St. Petersburg is a relatively new city, founded in 1703. When it was nine years old it became the capital of Russia and retained this status till 1918. Even now it is referred to as the "Northern capital" of Russia.
Over 300 years of its history St. Petersburg accumulated all the grandeur of the Russian Imperial Court and became one of the largest centres of culture, science and industry. Created by Peter the Great as a sea port on the Baltic it was essentially "a window to the West" for Russia, combining the best of the West and the East.