Founded by its namesake Peter the Great, Saint Petersburg was established with the intention of providing a window into Western Europe. It was founded with the purpose of creating an urban centre to rival the best in Europe. Widely considered to be Russia’s most beautiful city, Saint Petersburg functioned as Russia’s capital until the overthrow of the monarchy. It is often cited as Russia’s cultural capital, as home to a number of prestigious museums, the most notable of which being the monolithic State Hermitage Museum, the world’s second-largest after the Louvre in Paris.
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