|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
"I'll take the first train to St. Petersburg,
—Havalina Rail Co., "Red and Blue (in St. Petersburg)"
St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. Formerly Leningrad. Before that, Petrograd. Before that, St. Petersburg. Before that, Nyenskans.
The second city of Russia, Sankt Peterburg was actually the capital of the country until shortly after Red October. Both revolutions centred around here.
Contains quite a few palaces.
St. Petersburg in fiction
- Seen it a million times in Soviet/Russian cinema. Its representations in Russian fiction can be divided into several categories:
- Period pieces set in Tsarist Russia, including adaptations of classical novels.
- Dramas about the Red October and the early years of Soviet Russia.
- World War II films, focusing on the battles around Leningrad and the 900-day siege.
- Films set in Soviet Leningrad after the war, either playing with its Second City/Cultural Capital status, or painting a Darker and Edgier picture of urban Soviet life and the countercultures that emerge as a result of it. The latter kind is more typical of The Eighties.
- Films and TV shows set in The Nineties. In The New Russia St. Petersburg acquired the monicker "the Criminal Capital of Russia", and most of those films and shows portray it accordingly.
- By now the "Criminal Capital" image has pretty much become a Dead Horse Trope, unless it was a Dead Unicorn Trope to begin with - while there was a lot of organised crime-related violence in the city in the nineties, the city itself was more of a strategically important piece of "property" than a country-wide criminal control centre.
- Bond drives a tank through the place in Goldeneye.
- Which mostly gets it completely wrong; for example, both the exterior and interior of the Winter Palace bear almost no resemblance to the real thing.
- A Dangerous Climate, one of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Saint-Germain novels
- Shadow Hearts 2
- Most of the action in Face of the Dark Palmira, Vladimir Vasilyev's contribution to Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch series, takes place in St. Petersburg. The city in the novel is so Dark that even the Dark-sided protagonists from other cities feel uneasy about going there.
- A recurring and somewhat major location in Hitman 2: Silent Assassin.
Note that several other major cities (and probably many smaller ones) have reverted to their pre-revolutionary names. Gorkij became Nizjnyj ("Lower") Novgorod and Sverdlovsk became Ekaterinburg. Volgograd, however, has not become Tsaritsyn again, and some people want to go back to Stalingrad. The only major city to retain its communist name is Kaliningrad, in the exclave of the same name. This is because the area was actually part of Germany (Königsburg) before the war, and hasn't had a Slavic name since about 800 at the latest. There is real debate about changing it back nevertheless, and it is often called "Kyonig" informally. See Please Select New City Name for particulars.