May 01, 2003

21 Slices of St. Petersburg Life

What is there left to write about St. Petersburg? It would seem that everything has been written 150 million times over the last 300 years. It was St. Petersburg, Petrograd, Leningrad and again St. Petersburg; the city’s name is as changeable as its unpredictable weather. 

And yet it is always “Piter.”

Our city was founded by a reformist Russian tsar amidst Finnish swamps, to be filled with strange Italian, French and German architecture that imitates pagan Greek shrines. It was populated forcibly by citizens who never wanted to live in the swamp that became our window on Europe — Russia’s unwitting cultural capital. 

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