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Leningrad,Rus. Sankt-Peterburg, city (1990 est. pop. 5,036,000), capital of the Leningrad region (although not administratively part of it) and the administrative center of the Northwestern federal district, NW European Russia, at Neva Bay (the head of the Gulf of Finland) on both banks of the Neva River and on the islands of its delta. St. Petersburg's port is linked by deepwater canal with Kotlin Island, where the outer port and the KronshtadtKronshtadt
, city, NW European Russia, on the small island of Kotlin in the Gulf of Finland, c.15 mi (20 km) from Saint Petersburg. It is one of the chief naval bases for the Russian Baltic fleet. The harbor is icebound for several months each year.
..... Click the link for more information. naval base are located.
Russia's second largest city and its former capital, St. Petersburg is a major seaport, rail junction, and industrial, cultural, and scientific center. Although the harbor is frozen for three or four months annually, icebreakers have prolonged the navigation season. The seaport is one of the world's largest, but it handles relatively little traffic because the volume of foreign trade for Russia is small. The river port, one of the most important in the country, stands at the end of two artificial waterways, the Volga-Baltic and the White Sea–Baltic. A series of canals within the city carries considerable cargo. Neva Bay is separated from the Gulf of Finland at Kotlin Island by a 15.8-mi (25.4-km) flood-control dam (completed 2011) that allows for closing the navigation channels to prevent the flooding of the city; the causeways, bridges, and a tunnel built in conjunction with the dam form part of the city's ring road. St. Petersburg's diverse industries include shipbuilding, metallurgy, oil refining, printing, woodworking, food and tobacco processing, and the manufacture of machinery, electrical equipment, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, and textiles.
Points of Interest
The city's main thoroughfare is the celebrated Nevsky Prospekt. On it are the high-spired admiralty building; the Winter Palace, built by Rastrelli; the HermitageHermitage
, museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, one of the world's foremost houses of art, consisting of six buildings along the embankment of the Neva River. Its central building, the Winter Palace (erected 1754–62 by Czarina Elizabeth and the traditional winter residence
..... Click the link for more information. museum; and the Kazan Cathedral. Nearby on Senate (formerly Decembrists) Square are the huge domed Cathedral of St. Isaac (1858); Russia's Constitutional Court, in the Senate and Synod buildings; and the equestrian statue of Peter the Great, FalconetFalconet, Étienne Maurice
, 1716–91, French sculptor; pupil of Lemoyne. Under Louis XV he became director of sculpture at the Sèvres porcelain factory, where many small reproductions of his work were made.
..... Click the link for more information. 's masterpiece and the subject of PushkinPushkin, Aleksandr Sergeyevich
, 1799–1837, Russian poet and prose writer, among the foremost figures in Russian literature. He was born in Moscow of an old noble family; his mother's grandfather was Abram Hannibal, the black general of Peter the Great.
..... Click the link for more information. 's poem "The Bronze Horsemen." The city's oldest building is the fortress of Peter and Paul (1703), which served as a political prison in imperial days. Among the baroque buildings of the early 18th cent. are the Alexander Nevsky monastery (1710), the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (1733), the Winter Palace (1762), and the Smolny convent (1764). Neoclassical buildings of the late 18th and early 19th cent. include the Academy of Arts (1772), the Marble Palace (1785), the Taurida Palace (1788), the Kazan Cathedral (1811), and the Exchange (1816). Among the city's educational institutions are the St. Petersburg State Univ. (est. 1804) and the St. Petersburg State Univ. of Economics and Finance. There are numerous theaters, museums, scientific and medical institutes, and libraries, including the 18th-century Maryinsky Theater (including a new ballet and opera house, opened 2013), the Saltykov-Shchedrin Public Library (1795) and the Academy of Sciences library. Outside the city are PushkinPushkin
, city (1989 pop. 95,000), NW European Russia, a residential and resort suburb of St. Petersburg. It produces road-building equipment and has an important botanical institute.
..... Click the link for more information. , with the summer palaces of Catherine II and Alexander I, and the former imperial residences of PeterhofPeterhof
, formerly (1944–97) Petrodvorets
, town, NW European Russia, on Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland. Administratively part of Saint Petersburg, Peterhof is a port, a rail terminus, and a resort center.
..... Click the link for more information. and GatchinaGatchina
, city (1989 pop. 80,000), NW European Russia. The city developed around the imperial palace (built 1766–81), which was used as a summer residence by Paul I in the 18th cent. and was a favorite residence of the Russian czars.
..... Click the link for more information. . A striking phenomenon of St. Petersburg is the prolonged twilight, or the "white nights," of June and July.
The city was built by Peter I (Peter the Great), who sought an outlet to the sea and a port for trade through the Baltic. It was built in 1703 in what was then IngermanlandIngermanland
, Finnish Ingerinta, historic region, NW European Russia, along the Neva River and on the east bank of the Gulf of Finland. Its name derives from the ancient Finnic inhabitants, the Ingers, some of whose descendants (about 93,000) still
..... Click the link for more information. , an area conquered from Sweden during the Northern War. The fortress of Peter and Paul was erected to defend the projected new capital, which was to be a modern city and a "window looking on Europe." Construction was carried out at tremendous human and material cost. The capital was moved from Moscow in 1712, although the land on which the city stood was not formally ceded to Russia until 1721. Italian and French architects planned the city, giving it the spacious, classical beauty that it has retained.
St. Petersburg soon replaced ArkhangelskArkhangelsk
, city (1990 est. 418,000), NW European Russia, on the Northern Dvina near its mouth at the White Sea. Although icebound much of the year, it is a leading Russian port and can generally be made usable by icebreakers.
..... Click the link for more information. as Russia's leading seaport and became an important commercial center. From the second half of the 18th cent., it was also the country's principal industrial center, at first for shipbuilding and engineering and later for textiles. In 1851, a rail link with Moscow was completed. One of the world's most brilliant capitals and cultural centers, St. Petersburg was immortalized in the novels of Pushkin, Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, and Tolstoy. Its apex as an international center of literature, music, theater, and ballet and as the scene of lavish and reckless social life was reached in the late 19th and early 20th cent.
Under the surface, however, the seeds of social upheaval ripened, especially among industrial workers. Secret revolutionary societies arose, and an attempt by city workers to petition the czar precipitated a revolution in 1905. The city was renamed Petrograd in 1914. The workers, soldiers, and sailors of Petrograd also spearheaded the revolutions of Feb. and Oct., 1917. Although it lost much of its former glamour, the city remained the economic and cultural rival of Moscow, which replaced it as capital in 1918. Petrograd was renamed Leningrad in 1924. During World War II, the city was cut off from the rest of the USSR by the fall of Schlüsselburg (now PetrokrepostPetrokrepost
, formerly Schlüsselburg
, town and fortress, NW European Russia, E of St. Petersburg. The town, the terminus of a railroad and of the lateral canals on Lake Ladoga, has shipbuilding and repair yards.
..... Click the link for more information. ) to the Germans (Aug., 1941). It was besieged for over two years, during which many hundreds of thousands died of famine and disease. The city's original name was restored in 1991. In the 1990s, the city struggled to convert its heavily military-related industries to civilian purposes.
See K. Clark, Petersburg: Crucible of Cultural Revolution (1998); W. B. Lincoln, Sunlight at Midnight: St. Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia (2001); D. M. Glantz, The Battle for Leningrad, 1941–1944 (2002); A. Reid, Leningrad: The Epic Siege of World War II, 1941–1944 (2011).