About Saint-Petersburg

Most interesting facts about Saint-Petersburg

  • The highest cathedral of Russia is located in Saint-Petersburg, inside of the Peter and Paul Fortress. Petropavlovsky Cathedral is the burial vault of Romanovs, it’s height up to the golden top with the Flying Angel is 122,5 meters.
  • The only equestrian statue in the world that has only 2 pivots is located in Saint-Petersburg, on the Saint-Isaak’s Square. It is the monument of tzar Nicolas the First created by Russian sculptor Pavel Klodt.
  • Saint-Petersburg is the city of museums and theatres – we have 200 active museums and 80 theatres.
  • In Zoological Museum of Saint-Petersburg (Kuntskammer) you can find the mommy of the oldest dog of Saint-Petersburg, favor dog of Peter the Great named Lisette. One can also find there the mommy of the favor horse of Peter the Great whose name was also Lisette. By the way the most successful daughter of Peter the Great was Elisabeth – Queen of Russia.
  • Saint-Petersburg has the deepest metro in the world. Due to the swampy territory that was chosen for the city construction they had to drive the tunnel under the solid rocks. The depth of the underground railway is 70-80 meters.
  • Saint-Petersburg is the capital of trams. The length of the tramway is 600 kilometers, this fact is registered in the Guinness Records Book.
  • Saint-Petersburg is the city of bridges, it has 580 bridges within the city line including 20 flap bridges over the River Neva.
  • Saint-Petersburg is the city of canals, their length is 217,5 kilometers that is way Saint-Petersburg suffered 288 floods most of those floods happened before the 1950s. Now the city is protected from the flood by the recently constructed dike.

History of Saint-Petersburg
Saint-Petersburg is named The Object of Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, it is one of the most remarkable cities in the world. St. Petersburg is also called the "Northern capital of Russia", the "Venice of the North" and the "Window to Europe". Founded in 1703 by the first Russian emperor Peter the Great Saint- Petersburg was built as a citadel of Russia on the Baltic Sea. Due to Peter the Great's obstinacy, talent of Swiss architect Domenico Trezzini and also in spite of the swampy territory that was chosen for the city construction - Saint-Petersburg became the first city in Russia built by a plan. In 1712 Peter the Great made the decision to move the capital from conservative Moscow to modern and developing Saint-Petersburg. With the help of latest discoveries, intellect of famous European architects and using hands of experienced craftsmen Peter the Great managed to make Saint-Petersburg the most progressive city of Russia.

Mansions and embankments made of stone surrounding the Neva River, marvelous palaces and smart system of canals marked the history of Saint Petersburg in the 18th century. The most outstanding palaces like the Hermitage ("Winter Palace") and The Smolny Cathedral were created in Baroque style by famous western architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Queen Catherine continued the glorious deeds of Peter The Great developing the art and science institutions of Russia. Catherine the Great is also known as a founder of the art collection of Hermitage and initiator of Neo-Classical designs in the architecture of Saint-Petersburg.
Political and economical improvement, industrial development and crushes of uprisings - those were the particular features of 19th century Saint-Petersburg. Name of the city is closely connected with the names of diamonds of the world literature, art and music like Dostoevsky, Gogol, Malevich and Tchaikovsky. Since 19th century The Nevsky Prospect is the main business and leisure street of Saint-Petersburg.

During the controversial 20th century Saint-Petersburg took the key role in historical events that have changed the history of Russia. In 1917 the shot from her forecastle gun of Russian cruiser ship "Aurora" started the rebellion of Bolsheviks which ended up the times of Russian monarchy and initiated the bloody Civil War in 1918-1920. During that time Communists came into power, the capital of Russia was moved to Moscow and in 1926 Saint-Petersburg has got the new name - The City of Leningrad. Under that name city residents suffered Stalin times of repressions, 900-day siege during World War II when about 2 million people died of starvation, air bombing and hard frosts.
In 90s of the past century Saint-Petersburg again proved itself as the city which always starts political and economical changes in Russia. Innovative reforms initiated in Saint-Petersburg ended up the years of USSR and moved the country towards constructing new society based on principals of private property. In 1998 the city was renamed again changing soviet Leningrad to historical Saint-Petersburg.     

Modern Saint-Petersburg
Saint-Petersburg today has a population of about 5 million residents and is an important industrial, cultural, educational and tourist center. The city has big amount of churches and temples representing different religions: Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran Churches, Moslem Mosques, Synagogues and a Buddhist Temple as well.
Saint Petersburg is truly wonderful city: at every turn there is something to catch your eye.
There are spacious squares and circles, the streets are wide and straight. Palace Square, Senate Square, St. Isaac`s Square, Arts Square - they all are historical places shaped with famous buildings and striking monuments. Alexander Column - the highest structure of this kind in the world rises on Palace Square. Peter the Great Monument better known as the Bronze Horseman is on Senate Square. Nicholas I Monument which is considered a masterpiece of engineering art stands on St. Isaac`s Square. Nicholas I Pushkin Monument is in the center of Arts Square. The Field of Mars, with the area of twelve hectares, is the biggest square in Saint Petersburg. The main street of the city is Nevsky Prospect. It runs from the Admiralty to the Alexander Nevsky Monastery and lines famous buildings, luxurious hotels and fashionable stores. Sadovaya Street got its name from a lot of gardens once facing the street. Moskovsky Prospect is the longest street in the city and Architect Rossy Street is the shortest one. It was in Saint Petersburg that the tradition to number streets appeared. One still can find 5th Line or 27th Line on Vasilyevsky Island where line is one side of the street. The shape of Vasilyevsky Island and the way it is built reminds visitors of Manhattan Island in New York City.    
Saint-Petersburg is called Northern Venice because there are 65 rivers, arms and canals with artistically decorated bridges. Eight bridges across the Neva River open every night in summer giving together with the White Nights and magnificent palaces a picturesque view. At four ends of Anichkov Bridge over the Fontanka River along Nevsky Prospect there are four sculptural groups comprising a world-famous composition The Taming of a Horse. The longest bridge is the Vantovy Bridge across the Neva River. Siny Bridge over the Moika River is the widest and completes the ensemble of St. Isaac`s Square.
There are lots of museums in the city. The Kunstkammer, the first museum of Russia, the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Smolny Cathedral, the Russian Museum, St. Isaac's Cathedral and Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, the Admiralty and the Winter Palace, and many others, attract thousands of tourists from all over the world. Saint Petersburg's many museums that house some of the world's most famous art collections. The Hermitage, for example, contains the richest collection of pictures and pieces of applied art in the world.
There are lots of theaters to suit all tastes. One can hear an opera or watch a ballet in the Mariinsky Theater or the Maly Opera House. Theatergoers can enjoy the dramatic art in the Bolshoi Drama Theater or in the Alexandrinsky Theater. Chamber and symphony music can be enjoyed in the Shostakovich Philharmonic Society (Philharmonia). And finally those who prefer pop singers and rock stars can visit shows at concert halls or sport palaces like the SKK or the Ledovy Palace. Two circuses are at people's disposal as well.
Saint Petersburg is also famous for its legendary White Nights. Different festivals take place at this time. It has also been a tradition for graduates of all kinds to celebrate their graduation and marriage ceremonies in the night city.