Let’s have a look at Saint Petersburg, the cultural capital of Russia, the most European Russian city, also called Venice of the North.
Saint Petersburg In Numbers & Facts
- 5, 3 million inhabitants
- 1703 — the year when Saint Petersburg was founded
- Peter the Great — Russian Emperor, founder of Saint Petersburg
- 25th of May — City Day (widely celebrated)
- White nights — an astonishing phenomenon due to northern geographical location — the period in summer when the nights are really white, as the sun almost doesn’t go down.
- The eldest building — Cabin of Peter the Great (built in 1703)
- The highest building — Lakhta Center (462 meters)
- The largest museum — Hermitage Museum
- The main street — Nevsky Prospect
- 68 parks, 166 gardens
- 50+ universities
- Birthplace of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Saint Petersburg Former Names
Saint Petersburg changed its name several times. The city originally was named Saint Petersburg — to honour Saint Peter, the saint patron of Russian Emperor Peter the Great, the founder of the city.
Later the name was changed to Petrograd (which means Peter’s city).
Later Petrograd became Leningrad (Lenin’s city).
And finally, on the 6th September
Me personally, I like this last one the most, because it reflects the initial purpose — Saint Petersburg was meant to be the most European city of Russia. And nowadays it is still so: it’s the only European-looking city with Russian soul.
Locals usually use short name for Saint Petersburg, and it is not St Pete — we call it Piter 🙂
Why Saint Petersburg Is Called Venice Of The North
Probably, because water and bridges are an important part of the city look:
- 94 rivers and channels. Their total length is about 300 km.
- 30+ islands
- 342 bridges (including 12 drawbridges)
Why Saint Petersburg Is Called Cultural Capital Of Russia
The historic centre of Saint Petersburg was recognised as UNESCO heritage for its architectural patrimony. During several centuries the city was the home for Russian emperor family, aristocracy and rich merchants who contributed a lot to the development of the city look, culture and patrimony. Saint Petersburg is often called a museum under open sky because of its unique
Furthermore, Saint Petersburg is a home for a great number of events, from small hand-made markets where local designers sell their unique items to international events like Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum. Besides, we have:
- 200+ museums
- 100+ theatres
- 30+ festivals every month (cinema, music, science, theatre, food, education, sports, etc.)
Saint Petersburg in Russia Is Not The Only Saint Petersburg In The World
There’s another Saint Petersburg — in the USA: it’s a city full of sun, palm trees and beaches.
This US Saint Petersburg was founded by Russian immigrant Pyotr Dementiev, investor and railway owner.
If you have read “The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain, you probably remember that Tom Sawyer also lived in Saint Petersburg — in Mississippi!
So when you ask how many days to spend at Saint Petersburg, I only can tell you that I’ve been living here for more than 15 years and still, I can’t say I’ve seen everything!
For more pictures of Saint Petersburg, check this gallery.