Saint Petersburg is a city of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city`s other names were Petrograd (1914–1924) and Leningrad (1924–1991). Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on 27 May, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713–1728, 1732–1918). It is Russia`s second largest and Europe`s third largest city after Moscow and London.
The city has 4.6 million inhabitants, and over 6 million people live in its vicinity.
Saint Petersburg is a major European cultural centre, and an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea. Saint Petersburg is often described as the most Western city of Russia. Among cities of the world with over one million people, Saint Petersburg is the northernmost. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Russia`s political and cultural centre for 200 years, the city is sometimes referred by Russians as the northern capital. A large number of foreign consulates, international corporations, banks and other businesses are located in Saint Petersburg.
Saint Petersburg experiences a humid continental climate of the cool summer subtype, due to the distinct moderating influence of the Baltic Sea cyclons. With cool, humid and short summers and long, cold winters, the city is just short of having a subarctic climate. The average daily temperature in July is 22 °C (72 °F); summer maximum is about 34 °C (93 °F), winter minimum is about −35 °C (−31 °F). The record low temperature is −35.9 °C (−33 °F), recorded in 1883. The average annual temperature is +5.4 °C (42 °F).