Saint Petersburg (Russian : Санкт Петербу́рг) is the second largest city in Russia. It is 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. It was named Saint Petersburg in 1703. In 1914 the name of the city was changed from Saint Petersburg to Petrograd (Russian: Петрогра́д), in 1924 to Leningrad (Russian: Ленингра́д), 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 "Peter": Russian: Питер (Piter).
Tsar Peter the Great founded Saint Petersburg on May 27 [O.S. 16] 1703. Between 1713–1728 and 1732–1918 Saint Petersburg functioned as the imperial capital of Russia. In 1918 the central government bodies moved from Saint Petersburg (then named Petrograd) to Moscow. It is Russia's second-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.
Saint Petersburg is often described as the most Westernized city of Russia, as well as its cultural capital. It is the northernmost city in the world. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is home to The Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. A large number of foreign consulates, international corporations, banks, and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg.
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