St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is an attractive city for conducting business, living ones life, for studies and for relaxation. It is quite a cosmopolitan city in Russia, and is viewed as being safe and tolerant, with a cultural and night life. The city has about 8 thousand sights of interest and more than a thousand cultural establishments, including museums, theatres, concert-halls, exhibitions and cinemas.

St. Petersburg has been rightfully included among the most beautiful cities of Europe. Its historical centre, palaces and park ensembles in the suburbs have been included in the list of the objects protected for world heritage by UNESCO. The city of the White Nights, one built on abundant waters and with many bridges, occupies the first place among Russia cities and one of the first of those in the world. All of this makes for an attractive tourist centre which is highly appreciated by guests from all over the world.

Location: Eastern Europe, the Eastern shore of the Baltic Sea (Gulf of Finland)
Time Zone:
GMT +3, Eastern +8
Founded:
16 (27) May 1703
Population:
5 356 755 (2018)
Area:
1403 square kilometers
Main river:
Neva.
The city is located in the delta of the Neva River on numerous islands, a fact which prompted some observers to call it "The City on 101 Islands"
Main natural phenomena:
White Nights, Floods
Name changes:
May 1703 – August 1914 St. Petersburg
August 1914 – February 1924 Petrograd
February 1924 – July 1991 Leningrad
July 1991 – Present St. Petersburg
Nicknames:
"The Venice of the North" (referring to St. Petersburg's many rivers and canals)
"The Palmyra of the North"
"The Northern Capital of Russia" (referring to the centuries-old rivalry between St. Petersburg and Moscow)

 Main cultural attractions: 

        
The Hermitage Museum                                          The Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theater                  The Imperial palace and park ensemble at Peterhof


St. Petersburg history:
During the course of the Northern War with Sweden, Russia's forces gradually moved from Lake Ladoga down the Neva River to the Swedish fort of Nienchanz. After an 8-day siege on
1 May 1703, the Swedish garrison surrendered. To protect the newly conquered lands on the Neva delta Peter the Great needed a fortress, but Nienchanz was small and badly damaged. Looking for a site for his new fortress Peter the Great chose the Island of Enisaari, which was known to the Russians as Hare's Island. The first structure to be built in the new city was the Peter and Paul fortress. Although it was originally designed to protect the area from possible attacks by the Swedish army and navy, the fort did not actually take part in any fighting. On
16 May 1703 (27 May by the modern calendar) St. Petersburg's fortress (the Peter and Paul Fortress) was founded and that day became the official birthday of the city.
For its first few years the St. Petersburg of Peter the Great was limited to a small town around the fortress, but by 1712 it had grown enough to become the new Russian capital.