St. Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia.
Peter the Great founded the city in 1703 and from 1712 to 1918 it was the capital of the Russian Empire.
The city is named after Saint Peter, the saint patron, but over time, the name has become associated with the name of Peter I himself, the founder of the city.
St. Petersburg’s population is over 5 million people. St. Petersburg is considered the cultural capital of Russia. The city combines the elegance of Europe and the luxury of Asia –a wonderful open-air museum.
St. Petersburg was built much later than other European cities according to a plan created by best architect of 18th century. The architectural styles of St. Petersburg incorporated the best traditions of Italian, Dutch and German architecture with a flavour of Russian culture.
Architecture of St. Petersburg has no analogues in the global architectural environment and in spite its stylistic diversity looks elegant and magnificent.
St. Petersburg is an important economic, scientific and cultural center. The historical center of the city and related monuments are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites; it is one of the most important touristic centers in the country. The most significant cultural and touristic places are: the Hermitage, the Kunstkamera, the Mariinsky Theatre, the Russian National Library, the Russian Museum, the Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Nevsky Prospect and many others.
St. Petersburg is considered the “Cultural Capital” of Russia. The city has 8464 historical and cultural monuments.
More than 200 museums and their branches operate in St. Petersburg (including the Hermitage. There about three million objects of art and monuments in these museums. Among them are the State Russian Museum (the largest museum of Russian art), the Central Naval Museum, the Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts, the Sculpture City Museum, the History Museum of St. Petersburg, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera) , the palaces and parks of Peterhof, Oranienbaum, Tsarskoye Selo, Pavlovsk, “Pushkinskaya 10” Art Center, a contemporary art museum Erarta Museum. There are over 70 theatres in St.Petersburg: Mariinsky Theatre, Alexandrinsky Theatre, Mikhailovsky Theatre, Bolshoi Drama Theatre named after G.A. Tovstonogov, Maly Drama Theatre (Theatre of Europe), St. Petersburg Academic Theatre named after Lensoviet, “The Baltic House”, Academic Drama Theatre named after V. F. Komissarzhevskaya, the Big St. Petersburg State Circus and many others. 1100 libraries located in the city, among them: the Russian National Library (Public), the Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Presidential Library named after Boris N. Yeltsin etc. There are several art and music universities: the St. Petersburg Conservatory named after Rimsky-Korsakov, the Russian Ballet Academy named after A. Y. Vaganova, Russian State Institute of Performing Arts, Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, Stieglitz Art and Industry Academy, Roerich Art College.
1000 exhibitions and around 300 festivals take place annually in St.Petersburg, among them: the Mariinsky International Ballet Festival, the White Nights Stars International Festival, international winter festival “the Square of Arts”, “the Dance Open” international ballet festival, and international music festival “Palaces of St. Petersburg”, the international jazz festival “White Night Swing”, the international art festival “From the Avant-garde to the Present Day”, the international film festival “Festival of Festivals”, the international bike festival, the “Baltic Theatre” International Festival, the International – competition “Festival of Childhood”, and other theatre, music, dance and ballet festivals.
In December 2016, St. Petersburg received a prestigious “World Travel Award” at the World’s Leading Cultural City Destination 2016 nomination.
In 2018, over 8.5 million tourists visited St. Petersburg.