The mouth of the Neva River ends at a strategic location at the Gulf of Finland
Peter the Great wanted access
to the Baltic Sea and beyond. So in May 1703 he captured the Swedish fort Nyenskans and built a new deep water seaport
Kronstadt on Kotlin Island.
He also constructed the Peter and Paul Fortress a few km upstream the Neva. A
new town called Saint Petersburg was build around this fort.
In 1712 the city became capital of Imperial Russia
at the expense of Moskou. In 1714 construction was started for a summer palace complex at Petergof. This place
is now known as Peterhof.
The 1905 Russian Revolution started in Saint Petersburg and caused thousands of casualties
but the Romanovs clinged to the power.
Anti German sentiments led in 1914 to change the city's name in Petrograd.
The revolutions of 1917 starting again in Petrograd and led to the collapse of the Russian Empire and the beginning
of the Soviet Union.
The name changed to Leningrad in 1924.
The Seige of Leningrad by the German forces in 1941-1944, with the
harsh winters, proved extremely lethal to the citizens but the city was never captured.
After the collapse of the Soviet
Union the city changed its name back to St Petersburg in 1991.