Tourist guide to Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg at night

Saint Petersburg at night ©Boris Tylevich/Flick

On the Baltic Sea at the end of the Gulf of Finland, on the Neva River, you discover the second largest city in Russia and the most important trading port of the Baltic Sea: Saint Petersburg. The name of the city comes from St. Peter, patron saint of the city, but over time it was also called Petrograd. Tsar Peter the Great needed a port city that can have better sea links. Thus, in 1703 conquered the city of Nyen, changed his name to St. Petersburg and built on the Zayachy Island the first brick fortress, the Peter and Paul Fortress.

We present you a short tourist guide of Saint Petersburg with the most important things you need to know about the city.

The history of the city

The Tsar saw this region so beautiful that he moved the Russian capital here in 1713. After 1716 in St. Petersburg started the construction of several important buildings, the then chief architect being Alexandre Jean Baptiste Le Blond. Most of the buildings made during the reign of Peter the Great have a baroque style.

When Peter the Great died, Peter II moved the capital back to Moscow, and only at the order of Empress Anna Saint Petersburg became again the capital of the Russian Empire. For 186 years it was the most important city in the country, until the communist revolution of 1917, when Moscow became the capital again. During the First World War the city was called Petrograd, then when Lenin died it was renamed Leningrad in his memory.

Saint Petersburg at night

Saint Petersburg at night ©Boris Tylevich/Flick

Tourist attractions in Saint Petersburg

In Saint Petersburg are preserved many tourist attractions, although the settlement has gone through many conflicts and destruction, more or less disastrous. The most important buildings from historical and architectural point of view in St. Petersburg are the Menshikov Palace, the Cathedral of Peter and Paul, the Academy of Sciences, the Winter Palace, the St. Catherine Catholic Church, the Marble Palace, the Yusupov Castle, the Kazan Cathedral, the Alexandrina Theater, the Trinity Cathedral, the Palace Square and the Narva Triumphal Arch.

Menshikov Palace from Neva River in Saint Petersburg

Menshikov Palace from Neva River in Saint Petersburg ©Grigory Gusev/Flick

Sankt Petersburg is now known as one of the most important cultural cities of the world with many institutions, such as the Hermitage Museum the Kuntskamera Museum, the Russian Ethnographic Museum and the Peter the Great Anthropological and Ethnographical Museum.

In the city there are several parks as well, the most important being the English Garden and the Tauride Garden. The main street of the city is the Nevsky Prospekt, along it you can find many shops, restaurants, hotels, bars, terraces and nightclubs.

Most important personalities of Saint Petersburg

Over time in the city of Sankt Petersburg were born and lived many personalities inlcuding the musician Viktor Tsoi, the composer Mily Balakirev, the footballplayer Andrei Arshavin, the writer Alexander Beliaev, the chemist Alexander Borodin, the feminist Anna Filosofova and the poet Konstantin Fofanov.

The Hermitage in Saint Petersburg

The Hermitage in Saint Petersburg ©Andrew Gatt/Flick


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