Royal Yet Cordial: Why St. Petersburg’s Magnificence Makes People Happy

St.Petersburg uniqueness becomes apparent already by looking at the city’s name: symbolically it was named in the honor of Saint Peter, who is the keeper of the keys to Paradise. Among the nicknames for St. Petersburg are “The Venice of the North” and “Northern Palmyra”. It is also called “the City of White Nights” which are the city’s defining features from late May to mid-July. The sun hardly sets and the locals can admire the wonderful panoramas of the night-time capital.

It doesn’t seem hard to identify some disadvantages of living in St. Petersburg – it is usually raining, it is usually cold and windy, and the skies is typically gray. There is even a common joke in Russia that one day the people of Peter (the city’s nickname) noticed that a strange shining object appeared above their heads and got very scared.


However, nobody who was born there will ever trade the city’s a bit depressing charm for anything else be it bright splendor of Spanish cities, noisy beauty of American megapolises or soft relaxing atmosphere of the Mediterranean coast. These amazing passion and loyalty are striking. Having lived in Europe for last four years while being determined to conduct a reliable research when visiting St. Petersburg during the spring break, I have asked random people on the streets to talk about their city, why their love it, what makes them happy there.

Sergei, 18

Why I am happy in St. Petersburg? I like this weather. Really because in St. Petersburg there is sea and I fell fresh air. I need it really. Moreover, I like these people. They are open to communication, they are talkative a bit, and I know I can get help from them. So that’s why I am happy in this beautiful city.

Egor, 25 and Semen, 23

What makes me happy in St. Petersburg? I think it is some specific spirit in this city. Yeah, the atmosphere, you know. It is the greatest historical place, so many museums. Not only becaue of the museums, but this is the people who live here. Yeah, the situation is always under control. So like the spirit of freedom here is just perfect. I think that’s all. Yes, that’s it.

Anastasiya, 18

I strongly feel that everything in St. Petersburg makes me happy. Yes, really everything. This is small and shabby streets, old buildings, and even strange weather when during one hour you can see rain, snow and even sun. This is amazing! I really like the atmosphere in cafes when you can sit on the soft sofa, drink some tasty coffee and read an interesting book. It really makes me happy in St. Petersburg.

Andrei, 22

I really like St. Petersburg  because I think it’s a very cosy and atmospheric city. There is a lot of Greek architecture and I think in this city there’s something that everyone can find for him.

Anastasiya, 20

In St. Petersburg a lot of things make me happy. For example in a sunbway people that rush but smile. It is also great that you can walk along the streets, and see a lot of things that belong to history. It is wonderful that even now you can feel such things.

To conclude, I want to give you a piece of a poem written by a great Russian poem Aleksander Pushkin:

“I love you, Peter’s great creation, I love your view of stern and grace,

The Neva wave’s regal procession, the grayish granite – her bank’s dress,

The airy iron-casting fences, the gentle transparent twilight,

The moonless gleam of your nights restless, when I so easy read and write

Without a lamp in my room lone, and seen is each huge buildings’ stone

Of the left streets, and is so bright the Admiralty spire’s flight,

And when not letting the night’s darkness to reach the golden heaven’s height,

The dawn after the sunset hastens – and a half-hour’s for the night.”

Nevsky Prospect at Night


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