On May 27, 1703, after Russian troops had seized the
strategically important Nienschantz Fortress on Zayachy Island (in the broadest
part of the Neva estuary) Peter the Great ordered to build the Peter and Paul
Fortress there. This day now is celebrated as the birthday of St. Petersburg.
During the very first years palaces and mansions appeared along the Neva, vast
squares and parks were laid out, and monuments rose. Following the will of one
man and labor hundreds of thousands of people worked day and night to create the
city that is now called the northern Palmyra and the Venus of the North.
1712 Peter the Great transferred the capital of the Russian state from Moscow to
St. Petersburg, and after that the city became the country's main industrial and
political center. And for a little bit more than 200 years, St. Petersburg has
remained the capital of Russian Empire.
St. Petersburg is a city of
architectural ensembles. It represents all the main styles of Russian and world
building. The Palace Square, the Square of Arts, the Isaac's Square, the great
number of magnificent palaces along the quiet canals and the vast Neva make
unique combination of nature and creative inspiration of architects.
is young, it is not even 300 year old yet, but its history is overwhelming.
Every building here has witnessed many historical events. People, famous all
over whole world, lived and worked in this city. Dozens of museums contain
masterpieces of the world and Russian culture.
Today St. Petersburg is a
large industrial, transport, scientific and cultural center of Russia, with
population of about 5 million people. It covers 620 square km on the 42 islands,
formed in the Neva estuary and it has already come to the coast of the Gulf of
The Hermitage is one of the world's greatest and largest museums
which contains large number of pieces of Russian and foreign art.
Museum has a great collection of icons, ancient Russian applied arts and
paintings of 18 - 20th centuries.
Not far from the city there is the Tzars'
Village. Three parks there make up the endless chain of palaces, bridges, paths,
sculptures and pavilions of the Tzars' Village. This landscape is crowned by the
immortal creation of Rastrelli - the Catherine Palace. If you come to the
Pushkin parks with a handful of nuts, you will enjoy meeting the fearless
squirrels who will eat from your hands.
Petrodvorets - the former summer residence of the
Russian tsars, is certainly one of the most beautiful and famous
architectural and park ensemble of the 17th century. It is situated on the
coast of the Gulf of Finland. There are 147 fountains and 6 palaces which
were reconstructed after the World War II.