How And When Was St. Petersburg Renamed

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How And When Was St. Petersburg Renamed
How And When Was St. Petersburg Renamed

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Video: Why Has Saint Petersburg Had So Many Names? 2022, December

St. Petersburg changed its name three times. It was Petrograd, then Leningrad, then its historical name was returned to it again. And each renaming was a kind of "mirror" of the mood in the country.

How and when was St. Petersburg renamed
How and when was St. Petersburg renamed


Step 1

Some believe that the city on the Neva got the name "St. Petersburg" in honor of its founder, Peter I. But this is not so. The Northern Capital received its name in honor of the patron saint of the first Russian emperor - the Apostle Peter. “St. Petersburg” literally means “The City of St. Peter,” and Peter the Great dreamed of founding a city in honor of his heavenly patron long before Petersburg was founded. And the geopolitical significance of the new Russian capital has enriched the name of the city with a metaphorical meaning. After all, the Apostle Peter is considered the keeper of the keys to the gates of heaven, and the Peter and Paul Fortress (it was from her in 1703 that the construction of St. Petersburg began) was called to guard the sea gates of Russia.

Step 2

The Northern Capital bore the name "St. Petersburg" for more than two centuries - until 1914, after which it was renamed "in the Russian manner" and became Petrograd. This was a political move by Nicholas II, associated with the entry of Russia into the First World War, which was accompanied by strong anti-German sentiments. It is possible that the decision to "Russify" the name of the city was influenced by the example of Paris, where German and Berlin streets were promptly renamed into Jaurès and Liege streets. The city was renamed overnight: on August 18, the emperor ordered to change the name of the city, the documents were issued immediately, and, as the newspapers wrote the next day, the townspeople "went to bed in St. Petersburg and woke up in Petrograd."

Step 3

The name "Petrograd" existed on maps for less than 10 years. In January 1924, on the fourth day after the death of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the Petrograd Soviet of Deputies decided that the city should be renamed Leningrad. The decision noted that it was adopted "at the request of the mourning workers", but the author of the idea was Grigory Evseevich Zinoviev, who at that time held the post of chairman of the city council. At that time, the capital of Russia had already been moved to Moscow, and the importance of Petrograd declined. Giving the city the name of the leader of the world proletariat significantly increased the "ideological significance" of the city of three revolutions, making it essentially the "party capital" of communists of all countries.

Step 4

At the end of the 80s of the last century, on the wave of democratic reforms in the USSR, another wave of renaming began: cities with "revolutionary names" received their historical names. Then the question arose about renaming Leningrad. The author of the idea was the deputy of the Leningrad City Council Vitaly Skoybeda. On June 12, 1991, on the first anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on State Sovereignty of the RSFSR, a referendum was held in the city, in which almost two-thirds of voters took part - and 54.9% of them supported the return of the city's name "St. Petersburg".

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