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St Petersburg Travel Guide

The City of St Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia situated on the Neva River at the east end of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea and spread over numerous islands in the Neva Delta. St. Petersburg's informal name is Piter, the city's other names were Sankt-Piter-Burh (1703), Petrograd (1914–1924) and Leningrad (1924–1991).

Founded by Peter the Great on 27th May of 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713-1728, 1732-1918). St. Petersburg ceased being the capital in 1918 after the Russian Revolution of 1917. Considered the cultural heart of modern day Russia, St. Petersburg is rapidly regaining its reputation as one of the Great Cities of Europe.

It is Russia's second largest and Europe's fourth largest city after Moscow, London and Paris. Saint Petersburg is the world's largest city north of Moscow. Five million People live in the city, and over six million people live in the city's vicinity.

Saint Petersburg is a major European cultural center, and important Russian port on the Baltic Sea. The city, as federal subject, has a total area of 1,439 square kilometres.

The City of St Petersburg

St Petersburg is a city of arched bridges, wide boulevards, elegant palaces, impressive squares and ornate churches, and as such is often referred to as the “Venice of the North”. It has an elegance also reminiscent of cities like Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam, but is at the same time too Russian to be European, and beguiles with a charm of its own.

Adding to the beauty of the buildings are the canals and rivers, which cross Nevsky prospekt. Like Venice, to which it is often compared, the winding waterways leading to the broad River Neva, are the heart of St Petersburg. St Petersburg is certainly Russia’s first city in terms of beauty. It is also the prime center for classical culture, from opera to ballet to music, with historic venues, such as the Mariinsky Theatre, presenting a repertoire and choreography that Tchaikovsky himself would recognize.

The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within easy reach of the capitals of Europe and Scandinavia St Petersburg now offers visitors luxury accommodation, expert destination management companies and international travel services.

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