Saint Petersburg, Russia

Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербург) is the second largest city in Russia. It covers 605.8 sq km (233.9 sq mi). Together with nine municipal towns and twenty-one municipal settlements, the federal subject of Saint Petersburg covers a total of 1,439 sq km (555.6 sq mi). With a population of 4.8 million people (2011 estimate), Saint Petersburg is the northernmost city in the world with a population exceeding a million. It is renowned for its cultural heritage, and is home to the largest art museum in the world. It is also regarded as the most Western of all the cities in Russia.

Church of the Savior on Blood, Saint Petersburg
Church of the Savior on Blood, Saint Petersburg
Author: RussianSpy (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

More on Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is located in the middle of the forested lowlands in the delta of the River Neva, where it empties into Neva Bay in the Gulf of Finland. The city itself is on islands in the delta. The highest point in the city is Orekhovaya Hill, at 175.9 m (577 ft) above sea level.

Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Saint Petersburg
Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Saint Petersburg
Author: Dezidor (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Saint Petersburg is often compared to Venice for its numerous canals. And similar to Venice, it too is plagued by frequent flooding, as much of its western neighbourhoods are less than 4 meters (13 ft) above sea level. Since the 18th century, much effort is invested to raise the city and keep it dry.

Saint Petersburg is on the Moscow Time Zone, which is four hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+4). Located at a latitude of 60°N, Saint Petersburg is one of the cities that experiences white nights, between mid-May to mid-July. The city has a humid continental climate. Summers here are brief and warm while winters cold and long. From December to March, the River Neva remains frozen, with the city gets an average of 123 days of snow, the heaviest being February.

Saint Petersburg was founded by the Russian ruler Peter the Great. After he captured the Swedish fortress of Nyenskans on 12 May, 1703, he erected the Peter and Paul Fortress there. The fortress became the first brick structure of his new city. The city was named after Peter the Great’s namesake, the Apostle Peter, or Saint Peter, whose name day according to the Russian Orthodox Church falls on 29 June.

Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg
Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg
Author: Andrew Butko (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

In the 1830’s, Alexander Pushkin began calling the city Petrograd. Tzar Nicholas II made it official in 1914. The change from Sankt-Peterburg to Petrograd effectively changed the eponym of the city from the Apostle Peter to Peter the Great. Following the Bolshevik Revolution of 25 October 1917, the city was known as Красный Петроград (Red Petrograd) until 1924, when it underwent another name change, this time to Leningrad.

After the Soviet Union collapsed, a referendum was held on 12 June, 1991, on whether the name should remain Leningrad or should it revert back to Sankt-Peterburg (Санкт-Петербург). Petrograd was not an option in the referendum, which saw Sankt-Peterburg selected by 54.86% of the votes.

The city of Saint Petersburg is today a federal city headed by a governor, the position of which was held by Valentina Ivanovna Matviyenko since 2003.

Dome of Saint Isaac's Cathedral, Saint Petersburg
Dome of Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, Saint Petersburg
Author: D. Alyoshin (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Saint Petersburg is today a major tourist destination, drawing visitors to admire its Baroque and neoclassical buildings which are some of the best preserved in Russia. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Group of Monuments is a UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription for the inner city of Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast since 1991.

Visiting Saint Petersburg

The Pulkovo Airport (LED) is the international airport serving Saint Petersburg. It has two terminals, with Terminal 2 exclusively for international flights. Arriving at Pulkovo Airport, you can get a taxi to downtown Saint Petersburg 17 km away. You can book your taxi from the taxi counter at the Arrival Hall. The fare to the central district of Saint Petersburg is a fixed 600 RUB.

Exploring Saint Petersburg

The Saint Petersburg subway is the second largest in Russia. It provides the cheapest means of getting around. Many of the stations are highly ornamented, becoming themselves tourist attractions. The fare is a flat rate of 25 rubles regardless distance traveled, paid using brass tokens that you can purchase at kiosks at the entrances to the station.

Places of Interest in Saint Petersburg, Russia

  1. Admiralty Building
  2. Alexander Column
  3. Anichkov Palace
  4. Artillery Museum
  5. Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
  6. Big Obuskhovsky Bridge
  7. Catholic Church of Saint Catherine
  8. Central Naval Museum
  9. Church of the Savior on Blood
  10. Griboyedov Canal
  11. Hermitage Museum
  12. Imperial Academy of Arts
  13. Kazan Cathedral
  14. Kunstkamera
  15. Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul
  16. Marble Palace
  17. Mariinsky Theatre
  18. Menshikov Palace
  19. Moika
  20. Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange
  21. Palace Bridge
  22. Palace Embankment
  23. Palace Square
  24. Peter and Paul Cathedral
  25. Peter and Paul Fortress
  26. Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography
  27. Railway Museum
  28. Russian Ethnography Museum
  29. Russian Museum
  30. Saint Isaac’s Cathedral
  31. Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden
  32. Saint Petersburg Mosque
  33. Saint Petersburg Museum of History
  34. Saint Petersburg TV Tower
  35. Senate Square
  36. Stroganov Palace
  37. Summer Garden
  38. Tauride Palace
  39. Tikhvin Cemetery
  40. Twelve Collegia
  41. Winter Palace
  42. Zoological Museum

Municipal Towns of Saint Petersburg

  1. Kolpino
  2. Krasnoye Selo
  3. Kronstadt
  4. Lomonosov
  5. Pavlovsk
  6. Petergof
  7. Pushkin
  8. Sestroretsk
  9. Zelenogorsk

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published.