"St. Petersburg" Saint Petersburg by AndreasK
Saint Petersburg Travel Guide: 3,483 reviews and 7,366 photos
Zsar Peter the Great hated conservative Moscow and built a city early in the 18th century around the river Neva. In retrospect, it was absurd and irrational to build a major city in this desolate place. The waters channeled into canals are unclean, the river system connects only poorly to other parts of Russia. And unlike centrally placed Moscow, it was far from the centers of trade, at the edge of the empire.
But Peter wanted a total break with the past. He had already forced upon his unwilling countrymen new styles of dress, foreign ways, and now he intended to build a purely western capital, founded upon the latest European concepts of engineering, planning and construction.
If possible, visit St. Petersburg during the summer. The winter can be very cold, though not as cold as in Moscow. Catherine I. died of fevers and chills after the blessing of the Waters on the Neva in January. This ceremony always attended by the tsars played havoc with their health, as they were obliged to stand for long periods of time in freezing weather; and Peter's father, Alexis Mikhailovich, also died after attending this service on the Moscow River...
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