The city on the Neva, glorified by a lot of poets and immortalized by famous artists, attracts tourists not only by its numerous museums, but by the glamour of the White Nights. Today it is the second largest city of Russia, a centre of culture and arts, the "tourist capital" of the country. Being the native city of the current president, Saint Petersburg is acquiring a new political image. Every year a number of international events, markets, festivals, political and business meetings are held in the city.
In comparison with other large cities of Russia and even of the whole world, Saint Petersburg is a young city, it was founded by order of Peter the Great onMay 27, 1703. The first city construction was a fortress named Saint Petersburg. The fortress became the centre of the city, and later, the last resting-place of Peter the Great. Today it is called the Peter and Paul Fortress, and its original name was given to the city that developed around the fortress on the numerous islands in the delta of the Neva River.
A great number of foreign architects, engineers, and artists came to Saint Petersburg to make Peter the Great's wishes about creation of a European city in Russia come true. The leading European and Russian architects, working side by side, created a great number of splendid architectural monuments: the Stock Exchange, the Admiralty, the Academy of Sciences, the Winter Palace, the Smolny Convent, St. Isaac's Cathedral and many others. From 1712 to 1918 Saint Petersburg was the capital of Russia, the residence of all Russian tsars.
Saint Petersburg has been renamed three times: at the beginning of the First World War the city got the name of Petrograd, after the death of Lenin in 1924, the city was renamed Leningrad. In 1991, after the referendum, the historical name was returned to the city. In Russia, Saint Petersburg is a "European oasis", which has its own image. Saint Petersburg has been preserving this image for over 300 years of its existence in spite of the Revolution, the Civil War, and 900 days of the Siege during the Second World War. Come to this city and see what was glorified by poets and immortalized by famous artists