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XVIII century

XVIII century

The foundation of Saint-Petersburg

The Emperor Peter I educated in Europe and was distant from the Old Russia with its concilliar nature and slow tempo of life. He wanted to change Russia and began the reorganization from the building of a new city. The fortress Saint-Petersburg was founded on the Hare Island on the 27 of May 1703. It was located at the territory that was won from the Swede in the Northern War. It is interesting that Petersburg was a peculiar hack because it was the only one capital in the world that was built at the enemy territory.The construction of Petersburg, called in the name of St. Apostle Peter, began from the erecting of St. Peter and Paul?s fortress. It must protect the city from foreign aggressors. The construction of Petersburg was in progress outside the walls of the fortress. Peter I engaged foreign engineers and architects who projected the planning of the city. The Emperor wanted to create a new city as soon as possible and that?s why each man, entering the city, was levied a stone tax and stone construction was forbidden all over Russia.Peter I dreamed of Petersburg as a trade, business and cultural center of Russia. In 1703 a first trade ship entered a harbour of Petersburg. The Emperor who adored sea wanted to create a powerful Russian fleet that?s why Petersburg was a suitable place for a new capital. Petersburg in contrast to Moscow had an access to the Baltic Sea. The opportunity of the construction of shipyards and port had a decisive importance to the Emperor. In 1712 the capital of the Russian Empire was carried from Moscow to pro-western Petersburg.Peter I wanted the city to have a smart appearance. Petersburg must resemble Venice and Amsterdam with their canals, bridges and accurate planning. But the plan of Peter I was realized only on Vasilievsky Island where canals were burrowed.

The development of Petersburg

In the XVIII century Petersburg was developed and broadened actively. Under the Emperor Peter I the nobles began erecting palaces and mansions in the city. The Nevsky prospect ? a main artery of the city ? was built. In 1715 the Navy Academy was opened. In 1719 the first Russian public museum ? Kunstkamera ? was established. The Academy of Sciences was created in 1724 and the State Saint-Petersburg University was founded at the same time. Since 1725 the reigns of government were in the hands of women. Under the Empress Elizabeth the baroque style prevailed in the architecture of Petersburg. The architect B.Rastrelli created the most part of the architectural ensembles of the city and its suburbs. In 1756 by the order of the Empress a first Russian theatre ? Alexandrinsky ? was created and that day was supposed to be a birthday of the professional Russian theatre. In 1757 the Academy of Arts was opened. Under the Empress Catherine II science, art and literature were developed. At that time the classicism became the main style of the architecture. Ch.Cameron and V.Brenna were the main imperial architects. In 1795 a first Public Library was created. The XVIII century completed by the reign of the Emperor Pavel I.In the XVIII century Petersburg has become a magnificent capital of the Russian Empire. Its appearance wasn?t finished but it found the features of the city that would be called the Nortern Venice.

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