Travelers are always charmed by its immense beauty and diversity. Saint-Petersburg is situated in the north-west of Russia where the Neva River flows into the Gulf of Finland. Nearly 300 years ago the first Russian emperor Peter I founded it as the new capital of the Russian empire. And the city remained the Russian capital for more than 200 years. Saint-Petersburg is often called the Northern capital of Russia, the Northern Palmyra or Venice of the North. Saint Petersburg is a phenomenon of world culture. Being one of the most beautiful cities in the world, it was created by the talent of
Russian people and magnificent architects both from Russia and Europe. Its captivating architectural ensembles, the beautiful bridges, railings, embankments of the Neva river and the numerous canals, the palaces and par- all these impresses anybody who comes here. Starting in 1712, Saint Petersburg was the capital of the Russian Empire. The city had its triumphs and its tragedies: in the 18th century – from the first humble huts to the brilliant reign of Catherine II, in the 19th century – from serfdom to industrial, financial and cultural upsurge, and in the 20th century – from the great ideas and illusions of socialist revolution, through the great feat of the defenders of Leningrad during the siege of World War II, until, after the fall of Communism in 1991, the city regained the name given to it at its birth.
Today St. Petersburg is a large industrial, transport, scientific and cultural centre of Russia, with a population of 5 mln people. It covers 620 sq. km on 42 islands, formed by the Neva and its arms, and it has grown until it reaches the coast of the Gulf of Finland. The Great Russian poet Pushkin called St. Petersburg the window into Europe. The city is ready for cooperation and development. Every day dozens of businessmen from the East and the West come here to get to know the city better and to establish business contacts. St. Petersburg is one of the largest centers of world tourism with European standards of service, and with an enormous infrastructure for holidaymaking and entertainments. It is the city of festivals and congresses, holidays on the Neva River, regattas on the Gulf of Finland and in the Baltic. F. Dostoyevsky said: "Beauty will save the world." St. Petersburg is beauty at every step. The best way to find it out – is to come here.