St.-Petersburg is fairly considered to be one of the most wonderful European cities. The city which is often called "the northern capital" of Russia and which has celebrated its tercentenary is not only a museum on the open air, but also the true embodiment of last three hundred years of the Russian history. Having seen out 11 emperors, dozens of water floods, revolution, three-year blockade and an economic reform, Petersburg is willing to surprise even the most tempted tourist. St.-Petersburg is the most northern of the largest cities of the world. The square of the city makes 606 sq. km, and with suburbs-1439 sq. km. The fact that the city is situated on high altitude refers to the phenomenon of the white nights. The white nights period starts with the 25-26th of May, when evening twilight almost merge with the morning. The longest day (18 h. 53 minutes) usually happens to be on the 21-22st of June; the white nights period comes to an end on the 16-17th of July. Duration of the white nights period in total is more than 50 days.
       The main waterway of a city is the Neva River. It takes its name from the Nevo lake (the Ladoga Lake was called so in the ancient time) from which it takes the beginning. The water surface makes the tenth part of the square of the city. Besides the Neva River the considerable influence on city formation is made by the numerous rivers and channels (there are 53 of them). Through them 308 bridges (taking into account suburban bridges – more than 534) are thrown. Among them 22 are getting drawn. The city is located on 47 islands of the Neva River delta. The biggest of them are the Vasilevsky and the Petrogradsky islands.
      Quite often the water floods occur in the city. Usually they happen in the autumn, when there are storm western winds. For all the time of existence of the city the Neva River rose above the usual level for more than 300 times. The population of St.-Petersburg makes about 5 million people. Having started to grow on the coast of the Neva River round the fortress which was founded in 1703, already in 1712 the city at Peter’s the First dictate became the capital of the immense empire. It remained a capital for two centuries. Throughout its history the city has changed its name not for once: St.-Petersburg — Petrograd — Leningrad... Today the city is the second city of the country in largeness and value, an art treasury, the city-museum which has kept amazing creations of genius architects. Greatness of the deep Neva River, solemnity of its granite quays, vastness of the squares and outlooks of prospects, smooth surfaces of channels and patterns of fencings, grace of palaces and spread of architectural ensembles which are of grandiose conception, an intense rhythm of a modern city — all this creates unforgettable shape of one of the most beautiful cities of the world. Under UNESCO decision St.-Petersburg is declared to be a city-monument of the world culture.