Situated in the far northwest of Russia, St. Petersburg (known as Leningrad under the Soviets) was for a long time the country's capital. Today it is a fascinating mix of Baroque buildings and palaces, Russian-style churches, and mass-produced Soviet architecture. The people of St. Petersburg seem more cheerful than Moscow's residents; the city is settling well into its new role as a major financial center.
Pictured above are a view of the city from the dome of St. Isaac's Cathedral; a park near the Admiralty; Dom Knigi, the city's largest bookstore; the famous Bronze Horseman, a portrait of Peter the Great; and an example of the monolithic Soviet-era apartment blocks littering the city.
One of St. Petersburg's most notable features is the network of canals cutting through the city, and the more than 100 bridges that cross them. Many of the bridges feature intricate endpieces, such as the griffins on a bridge over the Griboyedov Canal pictured above. Evidently cars sometimes plunge in, as there are warning signs posted near the canals.
St. Petersburg is situated on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, and there is a port on the gulf where commercial and passenger ships can be found. Pictured above are an advertisement on the side of one of the port buildings and a man-sized replica of an American icon on the waterfront.
Two of the most popular attractions of the city are the Winter Palace, now the site of the world-famous Hermitage Museum, and the statue-lined Summer Garden, strolling grounds of the tsars. One approach to the Winter Palace is through the archway of the General Staff building, across the square from the Winter Palace. Palace Square is dominated by the 156-foot-high Alexander Column, built to commemorate the victory over Napoleon.
To the list of places