Евреи Петербурга. Три века истории


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Saint-Petersburg was and is a very special place. It doesn't resemble any other Russian city. Established by Peter I in 1703 as a fortress in the Northern War against the Swedish, it became in nine short years the capital of the Russian Empire. A window to the West, St. Petersburg stood as a challenge to the rest of Russia which was still cloaked in the traditions of the middle ages.
Dostoyevsky called St. Petersburg "the most well thought-out city in the world". Russians and foreigners, representatives of all nationalities and religions could be found working side by side, transforming the grandiose plans of Peter the Great into reality.Map of Saint Petersburg. Beginning of the 18th  century
The idea for the creation of such a city first came to Peter during his stay in Holland as a member of the Great Embassy.
After seeing the bridges and canals of Amsterdam Peter said: "If God gives me a long life I want to build a second Amsterdam in Russia". The founding of the new city, Saint-Petersburg, named not after Peter as is frequently assumed but after his patron saint Saint Peter, became to a certain extent the realization of this dream. Peter always remained fond of Holland and the culture and traditions of that country. Some of them he introduced in Russia, particularly in its new capital.Peter dressed like a Dutchman
Petersburg started its development as the first European city in Russia. Its construction followed a unique plan and it was forbidden to build wooden houses there. All the buildings had to be erected with brick and stone. That is why Peter the Great imposed a special tax - all the ships sailing up to the city (and in that epoch Petersburg was the only port in Russia) had to pay a tax formulated on the basis of a determined number of stones.
By Peter's order many builders, stone-masons and carpenters were brought to the future capital from throughout the country "for permanent settlement" in order to construct the new city. The architectural lay-out of the city was planned by the italian architect Domenico Trezzini. He not only constructed the buildings for his own projects (Saint Peter and Paul's Cathedral, the building of the twelve Colleges and others) but supervised the construction of the entire city.Peter and Paul fortress

Map of Saint Petersburg. Beginning of the 18th  century
Peter dressed like a Dutchman
Peter and Paul fortress

Map of Saint Petersburg. Beginning of the 18th century