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Swedish colonists built Nyenskans, a fortress at the mouth of the Neva River in 1611, in what was then called Ingermanland, which was inhabited by Finnic tribe of Ingrians. At the end of the 17th century, Peter the Great, who was very interested in seafaring and maritime affairs, wanted Russia to gain a seaport in order to trade with Europe. 1] 1703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured Nyenskans Later, the city became the centre of the Saint Petersburg Governorate.

He needed a better seaport than the country's main one at the time, Arkhangelsk, which was on the White Sea in the far north and closed to shipping during the winter. Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712, 9 years before the Treaty of Nystad of 1721 ended the war; he referred to Saint Petersburg as the capital (or seat of government) as early as 1704.

Established in 1762, the Commission of Stone Buildings of Moscow and Saint Petersburg ruled that no structure in the city can be higher than the Winter Palace and prohibited spacing between buildings.

During the reign of Catherine the Great in the 1760s–1780s, the banks of the Neva were lined with granite embankments.

In 1716, Peter the Great appointed Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond as the chief architect of Saint Petersburg.

The style of Petrine Baroque, developed by Trezzini and other architects and exemplified by such buildings as the Menshikov Palace, Kunstkamera, Peter and Paul Cathedral, Twelve Collegia, became prominent in the city architecture of the early 18th century.

referring to the three major developments in the political history of Russia of the early 20th-century.But four years later, in 1732, under Empress Anna of Russia, Saint Petersburg was again designated as the capital of the Russian Empire.It remained the seat of the Romanov dynasty and the Imperial Court of the Russian Tsars, as well as the seat of the Russian government, for another 186 years until the communist revolution of 1917.meaning "Peter's City", to remove the German words Sankt and Burg.In March 1917, during the February Revolution Nicholas II abdicated both for himself and on behalf of his son, ending the Russian monarchy and over three hundred years of Romanov dynastic rule.

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