Since St. Petersburg is the host city for this year’s World Championships, here’s a little introduction to this beautiful city:

St. Petersburg sits on the Neva rivver, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. It was founded by Tsar Peter the Great at the beginning of the 18th century.

In 1914 its name was changed to Petrograd, then Leningrad in 1924 in memory of Lenin who had recently died. During WWII, the city was under attack for 872 days, in the brutal Siege of Leningrad. In 1991, the name of the city reverted to St. Petersburg. Today the city has around 5 million inhabitants.

Some of the famous landmarks and cityscapes in St. Petersburg include: the Winter Palace which sits facing Palace Square, and which is part of the Hermitage complex (one of the largest art museums in the world), Nevsky Prospect (the city’s main avenue) and the Mariinsky Theatre (which is home to the Mariinsky Ballet, the Mariinsky Opera and the Mariinsky Orchestra).

..But there are many more palaces, parks and monuments to discover. With around two thousand libraries, over 200 museums, around 80 theatres, 100 concert organizations, and much more, the city has a wealth of culture which has not diminished over the years.

St. Petersburg can be navigated by bus, car, tram, trolleybus and metro. The waterways are navigabale via small boats, hydrofoils and water-taxis.

Over 250 Russian and international films have been filmed in St. Petersburg. If you have seen any of the following, then you have already had a glimpse of the city…GoldenEye (1995), Midnight in Saint Petersburg (1996), Brother (1997), Anna Karenina (1997), Onegin (1999) and Russian Ark (2002). Many famous Russian writers have also written about the city.