It is the second largest city in Russia and one of its major seaports and railroad centers. Population (1992 estimate) 4,436,700. Since its founding in 1703 by Tsar Peter the Great, St. Petersburg has been regarded as one of the world's most beautiful cities as well one of the most culturally rich.
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Saint Petersburg is also one of the greatest Russian industrial centers. Power is supplied to factories chiefly from great thermal electric and nuclear power plants. The city is a shipbuilding center. Its manufactures include electrical equipment, machinery and tools, agricultural equipment, paper, furniture, textiles and clothing, tobacco, leather products, and chemicals.
Saint Petersburg has elaborate palaces, the most famous of which is the Winter Palace. An ornate baroque building completed in 1762, it was the winter home of the czars of Russia before the Revolution of 1917. The Winter Palace now houses the Hermitage Museum, which has one of the greatest art collections in the world.
The poverty of the factory workers, contrasted with the luxury of the Russian court, was a prime reason for the revolutionary movement. The Decembrist uprising in 1825 took place in the imperial capital, and the 1905 Revolution began near the Winter Palace. The 1917 Revolution started with an uprising in the fortress of Kronshtadt, which guards the harbor, and the Bolshevik Revolution began in Saint Petersburg in October of that year. (Russian Sankt Peterburg). Under the Communists: Leningrad.
In 1713 the royal family moved their residence and the Russian capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg. Later in the 18th century the population increased, and the city became one of the cultural centers of Eastern Europe. During the reign of Emperor Alexander I, the marshes were drained, and, with the subsequent increase in building space, the population of the city doubled. The development of harbor facilities in the 19th century resulted in the industrial development of the city. In 1914 Emperor Nicholas II changed the German-sounding name of Saint Petersburg to the Russian name Petrograd, after Russia declared war on Germany. In 1918 the capital of Russia was moved from Petrograd back to Moscow. After Lenin's death in 1924, Petrograd was renamed Leningrad in his honor. Following World War I (1914-1918) and the loss of the Russian Baltic provinces, the importance of Leningrad increased, the city being the only Soviet port near Western Europe. During World War II (1939-1945), Leningrad was the center of heavy fighting during a siege by German forces from late 1941 to January 1944. About 1.25 million residents died in the fighting and as a result of disease and starvation, and more than 10,000 buildings were totally or partially destroyed. Rebuilt after the war, the city was renamed Saint Petersburg after the collapse of Communism in 1991.
Major cities near Saint Petersburg: