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History of the name of the city

Saint Petersburg as well as the original (Dutch) form of the official name of Sankt Pieter Burch from the day of the city's Foundation on may 16 (27), 1703 to August 18 (31), 1914; in honor of the Apostle Peter, the patron Saint of Peter I. Originally, this was the name of the fortress, founded in mid-may 1703 on hare island, soon the name spread to the entire city. In unofficial usage, the city was called St. Petersburg, and colloquially-Peter.

On August 18 (31), 1914, after Russia entered the First world war, Emperor Nicholas II announced the change of the city's name from the foreign Saint Petersburg to Petrograd, as a more Patriotic name and in order to avoid any undesirable associations. Now the name of the capital was no longer associated with the Holy Apostle Peter, only with its founder, the Emperor Peter I. Previously, it was found both in fiction (A. S. Pushkin) and in the names of some institutions (Petrograd old believers ' diocese). Nevertheless, in everyday life, the name took root very poorly, and even in the early 1920s, many people continued to call the city St. Petersburg in everyday speech.

On January 26, 1924, the II all-Union Congress of Soviets of the USSR granted the request of the Petrograd Soviet (initiative of Grigory Zinoviev) and renamed Petrograd by its resolution to Leningrad in honor of V. I. Lenin, one of the organizers of the October revolution of 1917, the founder and leader of the Soviet state (RSFSR, USSR), who died five days before.

In a survey conducted on June 12, 1991, 54.86 % of the townspeople who participated in it were in favor of returning the city to its original name. By decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR dated September 6, 1991, No. 1643-I, the city was returned the name of Saint Petersburg. However, until February 1992, a number of educational institutions continued to be called Leningrad . On April 21, 1992, the Congress of people's deputies of the Russian Federation introduced the returned name of the city in article 71 of the Constitution of the RSFSR. This amendment entered into force from the moment of publication in Rossiyskaya Gazeta on may 16, 1992. The main initiator, who played a decisive role in returning the city to its original name, was the mayor of the city A. A. Sobchak, who later considered this case his most significant political achievement, which is immortalized on the monument to him installed in 2006. He hoped that his city would become a new banking, trade, tourist and cultural center in the Baltic sea, and was optimistic about the possibility of moving the capital of the new Russia to St. Petersburg.

During the 1990s and at the beginning of the XXI century, the name Leningrad continues to appear in the speech of some older people. At the same time, this name is found among young people of Communist and Pro-Soviet views, and is also mentioned in culture (for example, in the name of the group "Leningrad"). The former name is preserved in the names of some organizations.

Unofficial names of the city

  • The Northern capital (or the Second capital of Russia), so often called St. Petersburg, remembering its pre-revolutionary status and taking into account the current status of the city of Federal significance
  • SPb. by abbreviation, the official bibliographic abbreviation of the city's name
  • Cultural capital
  • City on Neva
  • >City of white nights
  • Peter is an abbreviated name from Saint Petersburg, one of the oldest unofficial names of the city
  • Northern Venice is a figurative comparison with Venice, due to the large number of rivers and canals, as well as the architecture
  • Lenin city — a semi-official name in Soviet times (found, in particular, on posters of the great Patriotic war)
  • Cradle (city) of the three revolutions-semi-official, associated with the key role of the city in the revolutionary events of 1905-1907 and 1917
  • Nevograd — the name of the city among the old believers, since the settlement of old believers in St. Petersburg in the XVIII century. Now some periodicals put the place of publication not in Saint Petersburg, but in Nevograd (Notice Of the Russian Council of the old Orthodox Church of Pomerania. - Nevograd, 1991). Also, the local Pomeranian old believer community is informally called Nevskaya
  • A window to Europe, this epithet became popular after it was used by Alexander Pushkin in the introduction to the poem "the Bronze horseman" (1833). Pushkin himself, however, borrowed this image from the Italian philosopher and critic Francesco Algarotti
  • Criminal capital — the name that came into use after the release of the TV series "Bandit Petersburg"