St. Petersburg, Russia

Sankt Petersburg, Russian Sankt-Peterburg, short form Petersburg, 1914–24 Petrograd, 1924–91 Leningrad, the second largest city in Russia, after Moscow the most important Russian science, cultural and economic center, (2018) 5.35 million residents.

The urban area, 3–30 m above sea level, is located at the eastern corner of the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea) on both sides of the 340–650 m wide Neva and on 42 islands of its branched delta, in the Leningrad area, divided into 18 districts, which in turn are divided into 81 Municipal districts, 9 cities and 21 settlements are subdivided. Saint Petersburg is a federal subject of the Russian Federation, the territory subordinate to the city has a total area of ​​1 439 km 2(with the satellite cities of Kolpino, Krasnoye Selo, Kronstadt, Lomonosov, Petrodvorets, Pushkin, Pavlovsk, Zelenogorsk and Sestrorezk). 40 river arms and around 20 artificial canals, over which hundreds of bridges lead, traverse the urban area, which has always required extensive water protection structures. A 25 km long flood protection dam started in 1980 (also part of the ring road opened in 2011), which leads from Lomonossow on the south coast to the island of Kotlin (Kronstadt) and from there to Gorskaya on the north coast of the Gulf of Finland, was not completed until 2010.

The heart of the city is the Peter and Paul Fortress on Rabbit Island, which is one of the oldest structures. The central quarters are grouped around the Neva: the business district on the southern Admiralty side around Nevsky Prospect and the former government district, the eastern tip of Vasily Island with the university district and the southernmost part of the Petrograd side. The building stock of pre-revolutionary Saint Petersburg has largely been preserved, the densely built-up business and residential areas are loosened up by broad streets (“prospectuses”), large squares and parks; Especially in the south and north, also on the western side of Vasily Island, there are extensive industrial areas, in the southwest port facilities, the periphery of the city is built on with huge large housing estates,

According to homosociety, Saint Petersburg is the seat of a Russian Orthodox metropolitan, a Lutheran archbishop (ELCRAS) and an Islamic muftiate. The institutions of science, education and culture include numerous institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, including the Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory, the Russian Academy of Arts, Spiritual Academy, University (founded in 1819), Technical University, Jewish University, over 40 other universities, as well as numerous other research institutes, some higher educational institutions for the military, the Russian National Library (1932-92 Saltykov-Shchedrin- Library; second largest library in Russia) and the library of the Academy of Sciences (oldest library in Russia); around 50 museums (especially the Hermitage, Russian Museum, Ethnographic Museum of the Peoples of Russia) and galleries; Goethe-Institut, over 20 theaters, a large number of concert halls, conservatories, planetarium, zoological garden. A new stadium (67,000 seats) for hosting the 2018 World Cup was completed on Krestowski Island in 2017.

Before the First World War, Saint Petersburg was the center of trade and finance, as well as the largest industrial center in Russia. In the Soviet Union, the city lost its commercial functions and its international orientation. Heavy industry quickly gained in importance, and Saint Petersburg became a center of the military-industrial complex (arms and industrial research) and the starting point for the development of the Russian north. In addition to the construction of ships (several shipyards), machine and plant construction, vehicle construction (tractors, construction machinery, wagons), precision equipment construction, electrotechnical-electronic, chemical and petrochemical, optical as well as versatile light and food industry, publishing / printing are represented. In the 1990s, there was initially a strong de-industrialization, since 1999 industrial growth (including the food industry, telecommunications) and an increase in commercial, financial and service functions has been recorded. As a cultural city of European standing, Saint Petersburg has a high tourist potential and is one of the most popular city travel destinations in the world.

St. Petersburg, Russia


Under Peter I, the Great, on May 27, 1703, the construction of fortifications (Peter and Paul Fortress) began on Haseninsel in the mouth of the Neva River below the Swedish fortress town of Nyen; in their protection (reinforced by the offshore island fortress of Kronstadt) the port area of Sankt Piterburch developed in the following years . From 1706 it was rapidly expanded into the new imperial center, which, with its cosmopolitan atmosphere facing the West, was consciously different from the narrow nationalism in Moscow. In 1712, Peter I, the Great, moved the capital to Saint Petersburg, but Moscow continued to be the coronation city of the tsars (again seat of the court from 1728–32).

The most important master builders of the time (including D. A. Trezzini, B. A. and B. F. Rastrelli) were brought in to design the new residence with palaces, parks, spacious squares and streets. According to Peter’s ideas, the French general architect Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Leblond (* 1669, † 1719) had had the floor plan since 1716designed. The metropolis soon developed into the country’s cultural and scientific center (founding of the Academy of Sciences in 1725, the Academy of Arts in 1757). It also experienced a rapid economic boom and attracted an ethnically mixed population (1764: 180,000 residents, 1869: 667,200 residents, 1897: 1.26 million residents, proportion of foreigners around 20%). As early as the middle of the 18th century, half of Russian foreign trade ran through the port. Important branches of the economy were shipbuilding, arms production and the textile industry, in the 19th century mechanical engineering (including the Putilov plant), the chemical and electromechanical industries were expanded; It was characterized by the heavy weight of large companies (with more than 500 employees).

In 1825, the Decembrist revolt failed in Saint Petersburg. The city was the site of the 1905 revolution; the State Duma (1906-17) and the All-Russian Council Congress (Soviet) met here. When tsarism was overthrown and the revolutionary events that followed (February and October revolutions in 1917), the military stationed in Petrograd and the factory workers in the capital (around 500,000 in 1917) were the driving force. Since the move of the Soviet government to Moscow (March 1918), Petrograd lost its primacy. The population fell from 2.42 million (1917) to 720,000 (1920). Only gradually did it recover from the economic setback and regain its former importance as an industrial center; In 1939 the city, now called Leningrad, had around 3.01 million residents. During the Second World War, the population defied enormous casualties (between 600,000 and 1 million people).