St. Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great as the "Window on Europe." St. Petersburg was the capital of Russia from 1712 till 1918.
The city was built on the swampy land at the mouth of the River Neva. Prominent European and Russian architects worked here. The new capital grew rapidly in wealth and beauty.
Now St. Petersburg is an industrial, cultural and scientific centre. There are over 80 museums, more than 20 theatres, a lot of exhibitions, clubs, universities, colleges, schools and parks.
The city is often called the Venice of the North because there are 65 rivers and canals with artistically decorated cast iron bridges. One of the most beautiful is the Anichkov Bridge.
St. Petersburg inspired many of our great poets, writers, painters, sculptors, composers and actors. Much of the life and work of Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tchaikovsky, Repin and Kramskoi was connected with the city.