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By 1716 the Swiss Italian Domenico Trezzini had elaborated a project whereby the city centre would be located on Vasilyevsky Island and shaped by a rectangular grid of canals.

The project was not completed, but is evident in the layout of the streets.

During its first few years, the city developed around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress.

However, Saint Petersburg soon started to be built out according to a plan.

Many monuments commemorate the Russian victory over Napoleonic France in the Patriotic War of 1812, including the Alexander Column by Montferrand, erected in 1834, and the Narva Triumphal Gate.

Saint Petersburg surpassed Moscow in population and industrial growth; it developed as one of the largest industrial cities in Europe, with a major naval base (in Kronstadt), river and sea port.An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject (a federal city). In 1914, the name was changed from Saint Petersburg to Petrograd (Russian: The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, it was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on May 27 [O. Saint Petersburg is home to The Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world.), meaning "Lenin's City". 6, 1991, the original name, Sankt-Peterburg, was returned. Petersburg." Local residents often refer to the city by its nickname, Piter.But four years later, in 1732, under Empress Anna of Russia, Saint Petersburg was again designated as the capital of the Russian Empire.It remained the seat of the Romanov dynasty and the Imperial Court of the Russian Tsars, as well as the seat of the Russian government, for another 186 years until the communist revolution of 1917.

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