While it is the youngest of the large European cities, still, it has no equal on earth with such well-preserved architectural examples of neoclassicism, eclecticism, modernism, and retrospectivism. The city’s historical centre and the palace estates that surround the city are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
It is the world’s largest, most northern city: the 60th parallel, on which the city lies, passes through Greenland, Anchorage, Alaska, Magadan, and Oslo, the capital of Norway. The city is famed for its white nights, a major tourist attraction.
St. Petersburg has more bridges than any other city in Europe, and is runner-up in the number of canals and islands. If you include the suburbs, the city has no less than 93 rivers, tributaries, branches, and canals, 170 kilometers of coastline, 42 islands, and 800 bridges.
St. Petersburg is the largest city in Europe that is not a capital. Since the beginning of the 19th century, it has had the fourth highest population in Europe, at times exceeding Berlin, Vienna, Naples, and Moscow, but remaining behind Paris and London.
The territory under St. Petersburg’s jurisdiction totals 1,439 square kilometres. It is located next to the eastern tip of the Gulf of Finland, the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea.
Standing at the intersection of various sea, river, and land routes, St. Petersburg is Russia’s gateway to Europe and the country’s strategic centre, the point closest to the countries of the European Union. It is home to the representative offices of international organizations, consulates of various nations, and the offices of federal ministries and agencies.
St. Petersburg is the administrative centre of the Northwestern Federal District, which includes the Republic of Karelia, the Komi Republic, the Arkhangelsk Region, the Vologda Region, the Kaliningrad Region, the Leningrad Region, the Murmansk Region, the Novgorod Region, the Pskov Region, and the Nenets Autonomous Area.
It boasts 2,000 libraries, 221 museums, more than 80 theatres, 100 concert associations, 45 galleries and exhibition halls, 62 cinemas, and 80 cultural organisations. The city hosts around 100 festivals and competitions in culture and the arts each year, more than 50 of which are international.