The center, built on the directives of Russian rulers, features a unique architecture that blends architectural styles (Baroque, Neoclassical) acclimated in an original way by architects often of Italian origin. With elegant canals and imposing Neva River, the bridges are raised at night to let boats pass, the city has naturally attracted comparisons with Venice (the city’s beauty combined with its channel system have earned it the nickname "Venice of the North"). Petersburg holds invaluable artistic and cultural treasures.
The city has been on the list of UNESCO World Heritage since 1990. Petersburg has changed names several times: it was renamed Petrograd from 1914 to 1924 and Leningrad from 1924 to 1991 before returning to its original name after a referendum in 1991. One can spend days at the Hermitage Museum contemplating Egyptian mummies and Picasso paintings.
Built on an uninhabited swamp, the imperial capital is now a grand metropolis, whose majesty continues to dazzle visitors. For nightlife, the long summer days when the sun goes down just below the horizon, the "White Nights" are legendary.
The festivities begin in May, with the arrival of spring.
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