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City Ville Guide

Main towns
Saint Petersburg is situated on the Baltic Sea on the estuary of the River Neva. It is the country's main port. It was built in 1703 by Peter the Great on a site full of forests and marshes, who made it his capital. There are still 620 bridges which cross the numerous canals and water ways which run through the town.

During the Second World War it resisted a siege for 900 days, during which 10,000 buildings were destroyed. The biggest museum in the world, the Hermitage Palace is in Saint Petersburg. It is also a large industrial town and port, where ice-breakers are needed in the winter.

Saint Petersburg with its 4.8 million inhabitants, is the capital of the north and the second biggest consumer centre after Moscow. About a hundred French companies are installed there, particularly in the service, import-export, transport and restaurant sectors.To visit : walking and shopping on the Perspective Nevski and along the Fontaka, the St Isaac Cathedral, the Peter and Paul Fort , the History Museum, the Hermitage Museum, the Russian Museum, the Cathedral of the Trinity, the Smolny monastery. And in the region : Novgorod, Pavlovsk, Pouchkine.

Nizhny Novgorod (Gorky), (pop. 1.4 million) built near the lake where the Oka and the Volga rivers meet. It is a major car manufacturing centre, as well as a paper mill centre (Pravdinsk), producing the paper for one of the leading newspapers in the country, the 'Pravda'.

Novosibirsk (pop. 1.4 million), the biggest town in Siberia. It was first built in 1893. Since 1959 it is home to the 'Town of Science', an enormous ensemble for research and scientific studies.

Yekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk) is a center of metallurgy, mechanics and mining which is situated in the Urals.

Kazan, the ancient capital of the Tatars, which is periodically flooded by the Volga. There is big a watch factory there.

Arkangelsk (pop. 420,000) situated on the White Sea, is a centre for exporting timber.

Vladivostok (pop. 645,000), a town on the Pacific coast, is rapidly developing. There is a lot of foreign investment there and it has opened its own stock exchange.

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