During World War I (1914-1918), when everything German would grate on every Russian citizen’s mind and ear, the Russian government decided to change the capital’s name from the Germanic St. Petersburg to the Russian Petrograd. The involvement in the protracted war entailed total militarization of national economy, and contributed to its rapid exhaustion and therefore social and political unrest. By 1916, food supply deteriorated drastically, and the revolutionary process became irreversible. The social disturbance and wartime hardships culminated in the 1917 February Revolution, which ended in the abdication of Nicholas II – the last tsar in the history of Russia.
The situation continued to worsen throughout 1917. The Provisional Government’s ineffective methods resulted in total chaos and discord. On October 25, the socio-democratic Bolshevist party, headed by Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin), overthrew the Provisional Government and arrested most of the ministers. The cruiser Avrora fired a blank shot to signal the storm of the Winter Palace.
Economic collapse and the brewing Civil War forced many city residents to leave Petrograd and settle in the countryside where food was more available. By 1920, Petrograd’s population decreased threefold.
Because the Germans were dangerously close to Petrograd and the national boundary got closer to the city due to the collapse of the Empire, Vladimir Lenin moved the capital to Moscow. Many streets and objects in Petrograd were named after famous revolutionary activists and events. Nevsky Prospekt was named Prospekt of October 25. Palace Named after a famous Communist activist, Palace Square became Uritsky Square.
The New Economic Policy instituted after the Civil War contributed to a relative betterment of the situation, and the city began to recover from the recent social, political and economical upheavals.
Leningrad Zoo is one of the oldest in Russia and the most northern zoo in the World. It was founded 125 years ago, in 1865 but in spite of the fact that there are no old-style buildings left; it still has the same location and layout as it used to have in the 19th century. It was the first zoo of the then capital. Leningrad zoo is located in the center of the city on the territory of Alexander Garden. At the present time, total area of the zoo is over 70 thousand square meters; it has over 3.5 thousand animals, and about 6.5 hundred species. Leningrad zoo is an amazing historical site with its own wide stories. Even during the blockade of Leningrad at the height of war the zoo was still working. Workers succeeded in saving a big part of the collection, although a lot of animals were killed. In honor of this act of heroism it was remained under the same name “Leningradskiy” in spite of the fact of renaming the city.
Nowadays various arrangements take place in the Leningrad Zoo, for instance review and theme excursions, educational programs and ecological games, educational lectures, different exhibitions, so called “days of feeding the animals”, when all comers are able to buy food and feed animals without any assistance from employees of the zoo, amusement park for kids etc. Also there are some plans for the future development. The administration of the zoo supposes to build a new zoo in Yuntolovo which will be a branch of the existing one. Small animals are supposed to be left in the city and large specimens are going to be moved in the new one. They are expecting to get an area of three millions square meters for further actions. As predicted, the new zoo will be visited by 1.5-2 million people a year. Now it’s only a plan nevertheless but the doors of the Leningrad zoo are opened and welcome every comer.
There are hundreds of great and amazing historical and cultural sights to be seen in the North Capital of Russia, St. Petersburg; one of them is the Botanical Garden. At present, the garden is attached to Botanical Institute of V. L. Komarov and Russian Academy of Sciences, so its full name includes abbreviations of both these organizations. But until 1925 it existed under the name of the Impertorskiy Garden (imperial garden). It was originated as one of pharmaceutical gardens that were created in order to cultivate and collect various medicinal herbs. The garden was rather big, its total area in the beginning of 18th century was more than 270 thousands square meters; it equals almost 38 soccer fields placed one after another. Historical name of the garden was given under Alexander I in 1823. The Botanical garden already contained 15000 different plants in 1823. Currently, the number of plants in the collection has reduced comparing to its state in the 19th century and it equals about 7.500. It was caused by consequences of the Second World War, after bombing slightly more than 200 examples were saved. The area which is occupied by the garden also became smaller than it used to be and now approximately equals ten thousand square meters.
Nowadays different excursions for all comers take place in the Botanical Garden such as “Aqueous Plants” or “Plants from tropical areas of the Earth”. They depend on season. Also the garden provides special educational excursions for students. To sum up, at the present the time Imperatorskiy Garden is a historical sight of St. Petersburg and precious scientific facility which contains lots of important material for scientists from all over the world. So, this place is especially recommended for people who interested in botany and for all nature-lovers as well.