Saint Petersburg (crs)
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TOn May, 1, 1703 Peter the Great captured the Swedish fortress of Nyenskans on the Neva river in Ingria. A few weeks later he laid down the plans for the Peter and Paul Fortress on Hare Island. He named the city after his patron saint, Saint Peter. The city was built by conscripted serfs from all over Russia and also by Swedish prisoners of war. Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712. During the first few years of its existence the city grew spontaneously around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress. By 1716 Domenico Trezzini had presented a plan whereby the city center would be located on Vasilievsky Island and shaped by a rectangular grid of canals. The project was not completed, but is still evident in the layout of the streets. In 1724 the Academy of Sciences, University and Academic Gymnasium were established in Saint Petersburg. In 1725 Peter died. His near-lifelong autocratic push for modernization of Russia had met with considerable opposition from the old-fashioned Russian nobility resulting in several attempts on his life and a treason case involving his own son. In 1728, Peter II of Russia moved his seat back to Moscow. But four years later, in 1732, under Empress Anna of Russia, Saint Petersburg again became the capital of the Russian Empire and remained the seat of the government for 186 years. During the reign of Catherine the Great in the 1760s-1780s the banks of the Neva were lined with granite embankments. In 1850 the first permanent bridge across the Neva was opened. Obvodny Canal (dug in 1769-1833) became the southern limit of the city. The victory over Napoleonic France in the War of 1812 was commemorated with many monuments, including the Alexander Column by Montferrand, erected in 1834, and Narva Triumphal Gate. In 1825 the suppressed Decembrist revolt against Nicholas I of Russia took place on the Senate Square. The Church of the Savior on Blood commemorated the place where Alexander II of Russia was assassinated in 1881. The Revolution of 1905 began in Saint Petersburg and spread rapidly into the provinces. With the start of World War I, the name Saint Petersburg was perceived to be too German, so in 1914 the city was renamed Petrograd. In 1917 the February Revolution, which put an end to the Russian monarchy, and the October Revolution, which ultimately brought Vladimir Lenin to power, broke out in Petrograd. The city's proximity to the border and anti-Soviet armies forced the Bolsheviks under Lenin to transfer the capital to Moscow on March 12, 1918. On January 26, 1924, three days after Lenin's death, Petrograd was renamed Leningrad. For decades Leningrad was glorified by the Soviet propaganda as "the cradle of the revolution". The Soviets nationalized housing and 68% of the population lived in shared apartments in the 1930s. On December 1, 1934, Sergey Kirov, popular communist leader of Leningrad, was assassinated. During the resulting purge a sizeable number of Germans, Poles, Finns, Estonians and Latvians were almost completely expelled from Leningrad. During World War II, Leningrad was besieged by Nazi Germany. The siege lasted 872 days from September 1941 to January 1944. The Siege of Leningrad isolated the city from most supplies and more than a million civilians died, mainly from starvation. Leningrad and many of its suburbs were rebuilt during the post-war decades, partially according to the pre-war plans. The 1948 general plan of Leningrad featured radial urban development in the north as well as in the south. The name "Saint Petersburg" was restored on September 6, 1991. By the end of 1991 the deteriorating planned economy of the collapsing Soviet Union put the city on the verge of starvation. For the first time since World War II food rationing was introduced, and the city received humanitarian food aid from abroad. There are still about 8000 architectural monuments in Saint Petersburg, but since 2005 the destruction of older buildings in the historical center has continued.
I was in St. Petersburg during White Nights.
Identifier: 150, Last Accessed: 2017-07-25 11:18:24
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Last Modified: Fri Jul 29 2016 09:10:20.