Poor boroughs spontaneously emerged on the outskirts of the city.
Saint Petersburg surpassed Moscow in population and industrial growth; it developed as one of the largest industrial cities in Europe, with a major naval base (in Kronstadt), river and sea port.
An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject (a federal city). During the periods 1713–17–1918, Saint Petersburg was the capital of Imperial Russia.
Situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, it was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May [O. In 1918, the central government bodies moved to Moscow, The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Baroque architecture became dominant in the city during the first sixty years, culminating in the Elizabethan Baroque, represented most notably by Italian Bartolomeo Rastrelli with such buildings as the Winter Palace.
In the 1760s, Baroque architecture was succeeded by neoclassical architecture.
The city's traditional nicknames among Russians are the Window to the West and the Window to Europe. Petersburg is often called the Venice of the North or Russian Venice due to its many water corridors, as the city is built on swamp and water. Petersburg has strongly European-inspired architecture and culture, which is combined with the city's Russian heritage. Petersburg is The City of White Nights because of a natural phenomenon which arises due to the closeness to the polar region and ensures that in summer the nights of the city do not get completely dark for a month.