Two Russian Capitals: Moscow and Saint Petersburg
The two cities (Moscow and Saint Petersburg), histories of which are so closely related, are absolutely different: while Moscow was built chaotically and has traces of many old events, Saint Petersburg is relatively new and very-well organized. All major events, changes and revolutions happened in these two main cities and then gradually affected other cities of Russia. That is why there are often called the two capitals of Russia. However, it is not the only reason – even though Moscow is a capital of Russia right now, it wasn't its capital all the time. There was a period of time when Saint Petersburg was the capital of Russia, which is why it is still called its Northern capital up to this day.
Here is a short history of these two cities.
In the 13th century Moscow becomes the capital of all Slavic people thanks to its convenient location and growing importance.
At the beginning of the 18th century the new European-like city is built by Russian Emperor, Peter I. The city is called Saint Petersburg. It was the capital of Russian empire and the residence of Russian emperors from 1712 till 1918.
In 1914 Saint Petersburg is renamed into Petrograd because the name “Saint Petersburg” was considered German and could bring negative associations in WWI.
In 1918, after the Russian revolution, Moscow becomes the capital of the USSR and the new history of Moscow's development begins.
In 1924 Petrograd is renamed into Leningrad in honor of Vladimir Lenin who was a Russian revolutionist and the “father” of the Soviet Union.
In 1991 Leningrad is renamed back into Saint Petersburg.