Top 20 Facts about the City of Saint- Petersburg


 

The City of Saint- Petersburg was founded on the day of Saint Peter thus named after him. It is a city with historical and cultural significance and holds a very important port- the gateway to Russia from Europe. The many architectural landmarks found in the city are also something to write home about, while the 10% water coverage on the land completes this near-perfect city.

Saint Petersburg is the second-largest city in Russia and highly regarded- it was the Russian Empire’s capital for two centuries. The below top 20 facts about the City of Saint- Petersburg shed more light on this fourth most populous city in Russia.

1. There are at least 15 cities in the world that are called “ Saint- Petersburg”

Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg- by Ninara- Wikimedia Commons

It would be great if you specified ‘Saint- Petersburg in Russia’ when making reference to it. There are at least 15 other cities in the world that go by the same name! Saint- Petersburg in Florida in the USA for example is popular as it is the largest one yet.

Other Saint- Petersburg cities include one in Alaska, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Switzerland others.

2. Saint- Petersburg went by a different name in the 1900s

Until 1914, the City of Saint- Petersburg was called just that. However, from 1914 to 1924, it was called Petrograd. From 1924 to 1992 it was called Leningrad. As you will note, the naming of the city was only after the greats, these are Russian politicians of the day.

3. The City of Saint- Petersburg boasts one of the highest Cathedrals in Russia

Peter and Paul Cathedral- by Jorge Láscar- Wikimedia Commons

Besides the magnificence and stature of the beautiful Peter & Paul Cathedral, this church stands at a whopping 122. 5 meters, and is the second tallest cathedral in Russia, after the Television Tower.

Nearly all of Russia’s great rulers were buried at the Peter and Paul Cathedral, therefor this one spot holds the Romanov dynasty.

4. The City of Saint- Petersburg hosts the fourth largest cathedral worldwide

Saint Isaac’s Cathedral- by Alex ‘Florstein’ Fedorov- Wikimedia Commons

Nazi troops used the outstanding dome at the St. Isaac’s Cathedral for sighting. The church is very tall and has a vantage point. The St. Isaac’s Cathedral is the fourth largest in the world.

During World War II, the St. Isaac’s Cathedral was used to store important museum pieces that could not be removed for protection. They were taken to the St. Isaac’s basement for safekeeping, and they were indeed safe.

5. One of the widest bridges in the world is found in the City of Saint- Petersburg

Blue Bridge- by Oleg Kuznetsov- Wikimedia Commons

Not only is the Blue Bridge of Saint- Petersburg beautiful, but it also stands in the list of firsts and greats- it is one of the widest bridges in St. Petersburg and in the world! The Bridge is painted blue and is 97.3 meters wide, almost as wide as the St. Isaac’s Square.

With the 10% water coverage in the City of Saint- Petersburg, the city is bound to have some bridges. These are nearly 600, of which 22 are drawbridges.

6. The City of Saint- Petersburg trams made it to the Guinness Book of records

Tram in Saint- Petersburg- by Dinamik – Wikimedia Commons

The tram tracks in the City of Saint- Petersburg cover at least 600 kilometers! This fact got it listed in the Guinness Book of Record as the city with the longest tram tracks in the world.

 7. The Saint- Petersburg column is exceptional

Alexander Column at Saint- Petersburg Square- by Alexxx1979- Wikimedia Commons

The Alexander Column found in the City of Saint-Petersburg is one of a kind. It is held up by its gravity as opposed to being fixed on a base. The column is 47.5 meters high and approximately 700 tons in weight. At its top is an angel figure with a cross making for a beautiful piece of art.

This Column, while eye-catching is rather odd, and caused a certain discomfort amongst residents who wouldn’t pass by it for fear of it toppling over. It took Auguste de Montferrand, who built the column, strolling every day near the column to convince the citizens that it was safe.

8. The City of Saint- Petersburg is noisy!

Palace Square at night- by neil_barman- Wikimedia Commons

If considering the city of Saint- Petersburg as a place to settle, put in mind its noise levels that are incredibly high! The city ranks pretty high up the list of cities with high noise pollution. It comes right after cities considered insanely noisy and practically deafening such as Istanbul, Moscow, and Paris.

9. The City of Saint- Petersburg hosts the world’s deepest metro

Saint Petersburg Metro- by Ninara- Wikimedia Commons

As the City of Saint- Petersburg was built on a swampy area, the subway tunnels had to be laid under the bedrock if they were to be structurally sound. This makes the City of Saint Petersburg metro the deepest in the world, at approximately 70-80 meters deep.

Other deep subways are found only in Kiev and North Korea, which were built this way in case a war broke out.

10. The City of Saint- Petersburg hosts Russia’s first public museum

Kunstkamera Museum- by Florstein – Wikimedia Commons

The Kunstkamera museum in the City of Saint- Petersburg was the first public museum in Russia. It was built in 1714, and has gone on to become the most famous museum of anthropology and ethnography in Russia- it had to be, with its collection of over a million expositions of the ethnographic and historical features of the world’s people.

11. The City of Saint- Petersburg is rich in museums

Stieglitz Academy and Museums- by Andrey Filippov – Wikimedia Commons

When a city holds a festival just for museums then you know museums are a big deal therein. The city of Saint- Petersburg has many museums, with a total count of 300! The museums are as diverse as can be- there are food and drinks industry museums, museum parks and gardens, religious museums, war and military museums among others.

12. Russia’s first railway was built in Saint- Petersburg

Tsarskoye Selo Railway Station- Wikimedia Commons

The first Russian Railway is called Tsarskoe Selo and was built in 1837. The City of Saint Petersburg had the privilege of hosting this passenger railway that plied the Saint- Petersburg, Tsarskoe Selo, and Pavlovsk routes.

13. The City of Saint- Petersburg has been prone to flooding

1903 Saint Petersburg floods- Wikimedia Commons

The City of Saint- Petersburg is susceptible to flooding due to its demography and has experienced at least 288 floods in its 314- year history.  To help hold back the floods, a dam was constructed and completed in 2011.

14. The Chizhik- Pyzhik statue of Saint- Peterburg is prized

Chizhik-Pyzhik sculpture- by GAlexandrova- Wikimedia Commons

The Chizhik- Pyzhik is a small statue of a bird named so in reference to a famous comic song. As odd as it may seem, this statue has survived theft numerous times due to the legend attached to it- it supposedly makes wishes come true!  The bird has however been returned to its spot on a stone embankment of the Fontaka tributary every time.

15. The Saint- Petersburg Hermitage has a distinctive cat legacy

Hermitage Cat- by ewwl- Wikimedia Commons

You are highly unlikely to see a rodent at the Winter Palace. This is due to the influx of cats found there. They are ‘officially’ in the employ of the palace.

With the many cats getting born at the palace thus high numbers of the same, the museum director in 2014 introduced a cat limit of 50. The extra cats were to be adopted to good homes, by owners who had to qualify for the adoption! They had to pass an interview and prove that they could be trusted. If successful, the new owners got a special certificate verifying the special status of their new pet.

16. The City of Saint- Petersburg is Russia’s coffee capital

Coffee House in Summer Garden Saint- Petersburg- by GAlexandrova- Wikimedia Commons

For the ultimate coffee experience, visit the City of Saint- Petersburg where you are bound to bump into a coffee shop at every corner. These shops do not offer just any drab kind of coffee but have a huge variety of coffee blends. You might want to pop into the Coffee Room, which is very popular among the locals for that ultimate Saint- Petersburg coffee experience.

17. The City of Saint- Petersburg holds the only two-point support equestrian monument in the world

Monument to St. Nicholas 1- by Ad Meskens- Wikimedia Commons

The monument to Nicholas I is found on St. Isaacs’s square in Saint- Petersburg. It was designed by Auguste de Montferrand and sculpted by, among others, Peter Klodt. This monument is made out of bronze and has only two points of support- these are near the hooves of the horse.

18. Saint- Petersburg is a theatre city

Hermitage Museum by night- by kuhnmi- Wikimedia Commons

The City of Saint- Petersburg esteems theatre, and holds an annual theatre festival dubbed ‘The Night of Museums Festival’. This festival is international and it invites visitors to visit museums at night, setting the stage for an unusual but pleasurable experience. This night usually coincides with the International Museum Day that takes place in 42 European Countries.

Saint- Petersburg has at least 70 theatres and nearly 300 museums.

19. The City of Saint- Petersburg hosts many annual events

Band performs at a bar during Little Autumn Festival- by Alexey Komarov- Wikimedia Commons

There will always be something you can attend or participate in when you visit Saint- Petersburg throughout the year! Saint- Petersburg is quite a busy city. At least 20 international art festivals and 80 musical and theatrical festivals take place in Saint- Petersburg each year.

20. The City of Saint- Petersburg experiences peculiar dusks

Nighttime during Saint- Petersburg ‘White Nights’- by Deror_avi – Wikimedia Commons

‘White nights’ in Saint- Petersburg are experienced when the days are very long such that the sun shines till midnight! Thereafter it sets and rises from 3 am to 4 am. This means that you will not experience dark nights in Saint- Petersburg in May, June, and July.

 

The City of Saint- Petersburg’s architecture earned it a spot on the list of one of the most splendid and congenial cities in Europe. Additionally, its historic district was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. This city has gained status as Russia’s unofficial cultural capital. It is neck to neck with Moscow as the most European city and would be a joy to visit.