Cultural capital of Russia, the brainchild of Peter, Venice of the North - those are the most popular nicknames of Saint Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia. Few cities in the world can boast so many attractions, museum collections, opera and drama theaters, parks and monuments, mansions and palaces.
St. Petersburg's literary and musical heritage is no less outstanding - the number of writers, poets and composers who worked enthusiastically on its misty shores amazes even the most daring imagination.
Along with Paris, Rome and Venice, St. Petersburg is listed by UNESCO as a city whose entire historic center is taken under the patronage. Among other things, there are temples of 42 faiths, including an amazing mosque with a porcelain dome, Europe's only Buddhist monastery and one of the most beautiful chapels of the Malta order.
Saint Petersburg is a "city of bridges". Sixty-eight rivers, canals and streams cross the city in different directions, forming forty two islands in its territory. Now there are 580 bridges in St. Petersburg and its suburbs, including 20 drawbridges.
The special atmosphere of St. Petersburg - that's what distinguishes this city from many others. Whenever you come to St. Petersburg, no matter what the weather is like - rain or scorching heat, slush or frost - the city will always warm you with its breath, soothe your soul and inspire hope.