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Although the history of the city is a little longer than 300 years, St. Petersburg is rich in its cultural heritage. As the city is known as the cultural capital in Russia, I’ll tell you few words of the history of St. Petersburg culture.

The Emperor resolved to create a Northern “Paradise” on the area of marshy land and St. Petersburg became the “favourite child of the tsar, who renounced his country for its own good and oppressed it in the name of Europeanism and civilisation” (Alexander Herzen). In Peter’s day the first schools were only beginning to take shape in Russia and not a single university existed, yet the tsar-reformer had already decided to invite learned foreigners (mainly from Germany) to Petersburg to create an Academy of Sciences. He offered them the opportunity to conduct scientific research at the expense of the state in return for introducing young Russian men to the principles of the science.

Artists, architects, sculptors and engravers were also invited to Russia to sow the seeds of the European fine arts in the damp soil on the banks of the Neva. Germans, Swedes, Italians, Dutch-, French- and Englishmen initially made their homes in separate colonies, but the national and linguistic boundaries gradually disappeared.

Within a short time, a unique nation had arisen – the nation of Saint Petersburg, in which locals and Russified foreigners lived in harmony. For many who came here, the city became a second home to which they devoted their energy and talents.

Such prominent Italian architects as Rossi, Rastrelli, Kvarengy and many others worked here. Some people believe that “Petersburg doesn’t have an ounce of originality: it is simply a kind of general embodiment of the notion of a capital city, and is a split and image of any other city in the world” (Vissarion Belinsky) Yet nothing could be further from the truth. European architectural forms metamorphosed under the influences of Russian architecture. In art, as in the social and everyday life of the city, European and Russian traditions merged to create absolutely new phenomenon – the culture of St. Petersburg.

Among it’s places of interest there is the first historical building Peter and Paul’s Fortress, founded by Peter I to protect the city from the Swedish army. It has never served as a fortress and soon was turned into political prison. Among the first prisoners was Peter’s son Alexis.

The Hermitage is world famous. The Winter Palace which was build by Rastrelly in the middle of the XIX century, holds the Hermitage collection, which consists of more than 3 mln. items.

St. Isaak’s Cathedral was called so due to the Saint Issak, in whose birthday Peter the Great was born. It is the 4th biggest dome cathedral in the world.

The Church on the Spilt blood was built in the place where our great tsar Alexander II was killed in the end of the XIX century.

We have lots of beautiful suburbs. Peterhof with its gorgeous fountains and splendid Palace, Pushkin with the magnificent Palace and beautiful parks leave an indelible impression on everybody who have ever visited them.

For now, I have written a little information about the sights of St. Petersburg for you to know what beauty is waiting for you in Petersburg! Of course, you have to come to Saint-Petersburg, to see it with your own eyes, to learn more of it’s history and culture. And for sure to listen its legends! No other Russian city is the subject of so many legends!



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