St.Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg is located on the Neva River on the Gulf of Finland. It is a federal city of Russia and was founded in 1703 by Tsar Peter the first. This city was the capital of Russia for more then two centuries until the 1917 Russian revolution, when the capital was transferred to Moscow. Throughout the years this city has been known by different names. Just in the twentieth century it has been known as Petrograd and Leningrad. This city covers an area of five hundred and fifty miles and has a population of almost five million people.

St. Petersburg is a major economic hub of Russia and many goods pass through the city. Examples of these goods include oil, natural gas, electronics, heavy machinery and even military equipment. St. Petersburg is also the world’s leader producer of power turbines. Other thriving industries in the city include Baltic Shipyard, Elektrosila and Petersburg Fuel Company. Also located in the city is the Saint Petersburg Mint. This is the largest mint in Russia and one of the largest ones in all the world. Items minted there include coins, badges and medals.

St. Petersburg is also a main transportation hub of Russia. The city is crisscrossed with various rails, subways and freeways. This city also has a major airport, Pulkovo Airport and is also serviced by several smaller airstrips. St. Petersburg also has an intricate system of public transportation which includes buses, trolley cars and trams. This city is also a main freeway hub to various locations such as Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

St. Petersburg is a deeply beautiful city and one that is rich in history and culture. Though the city skyline is virtually devoid of any skyscrapers, its still impressive because of the rich combination of Byzantine and Baroque influenced architecture. This is a city that combines the best cultural influences from both Asian and Europe.

One of the most popular attractions in this city is The Winter Palace and the Hermitage Museum. This Baroque influenced palace and is colored in gorgeous hues of white, gold and green. This palace was originally the property of the Tsars and is over six hundred and fifty feet long. Later on, Catherine the Great would add the Hermitage Museum to it. The palace itself is very richly adorned and the Hermitage Museum contains some very priceless works of art. In fact, the art collection located here consist of almost 3 million pieces of art.

Another must see location in St. Petersburg is Plaza Square. At the center of the square is the Alexander Column. This granite monolith features a cross and the statue of an angel atop it. This is a monument that celebrates the military victories and accomplishments during the Napoleonic wars. From the square such sights as the peak of St. Isaac’s Cathedral and Admiralty’s golden spire can easily be seen. The area around the square is bustling with the many markets and outdoor cafes that are located there.

St Isaac’s Cathedral is a massive church that can accommodate well over fourteen thousand worshippers. The build is composed of granite and contains many beautiful stained glass windows, as well as an incredible golden dome. The inside of the cathedral contains painted ceilings, frescoes and dark red granite columns. Not to mention the many amazing mosaics that are also contained within this very elegant and lush cathedral.

Located across the river from the Hermitage Museum is the Peter and Paul Fortress. This complex was built on a small island by Peter The Great as a defence against any military action that might be launched by Sweden. It never served its intended purpose, instead it was transformed into a prison for political prisoners. It has since been converted into a museum. Points of interest here include the History Museum and the Mint.

Dedicated exclusively to Russian art is the Russian Museum. This museum was built in 1895 by order of Nicolas II. It was to be not only a museum but a tribute to his father as well. The main feature of the museum is the Mikhailovsky Palace. Other museums in the city include the Central Naval Museum, the Artillery Museum and the Russian Ethnography Museum.

St. Petersburg is also a city that has a deep appreciation for music. This is evidenced by the more than fifty theaters that call this city home. One of the most famous of these theaters is the Mariinsky Theatre. This theater was first opened in 1860 and quickly became one of the premier theaters of that century. It was named after the wife of Alexander II and features her bust just inside the foyer. Many different groups and organizations are based out of this magnificent theater. These include the Mariinsky Opera, Mariinsky Orchestra and the Mariinsky Ballet.

One of the main roads in St. Petersburg and one that traverses through the cities most historic districts is Nevsky Prospekt. This three mile long road starts at the Admiralty whose gilded spire, past the Railway Station of Moscow and ends at Alexandr Nevsky Monastery. Traveling this road, visitors will not only get a chance to see many of St. Petersburg most historic sights but will also find that the road, which is intersected by many canals and rivers, to be an enjoyable experience as well. Along this road there are also plenty of historic hotels, churches, restaurants and shops.