Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg (from 1914 to 1924 - Petrograd; from 1924 to 1991 - Leningrad)  is the administrative centre of the Northwestern Federal District, the seat of the Constitutional Court of Russia (since 2008). Saint Petersburg has a single-chamber legislature, the Saint Petersburg Legislative Assembly.

On 1 May 1703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured the Swedish fortress of Nyenskans on the Neva river in Ingria. Looking for a site for his new fortress Peter the Great chose the Island of Enisaari (Hare's Island), which was known to the Russians as Zayachii ostrov. Plan of the future fortress was designed by Peter I.On May 16 1703 (May, 27 by the modern calendar) St. Petersburg's fortress (the Peter and Paul Fortress) was founded and that day became the official birthday of the city. Several days later a wooden Cabin of Peter the Great was built, and became the first residential building in the new city.

Saint Petersburg was the capital of the Russian Empire from 1713 to 1918. It is called a hero city.
Saint Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia. Its population is 4 848 700. Among cities of the world with over one million people, Saint Petersburg is the northernmost. Among the cities, fully situated in Europe, St.Petersburg is the third by population and the first city by number which is not a capital. St.Petersburg is a very important economic, scientific and cultural center of Russia, it is also a large traffic center. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the main tourism centers in Russia.

Saint Petersburg has a humid continental climate of the cool summer subtype. Distinct moderating influence of the Baltic Sea cyclones result in warm, humid and short summers and long, cold winters. The total inflow of the solar radiation here is 1,5 times less than in the south of Ukraine and 2 times less than in Central Asia. On average there are 62 sunny days during the year. So almost the most part of the year the weather is cloudy and dull. The length of the day in St. Petersburg changes from 5 hours 51 minutes on 22 December to 18 hours 50 minutes on 22 June. There are also so-called white nights, which begin on 25-26 May and end on 16-17 July.  In general the duration of white nights is 50 days. In summer west and northwestern winds are prevailing while in winter west and southwestern ones. The average daily temperature in July is 22 °C ; maximum about 37 °C occurred during the 2010 Northern Hemisphere summer heat wave. The winter minimum is about -35 °C , a minimum at -35.9 °C  was recorded in 1883. The average annual temperature is +5.4 °C.  Air humidity is 78% on average, while overcast is 165 days a year on average.

There are 50 state educational institutions, more than 50 private universities and 18 military universities, functioning in S. Petersburg.

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