cold wet winters. The climate of Saint Petersburg is close to that of Helsinki, although colder in winter and warmer in summer because of its more eastern location. The average maximum temperature in July is , and the average minimum temperature in February is ; an extreme temperature of occurred during the 2010 Northern Hemisphere summer heat wave. A winter minimum of was recorded in 1883. The average annual temperature is . The Neva River within the city limits usually freezes up in November–December and break-up occurs in April. From December to March there are 118 days on average with snow cover, which reaches an average snow depth of by February. The frost-free period in the city lasts on average for about 135 days. Despite St. Petersburg's northern location, its winters are warmer than Moscow#Climate, Moscow's due to the
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and E ...
and some Gulf Stream influence from Scandinavian winds that can bring temperature slightly above freezing. The city also has a slightly warmer climate than its suburbs. Weather conditions are quite variable all year round. Average annual precipitation (meteorology), precipitation varies across the city, averaging per year and reaching maximum in late summer. Due to the cool climate, soil moisture is almost always high because of lower evapotranspiration. Relative humidity, Air humidity is 78% on average, and there are, on average, 165 overcast days per year.


Toponymy

The first and fairly rich chapter of the history of the local wikt:toponym, toponymy is the story of the city's name. The name day of Saint Peter, Peter I falls on 29 June, when the Russian Orthodox Church observes the memory of saint apostles Peter and Paul. The consecration of the small wooden church in their names (its construction began at the same time as the citadel) made them the heavenly patrons of the Peter and Paul Fortress, while Saint Peter at the same time became the eponym of the whole city. When in June 1703
Peter the Great Peter I ( – ), most commonly known as Peter the Great,) or Pyotr Alekséyevich ( rus, Пётр Алексе́евич, p=ˈpʲɵtr ɐlʲɪˈksʲejɪvʲɪtɕ, , group=pron was a List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarch who ruled the ...
gave the site a new name after Saint Peter, he did not issue a naming act that established an official spelling; even in his own letters he used diverse spellings, such as Санктьпетерсьбурк (''Sanktpetersburk''), emulating German ''Sankt Petersburg'', and Сантпитербурх (''Santpiterburkh''), emulating Dutch ''Sint-Pietersburgh'', as Peter was multilingual and a Netherlands, Neerlandophile. The name was later normalized and Russification, russified to Санкт-Петербург. A 14- to 15-letter-long name, composed of the three word root, roots proved too cumbersome, and many shortened versions were used. The first General Governor of the city Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov, Menshikov 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 uses a derivative of el, link=no, Πετρόπολις (Петрополис, ''Petropolis'') in a Russified form ''Petropol'' (Петрополь). A combo ''Piterpol'' (Питерпол) also appears at this time.Nesterov, V. ''Знаешь ли ты свой город'' ("Do you know your city?"). Leningrad, 1958, p. 58. In any case, eventually the usage of prefix "''Sankt-''" ceased except for the formal official documents, where a three-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 World War I, the war with Germany had begun, that Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, Nicholas II renamed the capital to Petrograd. Since the prefix "Saint" was omitted, this act also changed the eponym and the "patron" of the city from Saint Peter to Peter the Great, its founder. After the October Revolution the name ''Red Petrograd'' (Красный Петроград, ''Krasny Petrograd'') was often used in newspapers and other prints until the city was renamed ''Leningrad'' in January 1924. A referendum on reversing the renaming of ''Leningrad'' was held on 12 June 1991, with 54.86% of voters (with a turnout of 65%) supporting "''Saint Petersburg''". Renaming the city ''Petrograd'' was not an option. This change officially took effect on 6 September 1991. Meanwhile, the oblast whose administrative center is also in Saint Petersburg is still named Leningrad Oblast, Leningrad. Having passed the role of capital to Petersburg, Moscow never relinquished the title of "capital", being called ''pervoprestolnaya'' ("first-throned") for 200 years. An equivalent name for Petersburg, the "Northern Capital", has re-entered usage today since several federal institutions were recently moved from Moscow to Saint Petersburg. Solemn descriptive names like "the city of three revolutions" and "the cradle of the October revolution" used in the Soviet era are reminders of the pivotal events in national history that occurred here. ''Petropolis'' is a translation of a city name to Greek, and is also a kind of descriptive name: :el:Πέτρωμα, Πέτρ- is a Greek root for "stone", so the "city from stone" emphasizes the material that had been forcibly made obligatory for construction from the first years of the city. (The proper Greek translation is Αγία Πετρούπολη, ''Agia Petroupoli''.)


Demographics

Saint Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia. As of the 2017 Rosstat, the federal subject's population is 5,281,579 or 3.6% of the total population of Russia; up from 4,879,566 (3.4%) recorded in the Russian Census (2010), 2010 Census, and up from 5,023,506 recorded in the Soviet Census (1989), 1989 Census. ;Vital statistics for 2016 * Births: 72 879 (13.9 per 1000) * Deaths: 61 459 (11.7 per 1000) ; Ethnic composition of Saint Petersburg During the 20th century, the city experienced dramatic population changes. From 2.4 million residents in 1916, its population dropped to less than 740,000 by 1920 during the Russian Revolution (1917), Russian Revolution of 1917 and
Russian Civil War , date = October Revolution, 7 November 1917 – Yakut revolt, 16 June 1923{{Efn, The main phase ended on 25 October 1922. Revolt against the Bolsheviks continued Basmachi movement, in Central Asia and Tungus Republic, the Far East th ...
. The minorities of Germans, Poles, Finns, Estonians and Latvians were almost completely population transfer in the Soviet Union, transferred 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 or were evacuated during the Siege of Leningrad. Some evacuees returned after the siege, 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 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 population is over 4.8 million.Chistyakova, N
Третье сокращение численности населения... и последнее?
''Demoscope Weekly'' 163 – 164, 1–15 August 2004.
For the first half of 2007, the birth rate was 9.1 per 1000 and remained lower than the Mortality rate, death rate (until 2012); people over 65 constitute more than twenty percent of the population; and the median age is about 40 years. Since 2012 the birth rate became higher than the Mortality rate, death rate. But in 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic in Russia, COVID-19 pandemic caused a drop in birth rate, and the city population decreased to 5,395,000 people. ;Religion According to various opinion polls, more than half of the residents of Saint Petersburg "believe in God" (up to 67% according to Russian Public Opinion Research Center, VTsIOM data for 2002). Among the believers, the overwhelming majority of the residents of the city are Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodox (57.5%), followed by small minority communities of Muslims (0.7%), Protestantism, Protestants (0.6%), and Catholic Church, Catholics (0.5%), and Buddhism, Buddhists (0.1%). In total, roughly 59% of the population of the city is Christians, Christian, of which over 90% are Orthodox. Non-Abrahamic religions and other faiths are represented by only 1.2% of the total population. There are 268 communities of confessions and religious associations in the city: the Russian Orthodox Church (130 associations), Pentecostalism (23 associations), the Lutheranism (19 associations), Baptism (13 associations), as well as Old Believers, Roman Catholic Church, Armenian Apostolic Church, Georgian Orthodox Church, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Judaism, Buddhist, Muslim, Baháʼí Faith, Bahá'í and others. 229 religious buildings in the city are owned or run by religious associations. Among them are architectural monuments of federal significance. The oldest cathedral in the city is the Peter and Paul Cathedral, built between 1712–1733, and the largest is the Kazan Cathedral, completed in 1811.


Government

Saint Petersburg is a federal subjects of Russia, federal subject of Russia (a federal cities of Russia, federal city). The political life of Saint Petersburg is regulated by the Charter of Saint Petersburg adopted by the city legislature in 1998. The superior executive body is the Saint Petersburg City Administration, led by the Governor of Saint Petersburg, city governor (mayor before 1996). Saint Petersburg has a unicameralism, single-chamber legislature, the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg, Saint Petersburg Legislative Assembly, which is the city's Regional parliaments of Russia, regional parliament. According to the federal law passed in 2004, heads of federal subjects, including the governor of Saint Petersburg, were nominated by the President of Russia and approved by local legislatures. Should the legislature disapprove the nominee, the President could dissolve it. The former governor, Valentina Matviyenko, was approved according to the new system in December 2006. She was the only woman governor in the whole of Russia until her resignation on 22 August 2011. Matviyenko stood for elections as member of the Regional Council of Saint 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 Federation Council of Russia, Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and her election qualifies her for that job. After her resignation, Georgy Poltavchenko was appointed as the new acting governor the same day. In 2012, following passage of a new federal law, restoring direct elections of heads of federal subjects, the city charter was again amended to provide for direct elections of governor. On 3 October 2018, Poltavchenko resigned, and Alexander Beglov was appointed acting governor. Saint Petersburg is also the unofficial but ''de facto'' administrative centre of Leningrad Oblast, and of the Northwestern Federal District. The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, Constitutional Court of Russia moved to Saint Petersburg from Moscow 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, Federal Security Service (Russia), FSB, postal service, drug enforcement administration, penitentiary service, federal registration service, and other federal services.


Administrative divisions


Economy

Saint Petersburg is a major trade gateway, serving as the financial and industrial centre of Russia, with specializations in oil and gas trade; shipbuilding yards; aerospace, aerospace industry; technology, including radio, electronics, software, and computers; machine building, heavy machinery and transport, including tanks and other military technology and equipment, military equipment; mining; Tool, instrument manufacture; ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy (production of aluminium alloys); chemicals, Drug, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment; publishing and printing; food and catering; wholesale and retail; textile and clothing, apparel industries; and many other businesses. It was also home to Lessner, one of Russia's two pioneering automobile manufacturers (along with Russo-Baltic); it was founded by machine tool and boilermaker G.A. Lessner in 1904, with designs by Boris Loutsky, and it survived until 1910. Ten per cent of the world's power turbines are made there at the Leningradsky Metallichesky Zavod, LMZ, which built over two thousand turbines for power station, power plants across the world. Major local industries are Admiralty Shipyard, Baltic Shipyard, LOMO, Kirov Plant, Elektrosila, Izhorskiye Zavody; also registered in Saint Petersburg are Sovcomflot, Sovkomflot, Petersburg Fuel Company and Sibur, SIBUR among other major Russian and international companies. The Great Port of Saint Petersburg, Port of Saint Petersburg has three large cargo ports of the Baltic Sea, terminals, Bolshoi Port Saint Petersburg, Kronstadt, and Lomonosov, Russia, Lomonosov terminal. International cruise ship, cruise liners have been served at the passenger port at Morskoy Vokzal on the south-west of Vasilyevsky Island. In 2008 the first two berths opened at the Passenger Port of St. Petersburg, New Passenger Port on the west of the island. The new passenger terminal is part of the city's "Marine Facade" development project and was due to have seven berths in operation by 2010. A complex system of riverports on both banks of the Neva River are interconnected with the system of seaports, thus making Saint Petersburg the main link between the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that is enclosed by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden and the North European Plain, North and Central European Plain. The sea stretches from 53°N to 66° ...
and the rest of Russia through the Volga–Baltic Waterway, Volga-Baltic Waterway. The Saint Petersburg Mint (Monetny Dvor), founded in 1724, is one of the largest mint (coin), mints in the world, it mints Russian ruble, Russian coins, medals and badges. Saint Petersburg is also home to the oldest and largest Russian foundry, Monumentskulptura, which made thousands of sculptures and statues that now grace the public parks of Saint Petersburg and many other cities. Monuments and bronze sculpture, bronze statues of the Tsars, as well as other important historic figures and dignitaries, and other world-famous monuments, such as the sculptures by Peter Clodt von Jürgensburg, Paolo Troubetzkoy, Mark Antokolsky, and others, were made there. In 2007, Toyota opened a Toyota Camry, Camry plant after investing 5 billion roubles (approx. 200 mln dollars) in Shushary, one of the southern suburbs of Saint Petersburg. Opel, Hyundai Motor Company, Hyundai and Nissan have also signed deals with the Politics of Russia, Russian government to build their automotive plants in Saint Petersburg. The automotive and auto-parts industry is on the rise there during the last decade. Saint Petersburg has a large brewery and distillery industry. Known as Russia's "beer capital" due to the supply and quality of local water, its five large breweries account for over 30% of the country's domestic beer production. They include Europe's second-largest brewery Baltika Breweries, Baltika, Vena (both operated by BBH), Heineken International, Heineken Brewery, Stenka Razin, Stepan Razin (both by Heineken Pilsener, Heineken) and Tinkoff brewery (SUN-InBev). The city's many local distillery, distilleries produce a broad range of vodka brands. The oldest ones is :ru:Ливиз, LIVIZ (founded in 1897). Among the youngest is Russian Standard Vodka introduced in Moscow in 1998, which opened in 2006 a new $60 million distillery in Petersburg (an area of , production rate of 22,500 bottles per hour). In 2007, this brand was exported to over 70 countries. Saint Petersburg has the second-largest construction, construction industry in Russia, including commercial, housing, and road construction. In 2006, Saint Petersburg's city budget was 180 billion rubles (about 7 billion US$ at Tables of historical exchange rates to the USD, 2006 exchange rates),. The federal subject's Gross Regional Product was 3.7 trillion Russian rubles (or around US$70 billion), ranked 2nd in Russia, after Moscow and per capita of US$13,000, ranked 12th among Russia's federal subjects, contributed mostly by wholesale and retailing, retail trade and repair services (24.7%) as well as processing industry (20.9%) and transportation and telecommunications (15.1%). Budget revenues of the city in 2009 amounted to 294.3 billion rubles (about 10.044 billion US$ at 2009 exchange rates), expenses – 336.3 billion rubles (about 11.477 billion US$ at 2009 exchange rates). The budget deficit amounted to about 42 billion rubles. (about 1.433 billion US$ at 2009 exchange rates) In 2015, St. Petersburg was ranked in 4th place economically amongst all federal subjects of the Russian Federation, surpassed only by Moscow, the Tyumen and Moscow Region.


Cityscape

Saint Petersburg has three skyscrapers: Leader Tower (140 m), Alexander Nevsky (124 m) and Atlantic City (105 m) all far from the historical centre. Regulations forbid the construction of tall buildings in the city centre. The tall Saint Petersburg TV Tower is the tallest completed structure in the city. However, there was a controversial project endorsed by the city authorities, and known as the Okhta Center, to build a list of tallest buildings and structures in the world, supertall skyscraper. In 2008, the World Monuments Fund 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. The Okhta Center project was cancelled at the end of 2010 and the Lakhta Center project began in the city's outskirts. The complex includes office skyscraper and several low rise mixed-use buildings. The Lakhta Center project has caused much less controversy. Unlike the previous unbuilt project, it is not seen by
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as a potential threat to the city's cultural heritage because it is far from the historical centre. The skyscraper was completed in 2019, and at 462.5 metres, it is currently the List of tallest buildings in Europe, tallest in Russia and Europe. Unlike in Moscow, the historic architecture of Saint Petersburg's city centre, mostly Baroque architecture, Baroque and Neoclassical architecture, 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 the Great, 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 in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast have been listed by
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
as a
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNES ...
. The ensemble of Peter and Paul Fortress with the Peter and Paul Cathedral takes a dominant position on Zayachy Island along the right bank of the Neva River. Each noon a cannon fires a blank shot from the fortress. The Saint Petersburg Mosque, the largest mosque in Europe when opened in 1913, is on the right bank nearby. The Spit of Vasilievsky Island, which splits the river into two largest armlets, the Bolshaya Neva and Malaya Neva, is connected to the northern bank (Petrogradsky Island) via the Exchange Bridge 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, Twelve Collegia, Menshikov Palace and Imperial Academy of Arts. It hosts one of two campuses of Saint Petersburg State University. On the southern, left bank of the Neva, connected to the spit of Vasilyevsky Island via the Palace Bridge, lie the Admiralty building, Saint Petersburg, Admiralty building, the vast Hermitage Museum complex stretching along the Palace Embankment, which includes the Baroque Winter Palace, former official residence of Russian emperors, as well as the neoclassical Marble Palace. The Winter Palace faces Palace Square, the city's main square with the Alexander Column. Nevsky Prospekt, also on the left bank of the Neva, is the city's main avenue. It starts at the Admiralty and runs eastwards next to Palace Square. Nevsky Prospekt crosses the Moyka River, Moika (Green Bridge (Saint Petersburg), Green Bridge), Griboyedov Canal (Kazansky Bridge), Sadovaya Street, Garden Street, the Fontanka (Anichkov Bridge), meets Liteyny Prospekt and proceeds to Vosstaniya Square, Uprising Square near the Moskovsky Rail Terminal (Saint Petersburg), Moskovsky railway station, where it meets Ligovsky Prospekt and turns to the Alexander Nevsky Lavra. Passage (department store), The Passage, Catholic Church of St. Catherine (Saint Petersburg), Catholic Church of St. Catherine, Singer House, Book House (former Singer Corporation, Singer Manufacturing Company Building in the Art Nouveau style), Grand Hotel Europe, Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Great Gostiny Dvor, National Library of Russia, Russian National Library, Alexandrine Theatre behind Mikhail Mikeshin, Mikeshin's statue of
Catherine the Great Catherine II (born Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst; 2 May 172917 November 1796), most commonly known as Catherine the Great, was the reigning empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796. She came to power following the overthrow of her husband, Peter III of Rus ...
, Kazan Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Kazan Cathedral, Stroganov Palace, Anichkov Palace and Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace are all along that avenue. The Alexander Nevsky Lavra, intended to house the relics of Alexander Nevsky, St. Alexander Nevsky, is an important centre of Religious studies, Christian education in Russia. It also contains the Tikhvin Cemetery with graves of many notable Petersburgers. On the territory between the Neva and Nevsky Prospekt the Church of the Savior on Blood, Mikhailovsky Palace housing the Russian Museum, Field of Mars (Saint Petersburg), Field of Mars, Saint Michael's Castle, St. Michael's Castle, Summer Garden, Tauride Palace, Smolny Institute and Smolny Convent are located. Many notable landmarks are to the west and south of the Admiralty Building, including the Trinity Cathedral, Mariinsky Palace, Hotel Astoria (Saint Petersburg), Hotel Astoria, famous Mariinsky Theatre, New Holland Island, Saint Isaac's Cathedral, the largest in the city, and Senate Square, with the Bronze Horseman, 18th-century equestrian monument to
Peter the Great Peter I ( – ), most commonly known as Peter the Great,) or Pyotr Alekséyevich ( rus, Пётр Алексе́евич, p=ˈpʲɵtr ɐlʲɪˈksʲejɪvʲɪtɕ, , group=pron was a List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarch who ruled the ...
, which is considered among the city's most recognisable symbols. Other symbols of Saint Petersburg include the weather vane 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 drawbridge, drawn at night is yet another symbol of the city. 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 was not until 2004 that the first high bridge across the Neva, which does not need to be drawn, Big Obukhovsky Bridge, was opened. The most remarkable bridges of our days are Korabelny and Petrovsky cable-stayed bridges, which form the most spectacular part of the city toll road, Western High-Speed Diameter. There are hundreds of smaller List of bridges in Saint Petersburg, bridges in Saint Petersburg spanning numerous canals and distributaries of the Neva, some of the most important of which are the Moyka River, Moika, Fontanka, Griboyedov Canal, Obvodny Canal, Karpovka River, Karpovka and Smolenka River, Smolenka. Due to the intricate web of canals, Saint Petersburg is often called ''Venice of the North''. 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 () is a coarse-grained (phanerite, phaneritic) intrusive rock, intrusive igneous rock composed mostly of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase. It forms from magma with a high content of silica and alkali metal oxides that slowly cool ...
or cast iron parapets. Southern suburbs of the city feature former imperial residences, including Petergof, with majestic fountain cascades and parks, Tsarskoye Selo, Tsarskoe Selo, with the baroque Catherine Palace and the neoclassical Alexander Palace, and Pavlovsk Palace, Pavlovsk, which has a domed palace of Paul I of Russia, Emperor Paul and one of Europe's largest English-style parks. Some other residences nearby and making part of the world heritage site, including a castle and park in Gatchina, actually belong to Leningrad Oblast rather than Saint Petersburg. Another notable suburb is Kronstadt with its 19th-century fortifications and naval monuments, occupying the Kotlin Island 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 have been recognised as town-planning errors.


Parks

Saint Petersburg is home to many parks and gardens. Some of the most well-known are in the southern suburbs, including Pavlovsk Palace, Pavlovsk, one of Europe's largest English gardens. Sosnovka is the largest park within the city limits, occupying 240 ha. The Summer Garden is the oldest, dating back to the early 18th century and designed in the regular style. It is on the Neva's southern bank 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 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 Scherbakov Park of Culture and Leisure, Central Park of Culture and Leisure occupying Yelagin Island and the Tauride Garden around the Tauride Palace. The most common trees grown in the parks are the Quercus robur, English oak, Acer platanoides, Norway maple, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, green ash, Betula pendula, silver birch, Siberian Larch, Picea pungens, blue spruce, Salix euxina, crack willow, Tilia, limes, and Populus, poplars. Important Xylotheque, dendrological collections dating back to the 19th century are hosted by the Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden and the Park of the Forestry Academy. In order to commemorate 300 years anniversary of Saint Petersburg a new park was laid out. The park is in the northwestern part of the city. The construction was started in 1995. It is planned to connect the park with the pedestrian bridge to the territory of Lakhta Center's recreation areas. In the park 300 trees of valuable sorts, 300 decorative apple trees, 70 limes. 300 other trees and bushes were planted. These trees were presented to Saint Petersburg by non-commercial and educational organizations of the city, its sister-cities, the city of Helsinki, heads of other regions of Russia, German Savings Bank and other people and organizations. File:Cameron gallery in Tsarskoe Selo 02.jpg, alt=, Cameron gallery in Catherine park of Tsarskoe Selo. File:Grot pavilion in Tsarskoe Selo.jpg, alt=, Grotto pavilion in Catherine park of Tsarskoe Selo File:Liceum building in Tsarskoe Selo 03.jpg, alt=, Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, The Imperial Lyceum in Tsarskoye Selo. File:RUS-2016-Aerial-SPB-Grand Menshikov Palace.jpg, alt=, Grand Menshikov Palace.


Tourism

Saint Petersburg has a significant historical and cultural heritage. The city's 18th and 19th-century architectural ensemble 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 centres of Europe), Saint Petersburg has become a unique reserve of European architectural styles of the past three centuries. Saint Petersburg's loss of capital city status helped it retain many of its 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 and helped maintain the architectural appearance of the historic city centre. Saint Petersburg is inscribed on the
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
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, 2,000 libraries, more than 80 theatres, 100 concert organizations, 45 galleries and exhibition halls, 62 cinemas, and 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 history of the Russian Federation, economic instability of the 1990s, not a single major theatre or museum was closed in Saint Petersburg; on the contrary many new ones 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 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 Music of Russia, 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 named as one of the best in the world. Traditions of the Russian classical school have been passed down from generation to generation among 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, who expanded the scope of strict classical Russian ballet to almost unimaginable limits. Remaining faithful to the classical basis (he was a choreographer at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet), he combined classical ballet with the avant-garde, avant-garde style, and then, in turn, with acrobatics, rhythmic gymnastics, dramatic expressiveness, Cinema of Russia, cinema, color, light, and finally with spoken word.


Media and communications

All major Russian newspapers are active in Saint Petersburg. The city has a developed telecommunications system. In 2014, Rostelecom, the national operator, announced the beginning of a major modernization of the fixed-line network in the city.


Culture


Museums

Saint Petersburg is home to more than two hundred museums, many of them in historic buildings. The largest is the Hermitage Museum that features the interiors of the former imperial residence and a vast collection of art. The Russian Museum is a large museum devoted to Russian fine art. The apartments of some famous Petersburgers, including Alexander Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Feodor Chaliapin, Alexander Blok, Vladimir Nabokov, Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Joseph Brodsky, 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, 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 Kunstkamera, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography. The Russian Ethnography Museum, which has been split from the Russian Museum, is devoted to the cultures of the people of Russia, the Post-Soviet states, former Soviet Union and Russian Empire. File:Exterior of Hermitage Museum-2.jpg, alt=, The State Hermitage Museum is the List of largest art museums, largest art museum in the world by Art gallery, gallery space. File:Russian museam.JPG, alt=, The State Russian Museum is the world's largest depository of Russian fine art. File:Этнографический музей (СПБ).jpg, alt=, The Russian Museum of Ethnography is one of the largest ethnographic museums in the world. A number of museums provide insight into the Soviet history of Saint Petersburg, including the Museum of the Blockade, which describes the Siege of Leningrad and the Museum of Political History, which explains many authoritarian features of the USSR. Other notable museums include the Central Naval Museum, and Zoological Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Zoological Museum, The Central Soil Museum by V. V. Dokuchaev, Central Soil Museum, the Russian Railway Museum, Suvorov Museum, Museum of the Siege of Leningrad, Erarta, Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art, the largest non-governmental museum of contemporary art in Russia, Saint Petersburg Museum of History in the Peter and Paul Fortress and Military Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineers and Signal Corps, Artillery Museum, which includes not only artillery items, but also a huge collection of other military equipment, uniforms, and decorations. Amongst others, Saint Petersburg also hosts State Museum of the History of Religion, one of the eldest museums in Russia about religion depicting cultural representations from various parts of the globe.


Music

Among the city's more than fifty theatres is the Mariinsky Theatre (formerly known as the Kirov Theatre), home to the Mariinsky Ballet company and opera. Leading ballet dancers, such as Vaslav Nijinsky, Anna Pavlova, Rudolf Nureyev, Rudolph Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Galina Ulanova and Natalia Makarova, were principal stars of the Mariinsky ballet. The first music school, the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, was founded in 1862 by the Russian pianist and composer Anton Rubinstein. The school alumni have included such notable composers as Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Artur Kapp, Rudolf Tobias and Dmitri Shostakovich, who taught at the conservatory during the 1960s, bringing it additional fame. The renowned Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov also taught at the conservatory from 1871 to 1905. Among his students were Igor Stravinsky, Alexander Glazounov, Anatoly Liadov and others. The former St. Petersburg apartment of Rimsky-Korsakov has been faithfully preserved as the Rimsky-Korsakov Apartment and Museum, composer's only museum. Dmitri Shostakovich, who was born and raised in Saint Petersburg, dedicated his Symphony No. 7 (Shostakovich), Seventh Symphony to the city, calling it the "Leningrad Symphony". He wrote the symphony while based in the city during the siege of Leningrad. It was premiered in Samara in March 1942; a few months later, it received its first Leningrad première of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7, performance in the besieged Leningrad at the Bolshoy Philharmonic Hall under the baton of conductor Karl Eliasberg. It was heard over the radio and was said to have lifted the spirits of the surviving population. In 1992, the 7th Symphony was performed by the 14 surviving orchestral players of the Leningrad premiere in the same hall as half a century before. The Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra remained one of the best known orchestra, symphony orchestras in the world under the leadership of conductors Yevgeny Mravinsky and Yuri Temirkanov. Mravinsky's term as artistic director of the Leningrad Philharmonic—a term that is possibly the longest of any conductor with any orchestra in modern times—led the orchestra from a little-known provincial ensemble to one of the world's most highly regarded orchestras, especially for the performance of Russian music. The Imperial Choral Capella was founded and modelled after the royal courts of other European capitals. Saint Petersburg has been home to the newest movements in popular music in the country. The early Soviet jazz bands founded here included Leopold Teplitsky's First Concert Jazz Band (1927,) Leonid Utyosov 's TheaJazz (1928, under the patronage of composer Isaak Dunayevsky) and Georgy Landsberg's Jazz Cappella (1929). The first jazz appreciation society in the Soviet Union was founded here in 1958 as J58, and later named jazz club Kvadrat. In 1956 the popular ensemble Druzhba was founded by Aleksandr Bronevitsky and Edita Piekha to become the first popular band in the USSR during the 1950s. In the 1960s student rock-groups Argonavty, Kochevniki and others pioneered a series of unofficial and underground music, underground rock concerts and festivals. In 1972 Boris Grebenshchikov founded the band Aquarium (band), Aquarium, which later grew to huge popularity. Since then "Peter's rock" music genre, music style was formed. In the 1970s many bands came out from the "underground" scene and eventually founded the Leningrad Rock Club, which provided a stage to bands such as DDT (band), DDT, Kino (band), Kino, Alisa (Russian band), Alisa, Zemlyane, Zoopark, Piknik, and Secret (Russian band), Secret. The first Russian-style happening show Pop-Mechanics, Pop Mekhanika, mixing over 300 people and animals on stage, was directed by the multi-talented Sergey Kuryokhin in the 1980s. The Sergey Kuryokhin International Festival (SKIF) is named after him. In 2004 the Kuryokhin Center was founded, where the SKIF and the Electro-Mechanica and Ethnomechanica festivals take place. SKIF focuses on experimental pop music and avant garde music, Electro-Mechanica on electronic music, and Ethnomechanica on world music. Today's Saint Petersburg boasts many notable musicians of various genres, from popular Leningrad's Sergei Shnurov, Tequilajazzz, Splean, and Korol i Shut, to rock veterans Yuri Shevchuk, Vyacheslav Butusov, and Mikhail Boyarsky. In the early 2000s the city saw a wave of popularity of metalcore, rapcore, and emocore, and there are bands such as Amatory (band), Amatory, Kirpichi, Psychea, Stigmata (Russian band), Stigmata, Grenouer and Animal Jazz. The White Nights Festival in Saint Petersburg is famous for spectacular fireworks and a massive show celebrating the end of the Academic term, school year. The rave band Little Big (group), Little Big also hails from Saint Petersburg. Their music video for "Skibidi" was filmed in the city, starting at Akademicheskiy Pereulok.


Literature

Saint Petersburg has a longstanding and world-famous tradition in literature. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 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 often appeared to List of Russian language writers, 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 Nikolai Gogol, Gogol, the novels of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Dostoyevsky, the verse of Alexander Blok and Osip Mandelstam, Osip Mandelshtam, and in the symbolist novel ''Petersburg (novel), Petersburg'' by Andrei Bely, Andrey Bely. According to Lotman in his chapter, 'The Symbolism of Saint Petersburg' in ''Universe and the Mind'', these writers were inspired by 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 Alexander Pushkin, Pushkin, Gogol, and Dostoyevsky. Another important feature of early Saint Petersburg literature is its mythical element, which incorporates urban legends and popular ghost story, ghost stories, 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, Ayn Rand, Andrey Bely and Yevgeny Zamyatin, along with his apprentices, The Serapion Brothers created entirely new styles in literature and contributed new insights to the understanding of society through their experience in this city. Anna Akhmatova became an important leader for List of Russian language poets, Russian poetry. Her poem ''Requiem'' adumbrates the perils encountered during the Stalinist era. Another notable 20th-century writer from Saint Petersburg is Joseph Brodsky, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature (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".


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 have been produced worldwide but not filmed in the city. The first Movie studio, film studios were founded in Saint Petersburg in the 20th century and since the 1920s Lenfilm 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 (1997 film), Anna Karenina'', starring Sophie Marceau and Sean Bean and made by an international team of British, American, French and Russian filmmakers. The cult comedy ''The Irony of Fate, 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 (1985 film), White Nights'' received considerable Western attention for having captured genuine Leningrad street scenes at a time when filming in the Soviet Union by Western production companies was generally unheard of. Other movies include ''GoldenEye'' (1995), ''Midnight in Saint Petersburg'' (1996), ''Brother (1997 film), Brother'' (1997) and Tamil cinema, Tamil romantic thriller (genre), thriller film-''Dhaam Dhoom'' (2008). ''Eugene Onegin#Film, Onegin'' (1999) is based on the Alexander Pushkin, Pushkin poem and showcases many tourist attractions. In addition, the Russian romantic comedy, ''Piter FM'', intricately showcases the cityscape, almost as if it were a main character in the film. Several international film festivals are held annually, such as the Festival of Festivals, Saint Petersburg, as well as the Message to Man International Documentary Film Festival, since its inauguration in 1988 during the White Nights.


Dramatic theatre

St Petersburg has a number of dramatic theatres and drama schools. These include the Student Theatre on Mokhovaya Street (Saint Petersburg), Mokhovaya Street. :ru:Учебный театр «На Моховой», Учебный театр «На Моховой»
Leteiny Theatre
an
Youth Theatre on the Fontanka


Education

–2007, there were 1,024 kindergartens, 716 public school (government funded), public schools and 80 vocational education, vocational schools in Saint Petersburg. The largest of the public higher education institutions is Saint Petersburg State University, enrolling approximately 32,000 undergraduate students; and the largest non-governmental higher education institutions is the St. Petersburg Institute of International Trade, Economics and Law, Institute of International Economic Relations, Economics, and Law. Other famous universities are Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University, Herzen University, Saint Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance and Military engineering-technical university, Saint Petersburg Military engineering-technical university. However, the public universities are all federal property and do not belong to the city.


Sports

Leningrad hosted part of the association football tournament during the 1980 Summer Olympic Games, Summer Olympics. The 1994 Goodwill Games were also held here. In boating, the first competition here was the 1703 rowing (sport), rowing event initiated by Peter the Great, after the victory over the Swedish Navy, Swedish fleet. The Russian Navy held Yachting events since the foundation of the city. Yacht clubs: St. Petersburg River Yacht Club, Neva Yacht Club, 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 ice boats. Equestrianism has been a long tradition, popular among the Tsars and aristocracy, as well as part of military education and training, military training. 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. Chess tradition was highlighted by the 1914 international tournament, partially funded by the Tsar, in which the title "Grandmaster" was first formally conferred by Nicholas II of Russia, Russian Tsar Nicholas II to five players: Emanuel Lasker, Lasker, José Raúl Capablanca, Capablanca, Alexander Alekhine, Alekhine, Siegbert Tarrasch, Tarrasch and Frank Marshall (chess player), Marshall. Kirov Stadium with a capacity of 70 thousand seats (now a modern New Zenit Stadium, Gazprom Arena since 2017) which hosted matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup is one of the largest stadiums in the world and home to FC Zenit Saint Petersburg from 1950 to 1993 and again in 1995. In 1951 a crowd of 110,000 set the single-game attendance record for Soviet football. Zenit have been champions of the Soviet Top League, Soviet and Russian Premier League, Russian league nine times, most notably claiming the RPL title in four consecutive seasons from 2018-19 to 2021-22. The club has also won the Soviet/Russian Cup on five occasions. One of Zenit's most successful players was Andrei Arshavin, who led the team to claim the 2007–08 UEFA Cup, UEFA Cup 2007–08 season and the 2008 UEFA Super Cup. Hockey teams in the city include SKA Saint Petersburg in the KHL, HC VMF St. Petersburg in the VHL, and junior clubs SKA-1946 and Silver Lions in the Russian Major League. SKA Saint Petersburg is one of the most popular in the KHL, consistently being at or near the top of the league in attendance. Along with their popularity, they are one of the best teams in the KHL right now, as they have won the Gagarin Cup twice. Well-known players on the team include Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk, Nikita Gusev, Sergei Shirokov and Viktor Tikhonov (ice hockey b. 1988), Viktor Tikhonov. During the NHL lockout, stars Ilya Kovalchuk, Sergei Bobrovsky and Vladimir Tarasenko also played for the team. They play their home games at Ice Palace Saint Petersburg. The city's long-time basketball team is BC Spartak Saint Petersburg, which launched the career of Andrei Kirilenko. BC Spartak Saint Petersburg won two championships in the USSR Premier Basketball League, USSR Premier League (1975 and 1992), two USSR Basketball Cup, USSR Cups (1978 and 1987), and a Russian Basketball Cup, Russian Cup title (2011). They also won the Saporta Cup twice (1973 and 1975). Legends of the club include Alexander Belov and Vladimir Kondrashin. The city also has a new basketball team, BC Zenit Saint Petersburg. Citing the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, UEFA removed St Petersburg as host for the 2022 UEFA Champions League Final in February 2022.


Transport

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 kept pace with the city's growth. Petersburg has an extensive system of local roads and railway services, maintains a large public transport system that includes the Tramways in Saint Petersburg, Saint Petersburg tram and the Saint Petersburg Metro, and is home to several 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 several federal highways and national and international rail routes. Pulkovo Airport serves most of the air passengers departing from or arriving to the city.


Roads and public transport

Saint Petersburg has an extensive city-funded network of public transport (buses, Tramways in Saint Petersburg, trams, trolleybuses) and several hundred routes served by ''marshrutkas''. Tramways in Saint Petersburg, Trams in Saint Petersburg used to be the main means of transport; in the 1980s this was the largest tram network globally, but many tracks were dismantled in the 2000s. Buses carry up to three million passengers daily, serving over 250 urban and a number of suburban bus routes. Saint Petersburg Metro underground rapid transit system was opened in 1955; it now has 5 lines with 72 stations, connecting all five railway terminals, and carrying 2.3 million passengers daily. Metro stations are often elaborately decorated with materials such as marble and bronze. As of 2018, the Saint Petersburg Metro will include new stations: Prospekt Slavy, Dunayskaya, Shushary, Begovaya, and Novokrestovskaya, the latter built specifically to offer convenient access to the stadium during the 2018 FIFA World Cup games and games played by FC Zenit. Traffic congestion, Traffic jams are common in the city due to daily commuter traffic volumes, intercity traffic and excessive winter snow. The construction of Controlled-access highway, freeways such as the Saint Petersburg Ring Road, completed in 2011, and the Western Rapid Diameter, Western High-Speed Diameter, completed in 2017, helped reduce the traffic in the city. The Moscow–Saint Petersburg motorway, M11 Neva, also known as the Moscow-Saint Petersburg Motorway, is a Russian federal highway, federal highway, and connects Saint Petersburg to Moscow by a freeway. Saint Petersburg is an important transport corridor linking Scandinavia to Russia and Eastern Europe. The city is a node of the International E-road network, international European routes European route E18, E18 towards Helsinki, European route E20, E20 towards Tallinn, European route E95, E95 towards Pskov, Kyiv and Odessa and European route E105, E105 towards Petrozavodsk, Murmansk and Kirkenes (north) and towards Moscow and Kharkiv (south).


Saint Petersburg public transportation statistics

The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Saint Petersburg, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 69 minutes. 19.6% of public transit riders ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 11 minutes, while 16.1% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day. The average distance people usually ride in a single trip with public transit is , while 15% travel for over in a single direction.


Waterways

The city is also served by passenger and cargo seaports in the Neva Bay of the
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and E ...
,
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that is enclosed by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden and the North European Plain, North and Central European Plain. The sea stretches from 53°N to 66° ...
, 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 both the Volga–Baltic Waterway, Volga-Baltic and White Sea-Baltic Canal, White Sea-Baltic waterways. The first high bridge that does not need to be drawn, the Big Obukhovsky Bridge opened in 2004. Meteor hydrofoils link the city centre to the coastal towns of Kronstadt and Shlisselburg from May through October. In the warmer months many smaller boats and water-taxis navigate the city's canals. The shipping company St. Peter Line operates two ferries that sail from Helsinki to Saint Petersburg and from Stockholm to Saint Petersburg.


Rail

The city is the final destination for a web of intercity and suburban railways, served by five different railway terminals (Baltiysky Rail Terminal, Baltiysky, Finlyandsky Rail Terminal, Finlyandsky, Ladozhsky Rail Terminal, Ladozhsky, Moskovsky Rail Terminal (Saint Petersburg), Moskovsky and Vitebsky Rail Terminal, Vitebsky), as well as dozens of non-terminal Train station, railway stations within the federal subject. Saint Petersburg has international railway connections to Helsinki, Finland, Berlin, Germany, and many former republics of the USSR. The Riihimäki – Saint Petersburg Railway, Helsinki railway, built in 1870 and long, has trains running five times a day, in a journey lasting about three and a half hours with the Karelian Trains Class Sm6, Allegro train. The Moscow – Saint Petersburg Railway opened in 1851, and is long; the commute to Moscow now requires from three and a half to nine hours. In 2009 Russian Railways launched a high speed service for the Moscow–Saint Petersburg route. The new train, known as Sapsan, is a derivative of the popular Siemens Velaro train; various versions of this already operate in some European countries. It set records for the fastest train in Russia on 2 May 2009, travelling at and on 7 May 2009, traveling at . Since 12 December 2010 Karelian Trains, a joint venture between Russian Railways and VR Group, VR (Finnish Railways), has been running Karelian Trains Class Sm6, Alstom Pendolino operated high-speed services between Saint Petersburg's Finlyandsky Rail Terminal, Finlyandsky and Helsinki's Helsinki Central railway station, Central railway stations. These services are branded as "Allegro" trains. "Allegro" is known for suffering some big technical problems from time to time, which sometimes result in significant delays and even cancellation of tourists' trips.


Air

Saint Petersburg is served by Pulkovo Airport, Pulkovo International Airport. Pulkovo airport was opened to passengers as a small aerodrome in 1931. , the Pulkovo airport, which handles over 12 million passengers annually, is the 3rd busiest in Russia after Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport, Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo International Airport, Domodedovo. As a result, the steadily increasing passenger traffic has triggered a massive modernization of the entire airport infrastructure. A newly built Terminal 1 of the Pulkovo airport was put into operation on 4 December 2013 and integrated international flights of the former terminal Pulkovo-2. The renovated terminal Pulkovo-1 has been opened for domestic flights as an extension of Terminal 1 in 2015. One of the oldest air carriers of the Russian Federation Rossiya is registered in Saint Petersburg and is the largest and the base carrier of Pulkovo Airport. There is a regular rapid-bus connection (buses 39, 39E, K39) between Pulkovo airport and the Moskovskaya (Saint Petersburg Metro), Moskovskaya metro station as well as 24/7 taxi service.


Notable people


International relations

List of sister cities to Saint Petersburg as it appears on the official portal of the City Government, listing both sister cities and partnership ties: Non CIS/Baltic states sister cities of Saint Petersburg (from official government list) Sister cities in the Commonwealth of Independent States and Baltic states Sister cities of Saint Petersburg (not included on official government list)


Former twin towns

Milan and
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto Regions of Italy, region. It is built on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400  ...
were formerly twin cities of Saint Petersburg, but suspended this link due to St Petersburg's ban on "gay propaganda". Milan suspended the relationship with Saint Petersburg on 23 November 2012 and Venice did so on 28 January 2013. In March 2022, Gdańsk, Warsaw, Aarhus and Melbourne terminated or suspended the cooperation, affiliation or sister city relationship with Saint Petersburg as a response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian invasion of Ukraine..


Twinning with occupied Mariupol

Some Russian cities are twinned with ones in occupied Ukraine, in particular, Saint Petersburg is twinned with Mariupol. An art symbol of the twinning was unveiled on Palace Square in Saint Petersburg, defaced and removed."Murderers, you bombed it": a schoolgirl was detained in St. Petersburg for writing on an installation about Mariupol
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See also

* Fences in Saint Petersburg * Hotels in Saint Petersburg * List of buildings and structures in Saint Petersburg * List of museums in Saint Petersburg * List of people from Saint Petersburg, List of notable people from Saint Petersburg * List of Saint Petersburg Metro stations * List of sister cities to Saint Petersburg, List of Saint Petersburg sister cities * List of theatres in Saint Petersburg * Outline of Saint Petersburg * Timeline of Saint Petersburg


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

* Amery, Colin, Brian Curran & Yuri Molodkovets. ''St. Petersburg''. London: Frances Lincoln, 2006. . * Bater, James H. ''St. Petersburg: Industrialization and Change''. Montreal: McGuill-Queen's University Press, 1976. . * Berelowitch, Wladimir & Olga Medvedkova. ''Histoire de Saint-Pétersbourg''. Paris: Fayard, 1996. . * Brumfield, William Craft. ''The Origins of Modernism in Russian Architecture''. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991. . * Buckler, Julie. ''Mapping St. Petersburg: Imperial Text and Cityshape''. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005 . * Clark, Katerina, ''Petersburg, Crucible of Revolution''. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995. * Cross, Anthony (ed.). ''St. Petersburg, 1703–1825''. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. . * "San Pietroburgo, la capitale del nord" by Giuseppe D'Amato in ''Viaggio nell'Hansa baltica.'' L'Unione europea e l'allargamento ad Est. Greco&Greco editori, Milano, 2004. pp. 27–46. .
Travel to the Baltic Hansa
. The European Union and its enlargement to the East) Book in Italian. * George, Arthur L. & Elena George. ''St. Petersburg: Russia's Window to the Future, The First Three Centuries''. Lanham: Taylor Trade Publishing, 2003. . * Glantz, David M. ''The Battle for Leningrad, 1941–1944''. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2002. . * Hellberg-Hirn, Elena. ''Imperial Imprints: Post-Soviet St. Petersburg''. Helsinki: SKS Finnish literature Society, 2003. . * * Duncan Fallowell, ''One Hot Summer in St Petersburg'' (London, Jonathan Cape,1995) * ''Knopf Guide: Sat. Petersburg''. New York: Knopf, 1995. . * Eyewitness Guide: St. Petersburg. * Lincoln, W. Bruce. ''Sunlight at Midnight: St. Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia''. New York: Basic Books, 2000. . * Orttung, Robert W. ''From Leningrad to St. Petersburg: Democratization in a Russian City''. New York: St. Martin's, 1995. . * * Ruble, Blair A. ''Leningrad: Shaping a Soviet City''. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. . * Shvidkovsky, Dmitry O. & Alexander Orloff. ''St. Petersburg: Architecture of the Tsars''. New York: Abbeville Press, 1996. . * Volkov, Solomon. ''St. Petersburg: A Cultural History''. New York: Free Press, 1995. . * St. Petersburg:Architecture of the Tsars. 360 pages. Abbeville Press, 1996. * Saint Petersburg: Museums, Palaces, and Historic Collections: A Guide to the Lesser Known Treasures of St. Petersburg. 2003. . * . * *


External links


City Tourist Portal
* by FIFA *
St-Petersburg, Virtual Tour • 360° Aerial Panorama
*  50 photographs of St. Petersburg from "Travel literature, Travelogues" of Burton Holmes (Vol. 8, 1914) and other sources * * 3500 entries, 9200 personalities, 3500 addresses, 2000 pictures and 40 geographical maps, 3800 bibliographical references from the original "Encyclopaedia of Saint Petersburg" (SPb., Rosspen, 2004) *
Байков В.Д. Ленинградские хроники: от послевоенных 50-х до "лихих 90-х". М. Карамзин, 2017. – 486 с., илл. – in English: Leningrad Chronicles: from the postwar fifties to the "wild nineties"


site {{Authority control Saint Petersburg, 1703 establishments in Russia 1703 establishments in Europe Federal cities of Russia Former national capitals Planned capitals Populated coastal places in Russia Populated places established in 1703 Port cities and towns in Russia Port cities and towns of the Baltic Sea Sankt-Peterburgsky Uyezd World Heritage Sites in Russia