Yes, that was the name of St. Petersburg under communism. It was called Petrograd from 1914–1924 and Leningrad from 1924–1991. Founded by Tsar Peter the Great on May 27, 1703, it was capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1712-1728, 1732-1918). St. Petersburg ceased being the capital in 1918 after the Russian Revolution of 1917.

St. Isaac's Cathedral was built to be the main church of the Russian Empire. The cathedral was under construction for 40 years (1818-1858), and was decorated in the most elaborate way possible.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan was constructed between 1801 and 1811. After the war of 1812 (during which Napoleon was defeated) the church became a monument to Russian victory. The Bolsheviks closed the cathedral for services in 1929, and from 1932 it housed the collections of the Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism for anti-religious propaganda purposes.

Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, also called The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood (1883–1907), is a monument in the old Russian style which marks the spot of Alexander II's assassination. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been resanctified and does not function as a full-time place of worship.

The original Admiralty was one of the first structures to be built in St Petersburg and was designed to be a dockyard. The Admiralty building we see today was built between 1806 and 1823 in Russian Empire style. The Admiralty was Russia’s Naval Headquarters until 1917, and now serves as a naval college.

Alexander Column in Palace Square was erected after the Russian victory in the war with Napoleon's France. Centered on the massive building circling the southern perimeter of Palace Square is this representation of the classical Triumphal Arch. At one time, the building was the headquarters for the former Imperial Army General Staff, It was built between the years 1819 and 1829.

The Rococo Winter Palace is now part of the Hermitage Museum

The Catherine Palace is the Rococo summer residence of the Russian tsars, located in Pushkin about 25 km from St. Petersburg. The residence originated in 1717, when Catherine I of Russia engaged the German architect Johann-Friedrich Braunstein to construct a summer palace for her pleasure. However, Empress Elizabeth had it demolished in 1756 and replaced with one in the Rococo style. Upon Catherine the Great's death in 1796, the palace was abandoned in favour of the Pavlovsk Palace. On June 9, 1918, the Catherine Palace was opened as a museum. When the German military forces retreated after the siege of Leningrad, they had the residence intentionally destroyed. It is still in the process of being rebuilt and renovated.

We got tickets for the ballet in St. Petersburg. Tanya and I only managed to bag two tickets from scalpers outside the theatre (actually, they didn't charge more than the normal price). Gil stayed outside but the "administrator" felt sorry for him and let him in. They found us by standing on the czar's balcony at intermission. It was very hot in there and the ballet was the longest I've ever endured.
  • Statue of Peter the Great
  • St. Isaac's Cathedral
  • Tower and spire of the Admiralty
  • Kazan Cathedral
  • Cathedral of the Resurrection