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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

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