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St. Petersburg is the cultural capital of Russia, founded by Peter the Great in 1703. Also once known as both Petrograd and Leningrad, St. Petersburg is simultaneously called the Window to the West, because it is styled after European cities, and the Venice of the North, for its crisscrossing city waterways and location on the Gulf of Finland. Perhaps one of the most important sightseeing visits here on any Russia tour is the Hermitage Museum, which houses one of the largest and most prestigious art collections in the world. Other key landmarks are the imposing Peter and Paul Fortress with its enclosed Cathedral, and the statue of Peter the Great.
While you are on your Russia vacation, eat like the locals do by sampling traditional shchi, cabbage soup, or borscht, beet soup. Of course, salmon caviar is a traditional Russian appetizer, so you may want to indulge in the name of cultural research!
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