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Touring St Petersburg

Updated on May 24, 2011

Russia's Former Capital

September 29, 2010

Located on the Gulf of Finland, St. Petersburg provides Russia with access to the Baltic Sea through the Gulf of Finland.

St. Petersburg is in the far western part of Russia and, culturally, it has always been considered closer to that of Western Europe than the rest of the nation.

Being located at 60ᐤ north latitude, it is the northernmost city in its class (cities with a population over 1 million) in the world. Most large major cities are located further south on the globe.

Tsar Peter the Great captured the area where the city now stands from Sweden in 1703 during what was known as the Great Northern War.

Monument to Alexander Nevsky on Nevsky Prospekt

My wife and I posing beneath the Statute of Alexander Nevsky a thirteenth century Russian military hero and Prince of nearby Novogorod
My wife and I posing beneath the Statute of Alexander Nevsky a thirteenth century Russian military hero and Prince of nearby Novogorod | Source

Belfry of St. Nicholas Cathedral

Belfry of St. Nicholas Cathedral in St. Petersburg (-), Russia
Belfry of St. Nicholas Cathedral in St. Petersburg (-), Russia | Source

City Has a Rich History

Peter immediately began building the Peter and Paul Fortress and also began laying out a city around the fortress while still fighting the war with Sweden. Peter the Great named his new city St. Petersburg in honor of his patron saint St. Peter the Apostle.

Peter the Great had a grand vision for both Russia and his new city and he wasted no time in starting his city.

In 1712 Peter moved the capital of Russia from Moscow to St. Petersburg. This was nine years before the signing of the Treaty of Nystad in 1721 which recognized the transfer of the territory in which the city was located from Sweden to Russia.

St. Petersburg remained the capital of Russia from 1712 to 1918 when the Soviet government of Vladimir Lenin, fearing that invading foreign forces would capture the city, moved the capital of Russia to Moscow.

In 1924, following the death of Lenin, the city was renamed Leningrad, the name by which it was known during most of the 20th century. Shortly after the collapse of communism in Russia, the voters of the city voted overwhelmingly to restore the city's original name.

On September 6, 1991 the city ceased to be known as Leningrad and again became officially known as St. Petersburg .

Peter the Great spared nothing for his city and started the practice of building large and lavish palaces and churches in the city. This practice was continued by his successors.

The result was a city full of glorious eighteenth and nineteenth century Baroque style architecture.

I Have Visited St. Petersburg Twice

I have visited this beautiful city twice.  The first time as a college student during the Soviet era when it was known as Leningrad.

At that time memories of World War II and the great siege of Leningrad by the Nazis was still vivid in the minds of many of the people I met there.  Most of these people either lived through the siege or had family who had been in the city during the siege.

There were still pot marks on many buildings resulting from the buildings being hit by German bullets and shrapnel.  

My second visit was a few years ago when visiting my Russian born wife (then my fiancee) in Russia.  We took a bus tour from her town of Ryazan to St. Petersburg.  That trip was in July and not only was the city vastly improved physically now that it was no longer run by the Soviets but, in  addition to being cleaned up, it was summer.

My first visit had been in March and in the northern latitude the sun never rose more than 45 degrees or less in the sky making even cloudless days gloomy.  In the summer it is almost daylight around the clock and the mid-day summer sun really brightens up the city.

This is a fantastic city and I am looking forward to my next trip there.

St. Petersburg Sites

show route and directions
A markerWinter Palace -
Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia, 190000
get directions

Winter Palace (now part of State Hermitage Museum) in St. Petersburg. Is the former residence of the Russian Tsars.

B markerMihajlov Palace of Emperor Paul I -
Sadovaya St, 2, St Petersburg, Russia, 190000
get directions

Mihajlov Palace built for the Emperor Paul I between 1797 - 1800.

C markerRostral Columns in Front of Old Stock Exchange and Central Naval Museum -
Central Naval Museum, Birzhevaya ploshchad', 4, г. Санкт-Петербург, Russia, 199034
get directions

D markerCathédrale Pierre-et-Paul de Saint-Pétersbourg -
Peter and Paul Cathedral, Peter and Paul Fortress, 3, St Petersburg, Russia, 190000
get directions

Saints Peter & Paul Cathedral in the Saints Peter and Paul Fortress. Peter the Great is buried here along with remains of Tsar Nicholas II &

E markerCathédrale Saint-Nicolas-des-Marins de Saint-Pétersbourg -
Nikolo-bogoyavlenskiy Morskoy Sobor, Nikol'skaya ploshchad', 1/3, г. Санкт-Петербург, Russia, 190068
get directions

St. Nicholas Cathedral

F markerAlexander Nevsky Monument, Nevsky Prospekt, St. Petersburg -
Nevsky Prospekt, St Petersburg, Russia, 190000
get directions

Alexander Nevsky Monument at the head of Nevsky Prospekt

G markerPeterhof Palace Complex, St. Petersburg, Russia -
Petergof, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 198516
get directions

Grand Palace complex started by Peter the Great.

My Wife in Front of Winter Palace

Winter Palace in St. Petersburg (-), Russia
Winter Palace in St. Petersburg (-), Russia | Source

Mihajlov Palace, Home of the Emperor Paul I

Mihajlov Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.  Palace was home of the Emperor Paul I of Russia
Mihajlov Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Palace was home of the Emperor Paul I of Russia | Source

Statute of the Emperor Paul I in Front of his home the Mihajlov Palace

Statute of Russian Emperor Paul I in front of his home, the Mihajlov Palace in St. Petersburg.
Statute of Russian Emperor Paul I in front of his home, the Mihajlov Palace in St. Petersburg. | Source

Rostral Column in Front Old Stock Exchange Building & Naval Museum

Rostral Column in front of Old Stock Exchange building in St. Petersburg, Russia
Rostral Column in front of Old Stock Exchange building in St. Petersburg, Russia | Source

Tomb of Peter the Great inside SS Peter & Paul Cathedral located inside Peter & Paul Fortress

Chapel in SS Peter & Paul Cathedral Containing Remains of Russia's Last Tsar Nicholas II and Family

Fountains in Front of Peter the Great's Grand Palace in Peterhof Outside of St. Petersburg

Peterhof is a village of St. Petersburg, on the shores of the Gulf of Finlandoutside, that contains numerous palaces used by the nobility in the summer.
Peterhof is a village of St. Petersburg, on the shores of the Gulf of Finlandoutside, that contains numerous palaces used by the nobility in the summer.

The Orangery in Peterhof

The Orangery was originally a greenhouse for Peter's grand Palace in Peterhof.  Today it contains a restaurant for tourists visiting the palaces in the park.
The Orangery was originally a greenhouse for Peter's grand Palace in Peterhof. Today it contains a restaurant for tourists visiting the palaces in the park.

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    • c521 profile image

      c521 6 years ago from Chicago, IL

      I would love to visit St. Petersburg some day! This Hub was great - a lot of tips of sights to see and beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing!

    • realtalker profile image

      realtalker 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Russia in general has always seemed to be an awesome country to me.

      Knowing that so many people fought and died for so many reasons is history in and off itself.

    • cloudhardy profile image

      cloudhardy 6 years ago from United State

      Excellent Hub!!!!

      Touring St Petersburg is an awesome experience because of its great diversity, historical aspects and great heritage. The geographical location as mentioned in the hub such as it is located on the Gulf of Finland, St. Petersburg provides Russia with access to the Baltic Sea through the Gulf of Finland, is in itself a great experience to explore. Thanks a lot for sharing such an incredibly valuable peace of text. Keep on hubbing.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 6 years ago

      Chuck, Wonderful concise hub! What a beautiful metropolis St Petersburg is; Great illustrations! Thank you for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

    • flinsura profile image

      flinsura 6 years ago

      I really want to visit this place someday!....

    • wierdlywonderful profile image

      wierdlywonderful 6 years ago from Lutz, Florida

      Thanks for sharing. St. Petersburg is a beautiful city. I've always wanted to travel to russia with a camera, backpack and rail pass.

    • russkayadusha profile image

      russkayadusha 6 years ago from New York, NY

      Very nice post Chuck, Saint Peterburg is my home town and it is one of my favorite cities in the world. Thank you for writing you post and educating us about this beautiful place. As far as crime and Russia I can say that over all country is very corrupt but they mostly bother other Russian citizens they are scared of harassing Tourists (Miliciya/Police) As far as street crime goes it is best not to be flashy and advertise that you are not a local there a many pocket picking and stealing of purses that occurs often times local homeless youth will steal something from you when you enter the metro and when you go to the metro attendant they will not help you because most of the time they work together with those homeless children for %. Something like that happened to a friend of mine who is a professor, as he was entering the metro a group of youngsters we exiting from the wrong door at the same time surrounded him there for he didn't feel them taking his wallet. When he went to talk to the attendant the guy didn't want to help until my friend began speaking Russian and asking him to call the police. As soon as that happened a young boy appeared pointing to the ground asking my friend if he dropped his wallet. Of cause the walled had no money in it but at least all of his CCs and other important things were there. All I am saying is that you have to be careful the metro in Moscow especially is extremely crowded and if someone bumps into you you might loose a wallet. These are petty crimes but if you loose your CCs and/passport you will have an unpleasant experience. Don't walk alone, don't speak too loud about being a tourist, only go to Banks to change your currency and don't flash your cash. Don't walk late at night either. I never had any problems being in Russia but then again I'm fluent in Russian, even though I left my country when I was only 11 years old I speak very well and unless I say no one would guess I am not from there.

    • phamzy profile image

      phamzy 6 years ago from Florida, USA

      Thanks for sharing those photos!

      This place must be in my wish list to see.

      Sincerely,

      Phamzy Macas

      www.eco-bodylife.com

      info@eco-bodylife.com

      (954) 513 - 5302

    • AKdude profile image

      AKdude 6 years ago from Alaska

      Great hub! I've always wanted to visit St. Petersburg.

    • donkeyz1 profile image

      donkeyz1 6 years ago

      Great hub! Fantastic pictures, and very informational.

    • The Rising Glory profile image

      The Rising Glory 6 years ago from California

      Oh, you make me long for Russia again! I have been to Russia four times, but have never gotten to St. P. I want to visit it so much. I love the Russia culture, food, and people. It is a great place to visit. Great HUB!

    • rmills123 profile image

      rmills123 6 years ago from Ecru,Ms

      Love the pictures great hub

    • flinsura profile image

      flinsura 6 years ago

      nice hub! I can't wait to visit a place like this.... Thanks for touring me with your good pictures...

    • Thomas@theone profile image

      Thomas@theone 6 years ago

      great hub!

    • f_hruz profile image

      f_hruz 6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      I have been there when my grand-aunt was still alive and the city had the name Leningrad, as it was when my older sister was born there who lives now in Milano, Italia.

      They may have changed the name of the city, but the region retains it's name as Leningradskaja Oblast and many Russians still celebrat the October Revolution even today as the event in history which brought the country out of feudalism and aristocratic serfdom. It was the beginning of a long and hard path towards being a modern and well educated nation.

    • profile image

      Alberto 6 years ago

      I've also visited Sait Petersburg many times. I have as well about air views landing in St. Petersburg and about Kronshtadt. These are the links:

      http://trifter.com/europe/air-views-of-st-petersbu...

      http://trifter.com/europe/kronshtadt-the-lock-of-t...

    • jclason profile image

      jclason 6 years ago

      I know some people from this city but have never seen their city. Nice hub!

    • shysky profile image

      shysky 6 years ago

      i love this hub,please follow me

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from North America

      Incredibly lovely Hub, Chuck! I had an uncle-in-law from Ukraine and a teacher from near St. Petersburg/Leningrad and I miss hearing about those regions of the world.

    • sambaran08 profile image

      sambaran08 6 years ago from India

      great hub,great place,great picture.

      visit my hub 2...

    • PR_am profile image

      PR_am 6 years ago from Oregon

      Visually appealing hub! Now I want to make St Petersburg my next travel destination.

      Would you be willing to let me know what the weather condition is like out there. I mean from a visitor's point of view at the times when you visited.

      Thanks for a very informative article

    • carter13estes profile image

      carter13estes 6 years ago

      I just loves to travel, I like to travel various places in the world, i think travel is the only way to refresh yourself..

    • schoolmarm profile image

      schoolmarm 6 years ago from Florida

      I have wanted to travel there for many years. This has renewed my desire. Thank you for the fresh photos and this very informative hub.

    • profile image

      hitalot 6 years ago

      Excellent Hub !

      Some day I want to travel to different places and this looks like one to be nice to visit !

    • profile image

      Christy Zutautas 6 years ago

      Excellent hub. Fantastic pictures and descriptions, it's making me want to go and visit.

    • fanatik_efka profile image

      fanatik_efka 6 years ago from Vilnius, Lithuania

      though it's a city a have visited for more than 15 times (mostly used as a pit stop) but the hub gave some interesting information on it i never knew. Thanks a lot

    • profile image

      Luke 6 years ago

      low thank for sharing me in your blog..

    • Chuck profile image
      Author

      Chuck Nugent 6 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      sandun81 - like any large cities anywhere in the world, Moscow and St. Petersburg have their share of crime. However, I have visited both cities on a couple of different occasions and have never had any problems. Use common sense and normal safety precautions that you use at home and you should be ok.

    • sandun81 profile image

      sandun81 6 years ago

      I also like to visit Russia, specially St Petersburg and Moscow. But some people says it's not safe place for foreigners to visit. Is that true ?

    • profile image

      sumera 6 years ago

      job well done! always wanted to have a glimpse of this place for it is most talked and visited place in the world. now me well knowledged about it.great work and imoressive too.

    • jeanie.stecher profile image

      jeanie.stecher 6 years ago from Seattle

      Haven't been there but I have heard so much about the place. I am very well convinced that the place is awesome. Wanted to visit the place soon. Nice pictures.

    • AaronAdamic profile image

      AaronAdamic 6 years ago from New York

      Beautiful pictures. Thanks for this great hub!

    • profile image

      map65 6 years ago

      great info - thanks for sharing!

    • alertswiftreview profile image

      alertswiftreview 6 years ago from USA

      I have not yet visited ST. Peterburg but now reading this hub and looking all the amazing photos. I will definitely visit this amazing city.

    • pooja.dharmagiri profile image

      pooja.dharmagiri 6 years ago

      GREAT WONDERFUL PHOTOS I LIKED IT

    • flinsura profile image

      flinsura 6 years ago

      Great to see a hub about St. Petersburg! I love the pictures, thanks chuck... it is dream now to visit ST. Peterburg.

    • sherlocksujith profile image

      sherlocksujith 6 years ago from Thiruvanathapuram

      great work sir

    • moncrieff profile image

      moncrieff 6 years ago from New York, NY

      Great to see a hub about St. Petersburg! In fact, I'm visiting it right at this moment. It's a very interesting city.

    • nikitha p profile image

      nikitha p 6 years ago from India

      Great hub very well written thanks for sharing this.

    • ColeCooper90 profile image

      ColeCooper90 6 years ago from Portland Oregon

      I wish I had more of an ability to travel! Very nice.

    • dinesh c bhatt profile image

      dinesh c bhatt 6 years ago from India (Noida)

      Hello,

      Great hub....:)

      wonderful and beautiful photos

      I vote it up and useful. Thanks so much for sharing

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Gorgeous photographs - they really make a travel hub like this come alive! My grandparents went to St. Petersburg years ago and it was one of their favorite trips.

      Super job.

    • homeopathicacne profile image

      homeopathicacne 6 years ago from US, New York

      After Barcelona this will be the next city that I will visit this month.usefull review

    • parkersarah8415 profile image

      parkersarah8415 6 years ago from USA

      Hi, Chuck, wonderful photos. St. Petersburg is great

    • Mikeydoes profile image

      Mikeydoes 6 years ago from Fl,IL,IND

      Very nice, thanks for this.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Great history and tour of the city. I love your pictures.

    • fundamentallife profile image

      fundamentallife 6 years ago

      A beautiful Hub Chuck, I thoroughly enjoyed the story about Peter the Great.

      Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

      AJ..

    • zzron profile image

      zzron 6 years ago from Houston, TX.

      I really enjoyed this, Thanks so much. Really beautiful pictures to.

    • Trusted Marketing profile image

      Trusted Marketing 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Good information and of course it makes me want to go. Traveling and seeing new places is important and learning where to go is helpful. Thanks for the article.

    • Benson Yeung profile image

      Benson Yeung 6 years ago from Hong Kong

      nice hub and great pictures.

      thx for sharing.

    • SidneyMorgan profile image

      SidneyMorgan 6 years ago from Australia

      The city has got rich history and so much to offer to travelers.You have really done a great work by putting entire picture of St Petersburg in one small hub. Good work.

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 6 years ago

      A great place to visit indeed. I wonder, how is the security there ?

    • profile image

      nicola 6 years ago

      very nice photos

      God bless you

      nicola

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Great architecture and would enjoy visiting. Thanks for sharing!

    • tracykarl99 profile image

      Tracy 6 years ago from San Francisco

      A well-told hub with the most important points mentioned. You are fortunate to have visited twice! I look forward to reading your other hubs on Russia. Catherine the Great has always fascinated me; so, am thinking of writing about her.

    • D.Virtual.Doctor profile image

      Funom Theophilus Makama 6 years ago from Europe

      yeah... I totally agree with you. Its a city full of monuments and nice buildings... I live in Ukraine and I am hoping very very soon, I will be there..

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Wonderful photos of this beautiful city and I enjoyed the history lessons as well. A very professional job as usual. Great hub!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Peter the Great's Grand Palace in Peterhof looks beautiful! Great hub, and thanks for sharing the photos too!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Good hub. This is one of these cities that one always runs across in the news or in literature but I have never known much about it. Very informative.I vote it up and useful.