"St. Petersburg – Magnificent city on the Neva" Saint Petersburg by MikeAtSea

Saint Petersburg Travel Guide: 3,519 reviews and 7,466 photos

St.Petersburg was founded on the 16th of May 1703. This was followed 7 years later then the capital was moved to St. Petersburg from Moscow and the tsarist family moved to the city in 1712.
Peter the Great was the master mind behind the design and layout of St. Petersburg with clear and well defined architecture. The first architect who designed the inner areas of the city was Domenico Tresini, the Summer Palace, the Building of the Twelve Boards and the Alexander Nevsky Monastery were part of the beginnings of the glorious city St. Petersburg.
Jean Batist Leblon was the second artist who was asked by the Tsar to design and develop part of the city. He was responsible for the general layout of St. Petersburg and buildings such as the Menshikov Palace and the Kunstamera were constructed.
Suddenly Peter the Great died in 1725 and the development of St. Petersburg came to a halt. The capital was moved back to Moscow and only when Empress Ann took the throne in 1730 the capital was moved back again. During her reign the city was carefully divided into five parts, the centre being moved to the Admiralty Island. Three thoroughfares that stemmed from the Admiralty were completed - Nevsky Prospect, Median Prospect and Voznesensky Prospect.
The Russian Baroque style was embodied when the next Empress Elizabeth took the throne in 1741. She followed even more on the ideas of Peter the Great and the Winter Palace, Smolny Monastery and St. Nicolay Church were added to the face of the city.
The first threat of invasion of St. Petersburg came when the Napoleonic wars broke out in 1805. In 1812 Napoleon almost invaded the city however Russian troops threw Napoleon back and eliminated the French occupation of most of Europe. This gave a great effect to St. Petersburg which rose as the new great capital of a mighty power in Europe.

Over the next 80 years the city began to grow and more and more important buildings were erected.
In the 1860’s capitalism was allowed to flourish in Russia after Alexander III allowed Bourgeois Democratic Reforms that started a civil unrest and strikes which were badly felt in St. Petersburg
The defeat of the Russians in the war against Japan and the problems of World War I were disastrous for the Russian Empire under the reign of the last Tsar Nicolay II. The cities name was changed to Petrograd in 1914 with anti-German sentiment.
In 1917 Lenin started the October Revolution in St. Petersburg that made way to dramatic changes in Russia and the rise to the communistic Soviet Union. In 1924 when Lenin died the cities name was changed again to honour the dead leader and the city became Leningrad.
Stalin who was the next leader of Russia hated St. Petersburg with its historic links to Tsarist times and the opulence of imperialist Russia. However during his time at the helm of the Soviet Government Hitler Germany attempted to take and destroy St. Petersburg. The hardest times of the city emerged during a siege from September 08, 1941 till January 27, 1944, about 900 days and nights.

In recent times St. Petersburg’s name was given back to the city when communism fell in 1991.
Valdimir Putin was elected Russian president in 2000 and he made sure that the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the city of St. Petersburg was celebrated in style. Many buildings were renovated and the cities face brought back to its former glory after so many years of run-down during the times of Communist and Soviet era.
I found St. Petersburg as one of the most magnificent cities I have seen. The entire city skyline is dominated by buildings of the Tsarist times. No skyscrapers and other modern structures can be found in the city and with so much renovation one can see more and more the old glorious face of the city.
St. Petersburg houses one of the most fascinating museums in the world – that makes the Louvre or other museums around the world look like small art collections. The Hermitage is what I have seen the largest art collection in the world.
The palaces, museums, squares and all other aspects make St. Petersburg truly remarkable and in terms of old cities in Europe is certainly my number one.

  • Last visit to Saint Petersburg: Aug 2004
  • Intro Written Feb 20, 2005
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Reviews (24)

Comments (4)

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Jun 28, 2009 at 12:36 PM

    What a beautiful city. Have been to Louvre, British Museum, NY MOMA but not Hermitage :( One day :) Cheers, SL

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Apr 7, 2008 at 8:27 AM

    Thanks, Michael, for another great page! Take care! ~~

  • novsco61's Profile Photo
    Apr 25, 2005 at 3:42 AM

    Great page, Michael. St.Petersburg is really beautiful city.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2005 at 4:24 AM

    Excellent start ....I hope I will make it to Russia this summer ... Keep up the good work .. :o)

MikeAtSea

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