History of Saint Petersburg, Russia

Have you ever thought about coming to Moscow, Russia? This is actually one of the world’s largest nation that borders the European countries as well as the Asian countries. This country is famous because of the Mariinsky ballet companies in St. Petersburg. This is a place that Peter the Great founded. He was a Russian leader with a baroque Winter Palace, which is known for art collection at the State Heritage Museum.

Going back to St. Petersburg, this place has contributed a lot in the history of Russia. There are actually a lot of interesting stories to tell and this deserves to be known because these are worth reading and learning. Because of this, there is no doubt why St. Petersburg had been popular not only in Europe, but in the whole world as well. Now, if you think that you had been missing about the history of Saint Petersburg, then we have here important facts and information for you to know.

City Built on Bones

There had been stories that the city of St. Petersburg was built with bones. It happened in the month of May in 1703 at the Hare’s Island. According to the myth, Peter the Great was never there. It was General Alexander Menshikov, his friend, who gave commands to the soldiers to take thousands of lives and built the city as well as the iron wall. Anyway, this is where the origin of the city was encapsulated.  

The city passed and have undergone a lot of reformation in the culture, military and bureaucracy. It survived the start as well as the revolution like WWII and the communist rulers. Those were the things the city has to face to be the largest city in the country and they turned out to be the third.

Everything started from scratch, but building the city intimidated thousands of convicts, prisoners and conscripts of war. The people erected the city with scarce tools. They used their hands to dig and carry dirt using their shirt. The involuntary laborers suffered so much and thousands of them have died because of different diseases and flooding. For this reason, St. Petersburg was known as a city that was built on bones.

The city named as Leningrad

According to history, Tsar Peter I founded St. Petersburg and named it after him. But the truth is that the name was after the patron saint of Tsar, which is Saint Peter the Apostle. After WWI, the name of the city was changed to Petrograd because of the prevalent anti-German sentiment.

But because of the communist revolution, it was later on changed to Leningrad. This is to honor Vladimir Lenin, who played a very important role during the communist revolution. During the fall of the Soviet Union, the city’s name was reverted back to St. Petersburg or colloquially Piter.

Surviving a Siege

Do you know that during the WWII, when the city was still holding the name Leningrad, the German forces are really strict? They have to cut off the entry as well as the exit points. For this reason, Hitler failed in conquering the city.

It was just too hard for the people, too. It is because during this time, let’s say for about 900 days, the citizens have to suffer from freezing temperatures, they were starving, no water and electricity. It is like a tragedy because a lot of civilians died with the goal of protecting the city. For the people to know that the city is still alive, the radio station has to play a ticking metronome sound.

If you were in St. Petersburg today, then come to the Monument to the Heroic Defender’s because the sound was heard until beneath that place. For the locals, hearing the sound gives hope and that the city they are protecting is still there.

As the Capital City

It was in 1712 and ten years after founding the city, St. Petersburg became the new capital city of Russia. But Moscow regained the title as the capital city later on. That was because of the 1917 Revolution. And then, that was also the time when Russia started cutting the city off and away from the imperial history. If this did not happen, St. Petersburg could have been the capital for another 200 years to come.

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