I’ve got to admit when we first arrived in St. Petersburg I thought was nothing but a dirty old city, not a very good first impression. But as time went along it began to grow on me, St. Petersburg has become a destination and center of culture for younger Russians. I found out that there are 221 museums, 2,000 libraries, more than 80 theaters, 100 concert organizations, 45 galleries, 62 cinemas and 80 club establishments of culture in St Petersburg.
St. Petersburg has more bridges than any other city in Europe, and it has a great number of canals and islands almost equal to Venice. If you include the suburbs, the city has 64 rivers, 48 canals, 170 kilometres of coastline, about 100 islands, and 800 bridges. Pretty impressive don’t you think?
I haven’t ever posted a picture of myself and probably won’t ever do it again but this was one of the only pictures we took that shows the Bay of Finland in the background. St. Petersburg itself stands at the intersection of various sea, river, and land routes, it is Russia’s gateway to Europe and the country’s strategic center, the point closest to the countries of the European Union.
This is St. Petersburg from inside the Hermitage, the largest city in Europe which isn’t a capital. It is the world’s largest, most northern city: the 60th parallel, on which the city lies, passes through Greenland, Anchorage, Alaska, Magadan, and Oslo, the capital of Norway. It has had the fourth highest population in Europe, at times it has exceeded Berlin, Vienna, Naples, and Moscow, only Paris and London exceed it in size and population. The territory under St. Petersburg’s jurisdiction totals 1,439 square kilometres.
St. Petersburg is a city of amazing contrasts. The city itself has changed it’s name, at the beginning of the 20th century it was called Petrograd, then in 1924 it was renamed Leningrad. In 1991 it was renamed back to St. Petersburg. It also seems that many prominent people have come from St. Petersburg or lived in the great city as well including Vladimir Putin, Peter Carl Faberge, Nikolai Gogol, Mikhail Lomonosov, Aleksandr Pushkin, and surprisingly John Quincy Adams, who was the first U.S. ambassador in Saint Petersburg to name a few.