St.-Petersburg is, after Moscow, the most important industrial, scientific and cultural centre in Russia.
St.-Petersburg was founded in 1703 where the Neva flows into the Baltic Sea. The birth of the city was a historical borderline between the Russian Middle Ages and the New Era. The most advanced outpost of Russia on the western frontiers and the main port on the Baltic, it became truly a "window into Europe". The Russian Navy, the Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Arts, the first museums and the first theatres were all built on the banks of the Neva, and it was there, too, that Russian industry was developed.
For two centuries, St. Petersburg was the capital of Russia and the focus of the country's political, scientific and cultural life. Eminent scientists, scholars, writers, composers and artists lived there. It is inseverably associated with the names of Lomonosov, Mendeleyev, Pushkin, Gogol, Nekrasov, Dostoyevsky, Gorky, Glinka, Mussorgsky, Bryullov and Repin...
The city on the Neva was the first to be built in Russia according to single plan and is one of the world's finest achievements in town planning. The majestic ensembles and monumental structures were created from the designs of remarkable architects such as Trezzini, Rastrelli, Quarenghi, Voronikhin, Zakharov, Thomas de Thomon, Rossi and Montferrand.
Since 1924, the city has borne the name of Lenin. Leningrad's heroism in the years of the Great Patriotic War was truly immortal. At the cost of enormous losses, the people of the city held out in a blockade that lasted for nine hundred days. Every inch of ground there is a reminder of that harsh and heroic time.
Nowadays Leningrad is a city of mammoth industrial enterprises, leading scientific establishments, famous museums and theatres. The grandiose scale of the construction projects is one of its main distinguishing features. Girt by a ring of new building sites, the city is spreading its limits further outwards, advancing on a wide front towards the sea coast.
Its historic centre is a vast open-air museum with the majestic, full-flowing Neva confined in granite, with the solemn ensembles of the squares, with the cosy gardens and quiet embankments of small rivers and canals over which hang the motionless silhouettes of the bridges. Spread out over forty-four islands, this city is beautiful at all times of year. And especially during the magic time of the White Nights.
Welcome to St.-Petersburg
Anniversary celebrations program
The Days of celebration of St. Petersburg's 300th Anniversary will officially start on May 23rd, 2003. All the ten days, following the anniversary will be saturated with celebrations, festivals and concertsMay 23
Celebration devoted to the 300th Anniversary of St. Petersburg will start on May 23. This day will launch inaugurations of many exhibitions dedicated to the city. For example, the doors of Marble palace-museum will open at noon for visitors to present the exhibitions "Masterpieces and geniuses. 220 years of Mariinsky Theatre (1783-2003)" and "Ludwig`s museum hosted by the Russian Museum". Exhibition "St. Petersburg. Portrait of the city and its citizens. From the Russian Museum collection" will open in Benois section of the State Russian Museum at 2 PM. At 4 PM, you will be able to visit an anniversary exhibit of amateur photography "Photo-wall "Faces of St. Petersburg", which will be located on the city central sites, organized by Kodak corporation.
A number of business events are planned during this day. A conference of mayors of St. Petersburg's partner cities will start in "Pribaltiyskaya" hotel just half an hour before the noon. 12:00 will symbolize the start of International congress of cultural, scientific, financial and industrial elite "St. Petersburg – Capital of International Culture" in Tavrichesky palace. One of the most spectacular events of the day will certainly be the "Russian yacht clubs anniversary race", starting at 2 PM, at Martynov embankment. Ceremony of the "Honorable citizen of St. Petersburg" award will take place at 3 PM in the Legislative Assembly building.
Grand opening of the anniversary decade itself will take at 6 PM in Ledovy Palace. The culmination of the day shall be the Laser show of Hiro Yagamoto in honor of 300th Anniversary at 11 PM in the Neva waters.
May 24, 2003 will go under the motto "Noble descendants". For this reason, the usual morning church services in the temples of different confessions will be devoted to the solemn thanksgiving services. The following hours will be spent in the similar manner: laying of wreaths is planned at the Piskarevskoe memorial cemetery and other memorial places. Unveiling of Peter the First memorial by Sampsonievskiy cathedral will happen at noon, and retro-trips on the steam engine boats to the residences of Russian Tsars – "St. Petersburg`s Brilliant Necklace" – will start at 4:45 PM.
Of course, there will be a place for entertaining events: at 10 AM citizens and guests of the city will witness the opening of the "Petersburg`s cadets" military schools festival by the building of Peter the Great Marine institution. Military-historical festival "Petersburg – military capital" will start at two o'clock in the afternoon in Pavlovsk. At the same time "Petrokholod" will arrange an "Ice-cream festival" on Ostrovskiy square.
The period of the city anniversary celebration coincides with 175th Anniversary of St. Petersburg State Institute of Technology, the celebration of which is planned for 3 PM. One of the most interesting evening events could become an inter-museum exhibition project "Riding etiquette: history and the present" in Tsarskoe Selo, whereas the students will most likely to remember "Anniversary ball of school graduates – 10 000 of stars" at 10 o'clock in the evening. First Russian symphonic show "The great path of St. Petersburg" of the composer Yan Filyarovskiy will be organized at the same time in the city center – on Dvortsovaya square.
25 of May is the day of "celebration on every street". And not only on every street – in the suburbs as well. For instance, youth cycle race "Pushkin`s spring" will take off in Pushkin in the morning. The spectators will enjoy the start of Greco-Roman wrestling in the Sport House "NIIEFA" in Metallostroy. St. Petersburg`s Cycle Racing Championship will go along the highway "Nevskoe koltso". At two o`clock, in the Central Park of Culture and Recreation, citizens and guests will "open" an exhibition" dedicated to the history of life and creative work of C.I. Rossi in the Pavilion with a flag. In the meantime, the city center will hold a fashion show "St. Petersburg Silhouette " and a sailboat "The gifts of Youth" from Gdansk (Poland) will arrive into the Neva river harbor. The day will end with an anniversary musical stage show "Come into my temple" at 7 PM in Ledovy Palace.
Today, it’s a so-called "intellectual day". An hour before noon a presentation of the nominal awards of St. Petersburg government and St. Petersburg scientific center RAS in the Russian Academy of Sciences will take place on Universitetskaya embankment, 5. Simultaneously, an International scientific conference "A.D. Menshikov – first governor of St. Petersburg" will start in Menshikov`s Palace.
The 10th St. Petersburg international conference dedicated to integrated navigation systems, convening in the Central Scientific and Research institution "Electropribor" at 11 AM will become one of the most significant events in the scientific world. Complex "University labyrinth" with participation of the rectors of the world leading universities will be opened in the State University of St. Petersburg.
There will be plenty of entertaining events on 26 May. Those will include: festive boat regatta to win a frigate "Standard" in the Neva River harbor at 1 PM, and a gala-concert "White nights on Dvortsovaya square from 7 to 11 PM. Among the noteworthy business events – City anniversary contest of goods and services "Made in Petersburg" at the Grand Concert Hall "Oktyabrskiy" at 3 PM, and an exhibition "St. Petersburg-300" in Lenexpo starting at the same time.
On the actual day of city`s birthday, May 27, at 10:00 AM flowers will be laid by the Bronze Horseman, and the same time the governor will lay a memorable medal on a sarcophagus of Peter the Great in Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, which is to be followed by a ceremony of opening of a memorable symbol associated with the 300th Anniversary of St. Petersburg on the Tsar`s bastion of Peter and Paul Fortress. Believers will hold a religious procession in the central part of city stretching out from St. Isaac to Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral. World Wide club of St. Petersburg residents will meet at the Hermitage Theater at 3:30 PM.
If anyone thinks that mountain climbing is only about mountains, he is wrong. Anyone has a chance to become convinced in the opposite, if he joins a sporting and entertaining show "St. Petersburg mountain climbing school – 300th Anniversary of St. Petersburg" in Moscow`s Victory Park at 2 PM. To those who are fond of "handsome, strong military men", it is recommended to visit the Governor`s parade of the military schools on Dvortsovaya square, which will be followed by the concert of Alexander Rozenbaum later in the evening.
Go to St. Petersburg Opera to see a serious musical show – premiere of the play "Peter the Great" of G. Donitsetti is expected there – or go to Mariinsky to see the opera "The Queen of Spades". Main event of the celebration is considered to be a water show, which will take place in the Neva waters at 9 PM and a laser show of Hiro Yamagato at 11 PM.
May 28 is officially announced to be the Sports and fitness day. Final contests of the sports day dedicated to 300th Anniversary of St. Petersburg on the city stadiums starting at 10 AM, Street basketball festival on S.M. Kirov stadium at 11 AM, student sports contests dedicated to 300th Anniversary of St. Petersburg on the stadiums of enterprises and schools and many more events to be visited. Equestrian sport contest will start at noon on Petrovsky stadium.
Among many other events – international dog exhibition of all breeds "White nights-2003" at noon at the Sport Place "Zenit" and aqua-bike show "St. Petersburg – 300 years" in the Neva river harbor at 4 PM, and an anniversary concert "Planet Parade" with honorable residents of St. Petersburg at Arkadiy Raykin Variety Theatre at 7 PM. Fans are invited to the concert of the Russian variety stars in honor of 300th Anniversary of St. Petersburg on Petrovsky stadium.
Thursday, May 29, will be a theatre day. Sleepers will be awaken at 10 AM by international festival of military brass bands "Show of the marching orchestras" in the Sport and Concert Complex "Yubileyny", which will last until 11 PM. Theatrical play of St. Petersburg theatres and creative institutions will go through the city theatres. In the evening at the Arts square the residents and guests will see an open-air gala-concert of premier performances of the leading Russian choreographs "Children of the stray dog on the Arts square"; and Alla Pugachyova will give a concert at the Grand Concert Hall "Oktyabrsky".
May 30 will pass in line with a birthday of the city founder. Opera of S.L. Gaudasinsky and A.P. Petrov "Peter the First" devoted to Peter the Great will be presented in Ledovy Palace at 7 PM. We could confidently call an opening of Mikhaylovsky castle-museum after its restoration as one of the most significant events of the day giving a chance to visit the following exhibitions: "History of castle and its inhabitants", "St. Petersburg in children`s art", "Antiquity themes in Russian art", "The Renaissance age and creation of Russian artists" at 1 PM.
The broadcast of gala-concert from Mariinsky theatre will be viewed worldwide on this day on BBC channel. Youth can enjoy the "Zemphira" group concert within the "Forts" festival organized in Kronshtadt, in Petrovsky dock from 8 to 11 PM, as well as 50-hour dance marathon with the best European and Russian DJs on stage all performing at "Fort Shants".
31 of May is a well known day of international meetings, as a Convention of foreign countries’ leaders will take place in Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna on this date. Top-level guests will visit an Amber room after restoration in the Tsarskoe Selo, and an official ceremony and the Laser show of Hiro Yamagato on Neva waters at large – between Troitsky and Dvortsovy bridges.
Rock-festival will be the place to go wild all day long, which is going to be arranged by DDT Rock group Ltd. on S.M. Kirov stadium. Guests and residents could stroll, accompanied by the sounds of the brass bands and public parties, which will be heard in Kronshtadt, Summer garden, on the Anchor square and in Petrovsky park. The parade of military brass bands and sister cities columns will walk along Nevskiy avenue at 3 PM.
In addition to all that, the following historical places will be opened after the restoration during the anniversary days: Western portal of the Cathedral Mosque (May 25), separate rooms in the building of the Russian Academy of Sciences (May 26), Mikhaylovsky garden and a new Main entrance to the State Hermitage from Dvortsovaya square (May 27), rooms of the Institute of Russian Literature of the Russian Academy of Science "Pushkinsky dom" (May 29), etc. There will be plenty of district and local entertainment as well.