Although only 300 years old, St. Petersburg’s history has already largely contributed to the culture and lifestyle of Russia. Founded in 1703 by Tsar Peter the Great, the city became the country’s capital in 1713 to 1728; and from 1732 until 1918 when the bodies of the central government moved to Moscow.
St. Petersburg was named after Peter the Great’s patron saint, Saint Peter the Apostle. It was built under adverse geographical conditions by thousands of men (mostly peasants and prisoners of Russia) brought to the Neva river.
The first structure to be erected in the city was the Peter and Paul Fortress. Originally, the building bore the Sankt Pieterburg name. What used to be a marshland was then drained stretching the territories of the city. Under the supervision of Dutch and German engineers Peter invited to Russia, St. Petersburg’s unique setting started to flourish.
From Peter the Great, the city has then prospered under the rule of two of the most powerful women in the history of Russia, Empress Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter and Empress Catherine the Great, the wife of Peter III. It was during the rulership of Empress Elizabeth that the Summer and Winter Palaces were completed, the first then became the residence of Empress Catherine.
Despite the revolutions and battles that took place in St. Petersburg, the city still remained intact and strong. In fact, these events have only made the city more interesting to visit.