Happy Birthday Saint Petersburg
In May 2003, the world celebrates the 300th Anniversary of the founding of St. Petersburg, Russia by Tsar Peter the Great. Peter's fascination with Europe and his hope to bring Russia into a more modern world led him to bring western architects and builders to craft his dream city on the Neva River. Each Russian ruler left his/her own imprint on St. Petersburg and continued Peter's dream of modernization.
Despite its European influences, there was no doubt that St. Petersburg was a Russian city with its numerous Orthodox churches, artistic life, strict court rituals and its working population. St. Petersburg has survived floods, fires, famines, revolution, name changes, a capital change to Moscow, siege, and war. Amazingly, it has triumphed over any adversity. The city has never been more beautiful as it celebrates its birthday during its jubilee week of May 25 - June 1, 2003.
In the words of Russia's beloved poet Alexander Pushkin,
"I love thee, Peter's proud creation,
-excerpt from the poem "The Bronze Horseman," 1833.
Aerial view of St. Petersburg, Russia with the Fortress of Saints Peter and Paul in the foreground. Original design of the fortress was by General Joseph Gaspar Lambert de Guerin, 1703-1740. The fortress is the oldest building in the city, with its foundation laid on 27 May 1703. The complex held a garrison, mint, cathedral and a prison. Visible in the lower center of the photograph is the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, designed by architect Domenico Tresini, 1712-1733. Since Peter the Great, all Russian tsars and tsarinas are buried in the Cathedral. With its spire reaching 404 feet, the cathedral is the tallest building in the city.
Exhibition Photos Credits