Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербург (help·info), tr. Sankt-Peterburg, IPA [sankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk, sankt pʲətʲerˈburk]) 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 were Petrograd (Russian: Петроград, IPA [pʲɪtrɐˈgrat], 1914–1924) and Leningrad (Russian: Ленинград, IPA [lʲɪnʲɪnˈgrat], 1924–1991). It is often called just Petersburg (Russian: Петербург, IPA [pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk]) and is informally known as Piter (Russian: Питер, IPA [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. It is Russia's second largest city after Moscow 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. 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. Russia's political and cultural centre for 200 years, the city is sometimes referred to in Russia as the northern capital. A large number of foreign consulates, international corporations, banks and other businesses are located in Saint Petersburg.
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