|ISO 3166 code||RU-SPE|
|License plates||78, 98, 178, 198|
Saint Petersburg,[a] formerly known as Petrograd (1914–1924) and later Leningrad (1924–1991), is the second-largest city in Russia. It is situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city had a population of roughly 5.4 million residents as of 2020. Saint Petersburg is the fourth-most populous city in Europe, the most populous city on the Baltic Sea, and the world's northernmost city of more than 1 million residents. As Russia's Imperial capital, and a historically strategic port, it is governed as a federal city.
The city was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May 1703 on the site of a captured Swedish fortress, and was named after apostle Saint Peter. In Russia, Saint Petersburg is historically and culturally associated with the birth of the Russian Empire and Russia's entry into modern history as a European great power. It served as a capital of the Tsardom of Russia, and the subsequent Russian Empire, from 1713 to 1918 (being replaced by Moscow for a short period of time between 1728 and 1730). After the October Revolution in 1917, the Bolsheviks moved their government to Moscow. The city was renamed Leningrad after Lenin's death in 1924. In a wave of De-Leninization following the dissolution of the USSR, the city was restored to is original appellation.
As Russia's cultural center, Saint Petersburg received over 15 million tourists in 2018. It is considered an important economic, scientific, and tourism centre of Russia and Europe. In modern times, the city has the nickname of being "the Northern Capital of Russia" and is home to notable federal government bodies such as the Constitutional Court of Russia and the Heraldic Council of the President of the Russian Federation. It is also a seat for the National Library of Russia and a planned location for the Supreme Court of Russia, as well as the home to the headquarters of the Russian Navy, and the Western Military District of the Russian Armed Forces. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world, the Lakhta Center, the tallest skyscraper in Europe, and was one of the host cities of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Euro 2020.
A proponent of westernising Russia, Peter the Great, the then Tsar, who established the city, originally named it Sankt-Pieter-Burch (Сан(к)т-Питер-Бурхъ) in Dutch manner and later its spelling was standardised as Sankt-Peterburg (Санкт-Петербургъ[b]) under German influence.
A former spelling of the city's name in English was Saint Petersburgh, under the influence of burgh. This spelling survives in the name of a street in the Bayswater district of London, near St Sophia's Cathedral, named after a visit by the Tsar to London in 1814.
A 14- to 15-letter-long name, composed of the three
In the 1830s Alexander Pushkin translated the "foreign" city name of "Saint Petersburg" to the more Russian Petrograd (Russian: Петроград[b], IPA: [pʲɪtrɐˈgrat]) in one of his poems. However, it was only on 31 August [O.S. 18 August] 1914, after the war with Germany had begun, that Tsar Nicholas II renamed the city Petrograd in order to expunge the German words Sankt and Burg. Since the prefix "Saint" was omitted, this act also changed the eponym and the "patron" of the city from Saint Peter to Peter the Great, its founder. On 26 January 1924, shortly after the death of Vladimir Lenin, it was renamed to Leningrad (Russian: Ленинград, IPA: [lʲɪnʲɪnˈgrat]), meaning 'Lenin's City'. On 6 September 1991, the original name, Sankt-Peterburg, was returned by citywide referendum. Today, in English the city is known as Saint Petersburg. Local residents often refer to the city by its shortened nickname, Piter (Russian: Питер, IPA: [ˈpʲitʲɪr]).
After the October Revolution the name Red Petrograd (Красный Петроград, Krasny Petrograd) was often used in newspapers and other prints until the city was renamed Leningrad in January 1924.
A referendum on reversing the renaming of Leningrad was held on 12 June 1991, with 54.86% of voters (with a turnout of 65%) supporting "Saint Petersburg". Renaming the city Petrograd was not an option. This change officially took effect on 6 September 1991. Meanwhile, the oblast whose administrative center is also in Saint Petersburg is still named Leningrad.
Having passed the role of capital to Petersburg, Moscow never relinquished the title of "capital", being called pervoprestolnaya ('first-throned') for 200 years. An equivalent name for Petersburg, the "Northern Capital", has re-entered usage today since several federal institutions were recently moved from Moscow to Saint Petersburg. Solemn descriptive names like "the city of three revolutions" and "the cradle of the
Saint Petersburg has been traditionally called the "Window to Europe" and the "Window to the West" by the Russians. The city is the northernmost metropolis in the world, and is also often described as the "Venice of the North" or the "Russian Venice" due to its many water corridors, as the city is built on swamp and water. Furthermore, it has strongly Western European-inspired architecture and culture, which is combined with the city's Russian heritage. Another nickname of Saint Petersburg is "The City of the White Nights" because of a natural phenomenon which arises due to the closeness to the polar region and ensures that in summer the night skies of the city do not get completely dark for a month. The city is also often called the "Northern Palmyra", due to its extravagant architecture.
Imperial era (1703–1917)
Swedish colonists built Nyenskans, a fortress at the mouth of the Neva River in 1611, which was later called Ingermanland. This area was inhabited by a Finnic tribe of Ingrians. The small town of Nyen grew up around the fort.
At the end of the 17th century, Peter the Great, who was interested in seafaring and maritime affairs, wanted Russia to gain a seaport to trade with the rest of Europe. He needed a better seaport than the country's main one at the time, Arkhangelsk, which was on the White Sea in the far north and closed to shipping during the winter.
On 12 May [O.S. 1 May] 1703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured Nyenskans and soon replaced the fortress. On 27 May [O.S. 16 May] 1703, closer to the estuary (5 km (3 mi) inland from the gulf), on Zayachy (Hare) Island, he laid down the Peter and Paul Fortress, which became the first brick and stone building of the new city.
The city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia; in some years several Swedish prisoners of war were also involved under the supervision of Alexander Menshikov. Tens of thousands of serfs died while building the city. Later, the city became the centre of the Saint Petersburg Governorate. Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712, 9 years before the Treaty of Nystad of 1721 ended the war. He referred to Saint Petersburg as the capital (or seat of government) as early as 1704. While the city was being built, Peter lived in a three-room log cabin with his wife Catherine and their children.
During its first few years, the city developed around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress. However, Saint Petersburg soon started to be built out according to a plan. By 1716 the Swiss Italian Domenico Trezzini had elaborated a project whereby the city centre would be on Vasilyevsky Island and shaped by a rectangular grid of canals. The project was not completed but is evident in the layout of the streets. In 1716, Peter the Great appointed Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond as the chief architect of Saint Petersburg.
The style of Petrine Baroque, developed by Trezzini and other architects and exemplified by such buildings as the Menshikov Palace, Kunstkamera, Peter and Paul Cathedral, Twelve Collegia, became prominent in the city architecture of the early 18th century. In 1724 the Academy of Sciences, University and Academic Gymnasium were established in Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great.
In 1725, Peter died at age fifty-two. His endeavors to modernize Russia had been opposed by the Russian nobility. There were several attempts on his life and a treason case involving his son. In 1728, Peter II of Russia moved his seat back to Moscow. But four years later, in 1732, under Empress Anna of Russia, Saint Petersburg was again designated as the capital of the Russian Empire. It remained the seat of the Romanov dynasty and the Imperial Court of the Russian tsars, as well as the seat of the Russian government, for another 186 years until the communist revolution of 1917.
In 1736–1737 the city suffered from catastrophic fires. To rebuild the damaged boroughs, a committee under Burkhard Christoph von Münnich commissioned a new plan in 1737. The city was divided into five boroughs, and the city centre was moved to the Admiralty borough, on the east bank between the Neva and Fontanka.
It developed along three radial streets, which meet at the Admiralty building and are now known as Nevsky Prospect (which is considered the main street of the city), Gorokhovaya Street and Voznesensky Avenue. Baroque architecture became dominant in the city during the first sixty years, culminating in the Elizabethan Baroque, represented most notably by Italian Bartolomeo Rastrelli with such buildings as the Winter Palace. In the 1760s, Baroque architecture was succeeded by neoclassical architecture.
Established in 1762, the Commission of Stone Buildings of Moscow and Saint Petersburg ruled that no structure in the city could be higher than the Winter Palace and prohibited spacing between buildings. During the reign of Catherine the Great in the 1760s–1780s, the banks of the Neva were lined with granite embankments.
However, it was not until 1850 that the first permanent bridge across the Neva, Annunciation Bridge, was allowed to open. Before that, only pontoon bridges were allowed. Obvodny Canal (dug in 1769–1833) became the southern limit of the city.
The most prominent neoclassical and Empire-style architects in Saint Petersburg included:
- Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe (Imperial Academy of Arts, Small Hermitage, Gostiny Dvor, New Holland Arch, Catholic Church of St. Catherine)
- Antonio Rinaldi (Marble Palace)
- Yury Felten (Old Hermitage, Chesme Church)
- Giacomo Quarenghi (Academy of Sciences, Hermitage Theatre, Yusupov Palace)
- Andrey Voronikhin (Mining Institute, Kazan Cathedral)
- Andreyan Zakharov (Admiralty building)
- Jean-François Thomas de Thomon (Spit of Vasilievsky Island)
- Carlo Rossi (Yelagin Palace, Mikhailovsky Palace, Alexandrine Theatre, Senate and Synod Buildings, General staff Building, design of many streets and squares)
- Vasily Stasov (Moscow Triumphal Gate, Trinity Cathedral)
- Auguste de Montferrand (Saint Isaac's Cathedral, Alexander Column)
In 1810, Alexander I established the first engineering higher education, the Saint Petersburg Main military engineering School in Saint Petersburg. Many monuments commemorate the Russian victory over Napoleonic France in the Patriotic War of 1812, including the Alexander Column by Montferrand, erected in 1834, and the Narva Triumphal Arch.
In 1825, the suppressed Decembrist revolt against Nicholas I took place on the Senate Square in the city, a day after Nicholas assumed the throne.
By the 1840s, neoclassical architecture had given way to various romanticist styles, which dominated until the 1890s, represented by such architects as Andrei Stackenschneider (Mariinsky Palace, Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace, Nicholas Palace, New Michael Palace) and Konstantin Thon (Moskovsky railway station).
With the emancipation of the serfs undertaken by Alexander II in 1861 and an Industrial Revolution, the influx of former peasants into the capital increased greatly. Poor boroughs spontaneously developed on the outskirts of the city. Saint Petersburg surpassed Moscow in population and industrial growth; it became one of the largest industrial cities in Europe, with a major naval base (in Kronstadt), the Neva River, and a seaport on the Baltic.
The names of Saints Peter and Paul, bestowed upon the original city's citadel and its cathedral (from 1725—a burial vault of Russian emperors) coincidentally were the names of the first two assassinated Russian emperors, Peter III (1762, supposedly killed in a conspiracy led by his wife, Catherine the Great) and Paul I (1801, Nikolay Alexandrovich Zubov and other conspirators who brought to power Alexander I, the son of their victim). The third emperor's assassination took place in Saint Petersburg in 1881 when Alexander II was murdered by terrorists (see the Church of the Savior on Blood).
The Revolution of 1905 began in Saint Petersburg and spread rapidly into the provinces.
On 1 September 1914, after the outbreak of World War I, the Imperial government renamed the city Petrograd, meaning "Peter's City", to remove the German words Sankt and Burg.
Revolution and Soviet era (1917–1941)
In March 1917, during the
In September and October 1917, German troops invaded the West Estonian archipelago and threatened Petrograd with bombardment and invasion. On 12 March 1918, the Soviets transferred the government to Moscow, to keep it away from the state border. During the Russian Civil War, in mid-1919 Russian anti-communist forces with the help of Estonians attempted to capture the city, but Leon Trotsky mobilized the army and forced them to retreat back to Estonia.
On 26 January 1924, five days after Lenin's death, Petrograd was renamed Leningrad. Later some streets and other toponyms were renamed accordingly. The city has over 230 places associated with the life and activities of Lenin. Some of them were turned into museums, including the cruiser Aurora—a symbol of the October Revolution and the oldest ship in the Russian Navy.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the poor outskirts were reconstructed into regularly planned boroughs.
In December 1931, Leningrad was administratively separated from Leningrad Oblast. At that time it included the Leningrad Suburban District, some parts of which were transferred back to Leningrad Oblast in 1936 and turned into Vsevolozhsky District, Krasnoselsky District, Pargolovsky District and Slutsky District (renamed Pavlovsky District in 1944).
On 1 December 1934,
World War II (1941–1945)
During World War II, German forces besieged Leningrad following the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. The siege lasted 872 days, or almost two and a half years, from 8 September 1941 to 27 January 1944.
On 1 May 1945
Post-war Soviet era (1945–1991)
In October 1946 some territories along the northern coast of the Gulf of Finland, which had passed to the USSR from Finland in 1940 under the peace treaty following the Winter War, were transferred from Leningrad Oblast to Leningrad and divided into Sestroretsky District and Kurortny District. These included the town of Terijoki (renamed Zelenogorsk in 1948). Leningrad and many of its suburbs were rebuilt over the post-war decades, partially according to pre-war plans. The 1948 general plan for Leningrad featured radial urban development in the north as well as in the south. In 1953 Pavlovsky District in Leningrad Oblast was abolished, and parts of its territory, including Pavlovsk, merged with Leningrad. In 1954 the settlements Levashovo, Pargolovo and Pesochny merged with Leningrad.
Leningrad gave its name to the
The Leningrad Metro underground rapid transit system, designed before the war, opened in 1955 with its first eight stations decorated with marble and bronze. However, after Stalin's death in 1953, the perceived ornamental excesses of the Stalinist architecture were abandoned. From the 1960s to the 1980s many new residential boroughs were built on the outskirts; while the functionalist apartment blocks were nearly identical to each other, many families moved there from kommunalkas in the city centre to live in separate apartments.
Contemporary era (1991–present)
Meanwhile, economic conditions started to deteriorate as the country tried to adapt to major changes. For the first time since the 1940s, food
In 1996, Vladimir Yakovlev defeated Anatoly Sobchak in the elections for the head of the city administration. The title of the city head was changed from "mayor" to "governor". In 2000 Yakovlev won re-election. His second term expired in 2004; the long-awaited restoration of the broken subway connection was expected to finish by that time. But in 2003 Yakovlev suddenly resigned, leaving the governor's office to Valentina Matviyenko.
The law on election of the City Governor was changed, breaking the tradition of democratic election by universal suffrage. In 2006 the
Although the central part of the city has a UNESCO designation (there are about 8,000 architectural monuments in Petersburg), the preservation of its historical and architectural environment became controversial. After 2005, the demolition of older buildings in the historical centre was permitted. In 2006 Gazprom announced an ambitious project to erect a 403 m (1,322 ft) skyscraper (the Okhta Center) opposite to Smolny, which[according to whom?] could result in the loss of the unique line of Petersburg landscape. Urgent protests by citizens and prominent public figures of Russia against this project were not considered by Governor Valentina Matviyenko and the city authorities until December 2010, when after the statement of President Dmitry Medvedev, the city decided to find a more appropriate location for this project. In the same year, the new location for the project was relocated to Lakhta, a historical area northwest of the city centre, and the new project would be named Lakhta Center. Construction was approved by Gazprom and the city administration and commenced in 2012. The 462 m (1,516 ft) high Lakhta Center has become the first tallest skyscraper in Russia and Europe outside of Moscow.
Saint Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia. As of the 2017
|Source: Census data|
- Vital statistics for 2016
- Births: 72 879 (13.9 per 1000)
- Deaths: 61 459 (11.7 per 1000)
- Total fertility rate:
- 2010 – 1.38
- 2011 – 1.38
- 2012 – 1.48
- 2013 – 1.48
- 2014 – 1.52
- 2015 – 1.59
- 2016 – 1.63
- 2017 – 1.50
- 2018 – 1.47
- 2019 – 1.40
- 2020 – 1.37
Ethnic composition of Saint Petersburg
|Ethnicity not stated||884,678||15.8%|
During the 20th century, the city experienced dramatic population changes. From 2.4 million residents in 1916, its population dropped to less than 740,000 by 1920 during the
According to various opinion polls, more than half of the residents of Saint Petersburg "believe in God" (up to 67% according to VTsIOM data for 2002).
Among the believers, the overwhelming majority of the residents of the city are Orthodox (57.5%), followed by small minority communities of Muslims (0.7%), Protestants (0.6%), and Catholics (0.5%), and Buddhists (0.1%).
In total, roughly 59% of the population of the city is Christian, of which over 90% are Orthodox. Non-Abrahamic religions and other faiths are represented by only 1.2% of the total population.
|Religion in Saint Petersburg as of 2012 (Sreda Arena Atlas)|
|Spiritual but not religious||20.5%|
|Atheism and irreligion||15.4%|
|Other and undeclared||7.6%|
There are 268 communities of confessions and religious associations in the city: the Russian Orthodox Church (130 associations), Pentecostalism (23 associations), the Lutheranism (19 associations), Baptism (13 associations), as well as Old Believers, Roman Catholic Church, Armenian Apostolic Church, Georgian Orthodox Church, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Judaism, Buddhist, Muslim, Bahá'í and others.
229 religious buildings in the city are owned or run by religious associations. Among them are architectural monuments of federal significance. The oldest cathedral in the city is the Peter and Paul Cathedral, built between 1712–1733, and the largest is the Kazan Cathedral, completed in 1811.
Saint Petersburg is a federal subject of Russia (a federal city). The political life of Saint Petersburg is regulated by the Charter of Saint Petersburg adopted by the city legislature in 1998. The superior executive body is the Saint Petersburg City Administration, led by the city governor (mayor before 1996). Saint Petersburg has a single-chamber legislature, the Saint Petersburg Legislative Assembly, which is the city's regional parliament.
According to the federal law passed in 2004, heads of federal subjects, including the governor of Saint Petersburg, were nominated by the
Saint Petersburg is also the unofficial but de facto administrative centre of
Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, being two different federal subjects, share a number of local departments of federal executive agencies and courts, such as court of arbitration, police,
|Saint Petersburg is divided into 18 administrative districts:|
|Within the boundaries of the districts, there are 111|
Saint Petersburg is a major trade gateway, serving as the financial and industrial centre of Russia, with specializations in oil and gas trade; shipbuilding yards;
Ten per cent of the world's power
The Port of Saint Petersburg has three large cargo terminals, Bolshoi Port Saint Petersburg, Kronstadt, and Lomonosov terminal. International cruise liners have been served at the passenger port at Morskoy Vokzal on the south-west of Vasilyevsky Island. In 2008 the first two berths opened at the New Passenger Port on the west of the island. The new passenger terminal is part of the city's "Marine Facade" development project and was due to have seven berths in operation by 2010.[needs update]
A complex system of riverports on both banks of the
In 2007, Toyota opened a Camry plant after investing 5 billion roubles (approx. 200 mln dollars) in Shushary, one of the southern suburbs of Saint Petersburg. Opel, Hyundai and Nissan have also signed deals with the Russian government to build their automotive plants in Saint Petersburg. The automotive and auto-parts industry is on the rise there during the last decade.
Saint Petersburg has a large brewery and distillery industry. Known as Russia's "beer capital" due to the supply and quality of local water, its five large breweries account for over 30% of the country's domestic beer production. They include Europe's second-largest brewery
The city's many local
Saint Petersburg has the second-largest construction industry in Russia, including commercial, housing, and road construction.
In 2006, Saint Petersburg's city budget was 180 billion rubles (about 7 billion US$ at
Budget revenues of the city in 2009 amounted to 294.3 billion rubles (about 10.044 billion US$ at 2009 exchange rates), expenses – 336.3 billion rubles (about 11.477 billion US$ at 2009 exchange rates). The budget deficit amounted to about 42 billion rubles. (about 1.433 billion US$ at 2009 exchange rates)
In 2015, St. Petersburg was ranked in 4th place economically amongst all federal subjects of the Russian Federation, surpassed only by Moscow, the Tyumen and Moscow Region.
Saint Petersburg has three skyscrapers: Leader Tower (140 m), Alexander Nevsky (124 m) and Atlantic City (105 m) all far from the historical centre. Regulations forbid the construction of tall buildings in the city centre. The 310-meter (1,020 ft) tall
Unlike in Moscow, the historic architecture of Saint Petersburg's city centre, mostly Baroque and Neoclassical buildings of the 18th and 19th centuries, has been largely preserved; although a number of buildings were demolished after the Bolsheviks' seizure of power, during the Siege of Leningrad and in recent years. The oldest of the remaining building is a wooden house built for Peter I in 1703 on the shore of the Neva near Trinity Square. Since 1991 the Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast have been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The ensemble of
On the southern, left bank of the Neva, connected to the spit of Vasilyevsky Island via the
The Alexander Nevsky Lavra, intended to house the relics of St. Alexander Nevsky, is an important centre of Christian education in Russia. It also contains the Tikhvin Cemetery with graves of many notable Petersburgers.
On the territory between the Neva and Nevsky Prospekt the
Many notable landmarks are to the west and south of the Admiralty Building, including the Trinity Cathedral, Mariinsky Palace, Hotel Astoria, famous Mariinsky Theatre, New Holland Island, Saint Isaac's Cathedral, the largest in the city, and Senate Square, with the Bronze Horseman, 18th-century equestrian monument to Peter the Great
Other symbols of Saint Petersburg include the weather vane in the shape of a small ship on top of the Admiralty's golden spire and the golden angel on top of the Peter and Paul Cathedral. The Palace Bridge drawn at night is yet another symbol of the city.
From April to November, 22 bridges across the Neva and main canals are drawn to let ships pass in and out of the Baltic Sea according to a schedule.
Southern suburbs of the city feature former imperial residences, including Petergof, with majestic fountain cascades and parks, Tsarskoe Selo, with the baroque Catherine Palace and the neoclassical Alexander Palace, and Pavlovsk, which has a domed palace of Emperor Paul and one of Europe's largest English-style parks. Some other residences nearby and making part of the world heritage site, including a castle and park in Gatchina, actually belong to Leningrad Oblast rather than Saint Petersburg. Another notable suburb is Kronstadt with its 19th-century fortifications and naval monuments, occupying the Kotlin Island in the Gulf of Finland.
Since around the end of the 20th century a great deal of active building and restoration works have been carried out in a number of the city's older districts. The authorities have recently been compelled to transfer the ownership of state-owned private residences in the city centre to private lessors. Many older buildings have been reconstructed to allow their use as apartments and penthouses.
Some of these structures, such as the Saint Petersburg Commodity and Stock Exchange have been recognised as town-planning errors.
Saint Petersburg is home to many parks and gardens. Some of the most well-known are in the southern suburbs, including
Among other notable parks are the
In order to commemorate 300 years anniversary of Saint Petersburg a new park was laid out. The park is in the northwestern part of the city. The construction was started in 1995. It is planned to connect the park with the pedestrian bridge to the territory of Lakhta Center's recreation areas. In the park 300 trees of valuable sorts, 300 decorative apple trees, 70 limes. 300 other trees and bushes were planted. These trees were presented to Saint Petersburg by non-commercial and educational organizations of the city, its sister-cities, the city of Helsinki, heads of other regions of Russia, German Savings Bank and other people and organizations.
Cameron gallery in Catherine park of Tsarskoe Selo.
Grotto pavilion in Catherine park of Tsarskoe Selo
The Imperial Lyceum in Tsarskoye Selo.
Grand Menshikov Palace.
|Official name||Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments|
|Criteria||Cultural: (i), (ii), (iv), (vi)|
|Inscription||1990 (14th Session)|
|Area||3,934.1 ha (15.190 sq mi)|
Saint Petersburg has a significant historical and cultural heritage.
The city's 18th and 19th-century architectural ensemble and its environs is preserved in virtually unchanged form. For various reasons (including large-scale destruction during World War II and construction of modern buildings during the postwar period in the largest historical centres of Europe), Saint Petersburg has become a unique reserve of European architectural styles of the past three centuries. Saint Petersburg's loss of capital city status helped it retain many of its pre-revolutionary buildings, as modern architectural 'prestige projects' tended to be built in Moscow; this largely prevented the rise of mid-to-late-20th century architecture and helped maintain the architectural appearance of the historic city centre.
Saint Petersburg is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list as an area with 36 historical architectural complexes and around 4000 outstanding individual monuments of architecture, history and culture. New tourist programs and sightseeing tours have been developed for those wishing to see Saint Petersburg's cultural heritage.
The city has 221 museums, 2,000 libraries, more than 80 theatres, 100 concert organizations, 45 galleries and exhibition halls, 62 cinemas, and 80 other cultural establishments. Every year the city hosts around 100 festivals and various competitions of art and culture, including more than 50 international ones.
The musical life of Saint Petersburg is rich and diverse, with the city now playing host to a number of annual carnivals. Ballet performances occupy a special place in the cultural life of Saint Petersburg. The Petersburg School of Ballet is named as one of the best in the world. Traditions of the Russian classical school have been passed down from generation to generation among outstanding educators. The art of famous and prominent Saint Petersburg dancers like Rudolf Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, Mikhail Baryshnikov was, and is, admired throughout the world. Contemporary Petersburg ballet is made up not only of traditional Russian classical school but also ballets by those like Boris Eifman, who expanded the scope of strict classical Russian ballet to almost unimaginable limits. Remaining faithful to the classical basis (he was a choreographer at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet), he combined classical ballet with the avant-garde style, and then, in turn, with acrobatics, rhythmic gymnastics, dramatic expressiveness, cinema, color, light, and finally with spoken word.
Media and communications
All major Russian newspapers are active in Saint Petersburg. The city has a developed telecommunications system. In 2014, Rostelecom, the national operator, announced the beginning of a major modernization of the fixed-line network in the city.
Over 250 international and Russian movies were filmed in Saint Petersburg.
The cult comedy Irony of Fate (also Ирония судьбы, или С лёгким паром!) is set in Saint Petersburg and pokes fun at Soviet city planning. The 1985 film White Nights received considerable Western attention for having captured genuine Leningrad street scenes at a time when filming in the Soviet Union by Western production companies was generally unheard of. Other movies include GoldenEye (1995), Midnight in Saint Petersburg (1996), Brother (1997) and Tamil romantic thriller film-Dhaam Dhoom (2008). Onegin (1999) is based on the Pushkin poem and showcases many tourist attractions. In addition, the Russian romantic comedy, Piter FM, intricately showcases the cityscape, almost as if it were a main character in the film.
Several international film festivals are held annually, such as the Festival of Festivals, Saint Petersburg, as well as the Message to Man International Documentary Film Festival, since its inauguration in 1988 during the White Nights.
St Petersburg has a number of dramatic theatres and drama schools. These include the Student Theatre on Mokhovaya Street. Учебный театр «На Моховой», Leteiny Theatre and Youth Theatre on the Fontanka.
As of 2006[update]–2007, there were 1,024 kindergartens, 716
Leningrad hosted part of the association football tournament during the 1980 Summer Olympics. The 1994 Goodwill Games were also held here.
In boating, the first competition here was the 1703
Equestrianism has been a long tradition, popular among the Tsars and aristocracy, as well as part of military training. Several historic sports arenas were built for equestrianism since the 18th century to maintain training all year round, such as the Zimny Stadion and Konnogvardeisky Manezh.
Chess tradition was highlighted by the 1914 international tournament, partially funded by the Tsar, in which the title "Grandmaster" was first formally conferred by Russian Tsar Nicholas II to five players: Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Tarrasch and Marshall.
The city's main football team is FC Zenit Saint Petersburg, who have been champions of the Soviet and Russian league nine times, most notably claiming the RPL title in four consecutive seasons from 2018–19 to 2021–22, along with winning the Soviet/Russian Cup five times. The club also won the 2007–08 UEFA Cup and the 2008 UEFA Super Cup, spearheaded by successful player and local hero Andrey Arshavin.
Hockey teams in the city include
The city's long-time basketball team is
Saint Petersburg is a major transport hub. The first Russian railway was built here in 1837, and since then the city's transport infrastructure has kept pace with the city's growth. Petersburg has an extensive system of local roads and railway services, maintains a large public transport system that includes the
The city is connected to the rest of Russia and the wider world by several federal highways and national and international rail routes. Pulkovo Airport serves most of the air passengers departing from or arriving to the city.
Roads and public transport
Saint Petersburg has an extensive city-funded network of public transport (buses,