What’s the plan on St Petersburg’s B-Day this year?

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On May 27, 1703 at the entry of the Neva river, Peter the Great established a fortress, that was meant to protect the Russian lands on Gulf of Finland. Rapid development on the adjacent lands began immediately, and soon The Admiralty, the trade port, residential quarters and palaces for nobility were built.

Peter personally took part in designing the city’s avenues and squares and supervised construction of embankments, roads, shipyards and drainage of wetlands. This year St. Petersburg celebrates its 315th Anniversary since the day it was founded. 

But officially it became a city and a capital only 9 years later: in 1712. Many people think that it bears the name of the Great Emperor, although it was actually called in honor of St. Peter.  

Curiously, through years this city has been nicknamed and renamed quite some times: Northern Palmyra, Northern Venice, Petrograd, Piter, the Cultural capital, the Northern capital and Window to Europe.

The official celebration begins on May, 20  with a choral concert on Palace square. But the main events fall on the 26-27th of May weekend, so if you have your trip planned on these dates, you got really lucky.

As usually, the city’s anniversary brings together classic and contemporary music and arts. For many years now the main city’s square becomes a stage for “Classics at the Palace Square” concert, which is now known in many countries and already became a business card of the city.

This year will not be an exclusion, so be sure to make your way up to Palace Square, as there you may see the world opera and symphonic stars with your own eyes completely free of charge (the list of performers is kept in secret yet).

On the 26th of May night right after “Classics at the Palace Square”, the “Singing bridges” performance will be taking place at Admiralty embankment, where the city’s famous bridges will be opened accompanied by live symphonic orchestra.

And surely, no B-day is complete without a firework, which will traditionally take place above Neva’s waters and Peter and Paul Fortress.  

On the 27th of May at 10am you may contemplate solemn ceremony on Senate square where city’s authorities and citizens together will lay flowers to Bronze Horseman monument. This year it is an open event, while before it was a limited circle of people.

Apart from official gala events there will be a whole bunch of parades going on Nevsky Avenue. Retro cars, bikers and circus artists will march along the main stretch.

On the spit of Vasilievsky island you may enjoy folk performance “Ball of Nations”, while on Ostrovsky square Ice-cream festival is taking place the whole weekend. So, enjoy every second of the celebration and take the best of it!

P.S. If you have some concerns about safety and security in the city during such a massive event, we recommend you reading our article Is it safe to visit Russia? , where we tackled the issue of security at the massive city and state celebrations.

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