About Saint Petersburg
Saint-Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia, politically incorporated as a federal subject (a federal city). It is located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea.
In 1914 the name of the city was changed from Saint-Petersburg to Petrograd, in 1924 to Leningrad, and in 1991, back to Saint-Petersburg. In Russian literature, informal documents, and discourse, the word "Saint" is usually omitted, leaving "Petersburg". In casual conversation Russians may drop the "burg" as well, referring to it as "Piter".
Saint-Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on May 27 1703. Between 1713-1728 and 1732-1918, Saint-Petersburg was the imperial capital of Russia. In 1918 the central government bodies moved from Saint-Petersburg (then named Petrograd) to Moscow. It is Russia's 2nd largest city after Moscow with 5 million inhabitants (2012) and the fourth most populated federal subject. Saint-Petersburg is a major European cultural center, and also an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea.
The Historic Centre of Saint-Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint-Petersburg is also home to the Hermitage, one of the most popular visitor attraction, and one of the world's largest and most prestigious museums, the Hermitage is a must-see for all first-time travelers to the city. Its exhibitions include over 3 million exhibits representing Antiquity, Western Europe, Middle East, Russia and many more epochs, regions and countries.
It was founded in 1764 when Catherine the Great purchased a big collection of Western European paintings.
The Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theater is also one of the main cultural attractions in Saint-Petersburg. The history of the Mariinsky theatre started in 1783 when the Bolshoi (Stone) Theatre was open in Saint-Petersburg, where dramatic opera and ballet performances were staged. Now there is the Saint-Petersburg Conservatoire. The theatre repertoire includes the "golden fund" works of opera classics. For the last years the theatre staged performances jointly with the greatest world opera stages: the Covent Garden, Opera de Bastil, La Scala, La Fenice, the Israel New Opera (Tel Aviv) and the San-Francisco Opera.
Saint - Petersburg's most famous suburban attractions are the fabulous parks and palaces built as summer residences by generations of Romanov Tsars. You will have a chance to explore two centuries of history and architectural grandeur at Saint-Petersburg's magnificent Imperial estates.
One of Saint-Petersburg's most famous and popular visitor attractions, the palace and park at Peterhof (also known as Petrodvorets) are often referred to as "the Russian Versailles", although many visitors conclude that the comparison does a disservice to the grandeur and scope of this majestic estate. The history of Peterhof begins back in 1705, when travelling chambers were built for Peter the Great on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland.
Soon, not far from this place, work began on the creation of a new imperial residence, which, Peter determined, would one day outshine all the other royal palaces of Europe.The tsar deliberately built his new residence by the sea, as a triumphant symbol of the successful conclusion of Russia's long struggle for an outlet to the Baltic Sea. Peterhof was officially opened in the presence of the tsar and foreign diplomats in August 1723.
The Tsarskoye Selo palace and park ensemble (the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve) is a superb monument of world-ranking architecture and garden-and-park design dating from the eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. The compositional centre of the ensemble is the Great Tsarskoye Selo or Catherine Palace – a splendid example of the Russian Baroque. Visitors are enraptured by the sumptuous décor of the Great Hall and the Golden Enfilade of state rooms that includes the world-famous Amber Room.
Pavlovsk is the youngest of the grand Imperial estates around Saint-Petersburg. It is a monument of architecture of the end of XVIII - beginning of XIX centuries. It was constructed by such outstanding architects, decorators and artists of XVIII-XIX centuries as C. Cameron, V. Brenna, A. Voronikhin, J. Kvarenghi, K. Rossi, P. Gonzago and others. Named in honour of Tsar Pavel, this fine neo-classical palace and its extensive landscaped gardens are stamped with his taste and even more so with that of his wife, the German-born Maria Feodorovna.
Today the Pavlovsk Palace is a museum, which collection has more than 45 thousands of exhibits and includes the collections of the Russian and West-European Applied and Decorative Arts, painting, costume and ancient sculpture. The museum develops new directions like the modern art exhibitions and educational activity for children and grown
Saint-Petersburg cherishes and venerates its history and culture in an incredible number of museums, ranging from the stunning treasures of the Hermitage to the private artifacts of world-famous artists, writers and scientists. Saint-Petersburg is often described by locals as the "Gorod Muzei" - the museum city - and not without reason. Peter the Great himself founded the city's first museum, the extraordinary Kunstkammer, for the edification his subjects, and the city now boasts over 100 museums, ranging from the vast Hermitage, one of the world's most famous galleries, to small apartment museums honoring some of Russia's greatest writers.
Saint-Petersburg is beginning to grow a restaurant scene that it can genuinely be proud of. For visitors, there's a huge amount to explore, from traditional Russian cuisine in palatial surroundings to modern rooftop terraces serving international fusion menus.
Saint-Petersburg is a unique tourist destination. Due to its location, history, architecture, famous citizens and a fascinating mixture of nature and art of building the Northern Capital can provide a tourist with all kinds of impressions.
You will have a chance to see the best places in Saint Petersburg within the Symposium social program.
Below you will find useful and necessary information for a comfortable stay in Saint-Petersburg.
The Saint-Petersburg Subway Map
Above-ground transport runs from 6:00 till 00:00.
Mini-buses run from 7:00 till 00:00.
Underground runs from 5:45 till 00:00.
In summer, if you move around Saint-Petersburg at night (on foot or by car), do not forget about the drawbridges. The detailed bridges opening schedule in 2017 shall be published later.
The electric power system of the city: AC current, 220V voltage, current frequency 50Hz, plug-and-socket connection with two circular joints.