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The splendid baroque-style buildings are full of magnificence and romance.

As the second largest city in Russia, St. Petersburg is situated on the middle taiga lowlands along
the shores of the Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland, and islands of the river delta.
St. Petersburg has a rich and exciting history, full of dramatic events and major historical figures.
Emperor Peter the Great founded the city in 1703 as his "window on the West" and moved the capital from
Moscow to St. Petersburg in 1712. It acted as the political, economic, cultural and financial center for the
next 200 years.

St. Petersburg has significant historical and cultural heritage and is thus considered a highly attractive
tourist destination. A city of palaces and museums, broad avenues and winding canals, St. Petersburg's history
has endowed the city with a wealth of architectural and artistic treasures. Alongside world-famous attractions
such as the Hermitage, St. Isaac's Cathedral and the Mariinsky Theater, the city has scores of known and
fascinating sights that reveal both the pomp and extravagance of St. Petersburg's political and imperial past,
and also the mysterious, tragic genius that has touched so many of the city's great artists and writers.

The world-famous imperial palaces in the city's suburbs are a showcase for the wealth and tastes of
the Emperors of Russia from Peter the Great onwards, these extraordinary estates boast sumptuous palaces,
extensive landscape gardens, and a treasury of art and history. The Catherine Palace is named after Catherine I,
the wife of Peter the Great.. The Catherine Palace owes its awesome grandeur and was the summer residence
of the Russian tsars. The Amber Room is a world famous chamber decorated in amber panels backed with
gold leaf and mirrors, located in the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo near Saint Petersburg. Originally
constructed in the 18th century, the Amber Room disappeared during World War II and was recreated in
2003. Before the room was lost, it was considered an "Eighth Wonder of the World".


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