St. Petersburg - The Northern Capital of Russia.
St. Petersburg was founded by Peter I (the Great), and named in honor of the apostle Peter under whose protection the Emperor himself was. On the City Emblem there are two anchors: for the sea and river. During Peter’s time the city acquired its own face, its own unique "Petersburgian” style. This city is called in different ways – the Northern Venice, North Palmira, North Aurora. But none of these names can fully express elegance, unique charm and originality of Saint-Petersburg. The unique feature of the city is that not only that the city itself was built according to a single design, harmonically matching the beautiful surroundings. Saint Petersburg is a marvellous ensemble, consisting of beautiful suburban palaces, mansions and wonderful parks. The city has the largest number of canals and bridges in Russia more than 35 of which belong to the world heritage of UNESCO. Each night at 2 o'clock (AM) all the bridges across the Neva River are raised to let the ships pass, and so traffic is stopped till 5 in the morning.
The most exciting time of St. Petersburg is summer “White Nights”, which last for about a month from the middle of June till the middle of July. During this period the streets are not artificially lit at nights, because it does not get dark at all!
The name of the city had been changed several times. In 1914 the city was named Petrograd. In 1924 after the death of V. I. Lenin it was renamed into Leningrad and only in 1991 the city returned its original name - Saint Petersburg.
Today Saint Petersburg is a major industrial, scientific, cultural and business centre of the new Russia, with a population over 5 mln people. The city is the centre of a free economic zone.