Saint Petersburg, between myth and reality

Laura Zumin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Built from nothing at all by Tsar Peter the Great as an essential part of his ambitious modernising project, Saint Petersburg was the capital of the Russian Empire during the XVII and XIX centuries, the «window open to Europe» and a great cultural laboratory. The circumstances of its foundation and its urban characteristics alien to Russian tradition converted it at a very early stage into a city myth and city symbol. These notes review the process of the construction of Saint Petersburg under the Romanov dynasty and contribute elements for the interpretation of this city that, in May 2003, celebrated its 300th anniversary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-156
JournalDocuments d' Analisi Geografica
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • City myth
  • City symbol
  • European urbanism
  • Modernisation
  • Peter the Great
  • Saint Petersburg
  • Urban history
  • literature

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