What if I tell you that St Petersburg has many names? What names can you remember? Below is a brief historical overview of how the city’s called!

Saint Petersburg

Since 1703 till 1914 the city had a name in the memory of St Pete, although many people suggest it was called so in honor of Peter the Great. Historically this name is related to the foundation of Russian Empire. This name was returned in 1991.

The Winter Palace top view


The name of the city from August 1914 to January 1924. In the time of the World War I Nicolas II decided to change the German name “Petersburg” to “Petrograd”.

North Venice

There are many bridges in Petersburg like in Venice. In XVIII century it was possible to have a gondola ride along the city’s rivers and canals.

Fontanka River

Red Leipzig

In the beginning of XX century Petersburg was known for its publishing houses. “Raduga”, “Lengiz”, “Alkonost” and others were famous for the high quality of published items. That’s why the city was compared with the book capital of Europe – Leipzig.

North Palmira

This name was given by the poets. In the era of classicism Petersburg was called Palmira in honor of the ancient trade city known for its wonderful architecture.

White nights land scape


Even Karamzin was mentioning people calling the city “Piter” instead of “Petersburg”. During the October revolution, the Bolsheviks widely used “Red Piter”. Nowadays the name “Piter” is probably the most spread.

The city of three revolutions

Three revolutions happened in royal Petersburg: Russian revolution of 1905-1907, February and October revolutions 1917. Remembering these events, in the Soviet Times the city was called the Cradle of Revolution.


The idea to change the name related to the historical event – the death of Lenin in 1924. This name is mostly associated with the Great Patriotic War, although official it stayed till 1991. “Leningrad” is how older generations usually call current St Petersburg.

So how many St Petersburg names did you remember?
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