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Saint Petersburg (RussianAbout this sound Санкт-Петербург (help·info)tr. Sankt-Peterburgpronounced [sankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk]) is a city and a federal subject(a federal city) of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city's other names werePetrograd (RussianПетроградIPA [pʲɪtrɐˈgrat], 1914–1924) and Leningrad (RussianЛенинградIPA [lʲɪnʲɪnˈgrat], 1924–1991). It is often called just Petersburg (RussianПетербург) and is informally known as Piter (RussianПитер [ˈpitʲɪr]).

Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on 27 May 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713–1728, 1732–1918). Saint Petersburg ceased being the capital in 1918 after the Russian Revolution of 1917.[8] It is Russia's second largest city afterMoscow with 4.6 million inhabitants, and over 6 million people live in its vicinity. Saint Petersburg is a major European cultural centre, and an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea.

Saint Petersburg is often described as the most Western city of Russia.[9] Among cities of the world with over one million people, Saint Petersburg is the northernmost. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is also home to The Hermitage, the largest art museum in the world.[10] Russia's political and cultural centre for 200 years, the city is sometimes referred to in Russia as the Northern Capital. Over its history it has also been referenced as "the Venice of the north" and the "northern Palmira". A large number of foreign consulatesinternational corporations, banks and other businesses are located in Saint Petersburg. 
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