Leningrad (Russian: Ленинград) is the second largest city in the Soviet Union. It is located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. Prior to 1914, Leningrad was known as Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербург), and from 1914 to 1924 it was known as Petrograd (Russian: Петроград).
Leningrad, as Saint Petersburg, was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on May 27th, 1703. Between 1713–1728 and 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the imperial capital of Russia. In 1918 the central government bodies moved from Leningrad (then named Petrograd) to Moscow. During late World War II, the city was besieged by the Allies, primarily Britain and Finland, and in 194?, it became the second place in the world to be subjected to a nuclear bombing, which caused widespread destruction. It is Russia's second largest city after Moscow with 5 million inhabitants as of 2012. Leningrad is a major European cultural center, and also an important Soviet port on the Baltic Sea.
Leningrad is often described as the most culturally western city of the USSR, as well as its cultural capital. It is the northernmost city in the world to have a population of over five million. The Historic Centre of Leningrad and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a World Heritage Site. Leningrad is also home to The Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. A large number of foreign consulates, international corporations, banks, and other businesses are located in Leningrad.