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Saint-Petersburg is one of the most revered and historic cities of Russia that has gained international recognition over the last century for its grandeur and natural beauty. It is the largest seaport of the country and has a spectacular ocean front that has become a travel resort for millions of travelers around the world.
The significance of Saint-Petersburg in the annals of Russian history is that it was the capital of the country from 1712 to 1918. These two decades gave Russia exponential growth both in terms of national patriotism, urban development and industrialization.
Those two decades gave the city a complex rail junction, cultural buildings and a scientific center alongside providing the city with time and money to revamp the older palaces and grand cathedrals that had lost its impact due to the gradual decay of time and negligence.
One of the most interesting aspects of this city is that is has been named three times since its inception on the Russian map. Construction of the city began in 1703, ordered by Russian tsar (later emperor) Peter the Great, who named it Saint Petersburg after his patron saint. After the World War 1 in 1914, the name of the city was then changed to Petrograd.
And a few years later after the death of the soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, the name of the city was changed again and was to be called Leningrad. Finally, in June 1991, six months before the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) officially dissolved and Russia emerged as an independent country, the city reverted to its original name - Saint-Petersburg.
The particular location of the city has given a very particular and drastic contrast in regards to the overall climate to its citizens. Facing the Atlantic Ocean, the winters are typically dry and cold primarily due to the air masses and polar continental air. Irrespective f the dryness, the winters are extremely cold and have hit below zero temperature many of times ensuring a complete halt of activities including the harbor and the dock port. The winter has caused the entire closure of activity for continuous three to four months out of a year.
Saint-Petersburg is located near the Neva River delta that spreads over the mainland and constitutes over 60 river branches and canals to the 42 river islands. More than 300 bridges connect different parts of the city together that have been disparate areas due to the waterfront. This particular view and natural perspective has imbedded this city as one of the most spectacular harbors views in the world.
The grandeur of the city lives in its commercial area close to Nevsky Prospekt. The area is saturated with stylish shopping boulevards, immaculate building designs, and spectacular grandeurs of architectural beauty that depicts the excellence in design and structure. It is only in the Admiralty district where the main avenues of central Saint Petersburg come together.
The district houses the Admiralty fortress and dockyard, which was a shipyard before it became part of a naval college in 1925. Upriver from the fortress resides the Winter Palace originally built in 1762. The palace was the winter residence of Russias former imperial rulers. The Winter Palace now houses the world-famous Hermitage Museum.
Directly across from the Admiralty district is Vasilevsky Island, the largest of all the islands in the Neva vicinity and home of the Naval Museum. This particular area has become a must see for all tourists and is nominated as one of the top 100 man made habitats on earth.
There are other scenic areas surround the Winter Palace that has given Saint Petersburg the label of the city of palaces. The Peter and Paul fortress located farther up the river is another spectacular monument depicting Russian heritage and culture. The Peter and Paul Cathedral, located inside the fortress, is the burial place of the tsars and the tallest historical building (122 m/400 ft) in the city.
The cathedral is only one of the most revered and religiously valued buildings in the international Christian religion giving birth to new generations of Christians over the last hundred years. Outside the city also lies the benevolent Catherin Palace, a magnificent structure built in the early 18th century. Another palace that is on the historical palaces of Russia is the Mariinsky Palace which was built by Emperor Nicholos in 1844.
The population of the city exponentially during the industrial revolution in the early 1960s. Workers from all around the Russian peninsula come to become a part of the new industrial era. The city districts grew providing shelter, homes, and resources to new families moving into the old city.
Recent consensus stated that the 92% of people living in the city are Russians that have been settled for generations and the religion for the majority is predominantly Russian Orthodox Christianity.
Saint Petersburg owes a lot to its writers, architects and thinkers that have given the city its international heritage and importance. The writers and especially the architects have ensured that this city remains on the tourism radar for years to come.
One of the legendary writers Aleksandr Pushkin and Fyodor Dostoyesky are originate from the famous city and Nikolay Gogol has written some of his most famous writings living in this city. The Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theater are also renowned and have given birth to one of greatest dancers in the history of dance and ballet, Rudolph Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
One of the greatest trademarks of the city will be its finest museums and historical libraries. One of the most renowned museums in the world belong to this city and is known as the State Hermitage Museum. It was originally founded in 1764 and now is home to the most rare collection of Russian and international artifacts.
The city will be incomplete without its lavish gardens and recreational facilities. The parks at Pushkin rank among the finest creations of Russian gardening. The city growth has now slowed down due to the closure of the industrial units and the creation of a new Russian federation.