The Volga is the longest river in Europe with a catchment area of 1,350,000 square kilometres. It is Europe's largest river in terms of discharge and drainage basin; the river flows through central Russia and into the Caspian Sea, is regarded as the national river of Russia. Eleven of the twenty largest cities of Russia, including the capital, are located in the Volga's drainage basin; some of the largest reservoirs in the world are located along the Volga. The river has a symbolic meaning in Russian culture and is referred to as Волга-матушка Volga-Matushka in Russian literature and folklore; the Russian hydronym Volga derives from Proto-Slavic *vòlga "wetness, moisture", preserved in many Slavic languages, including Ukrainian volóha "moisture", Russian vlaga "moisture", Bulgarian vlaga "moisture", Czech vláha "dampness", Serbian vlaga "moisture", Croatian vlaga "moisture" and Slovene vlaga "moisture" among others. The Slavic name is a loan translation of earlier Scythian Rā "Volga" "wetness", cognate with Avestan Raŋhā "mythical stream" and Vedic Sanskrit rasā́ "dew, juice.
The Scythian name survives in modern Mordvin Rav "Volga". The Turkic peoples living along the river referred to it as Itil or Atil "big river". In modern Turkic languages, the Volga is known as İdel in Tatar, Атăл in Chuvash, Idhel in Bashkir, Edil in Kazakh, İdil in Turkish; the Turkic peoples associated the Itil's origin with the Kama. Thus, a left tributary to the Kama was named the Aq Itil "White Itil" which unites with the Kara Itil "Black Itil" at the modern city of Ufa; the name Indyl is used in Adyge language. Among Asians, the river was known by its other Turkic name Sarı-su "yellow water", but the Oirats used their own name, Ijil mörön or "adaptation river". Presently the Mari, another Uralic group, call the river Jul, they called the river Volgydo, a borrowing from Old East Slavic. The Volga is the longest river in Europe, its catchment area is entirely inside Russia, though the longest river in Russia is the Ob–Irtysh river system, it belongs to the closed basin of the Caspian Sea, being the longest river to flow into a closed basin.
Rising in the Valdai Hills 225 meters above sea level northwest of Moscow and about 320 kilometers southeast of Saint Petersburg, the Volga heads east past Lake Sterzh, Dubna, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan. From there it turns south, flows past Ulyanovsk, Samara and Volgograd, discharges into the Caspian Sea below Astrakhan at 28 meters below sea level. At its most strategic point, it bends toward the Don. Volgograd Stalingrad, is located there; the Volga has many tributaries, most the rivers Kama, the Oka, the Vetluga, the Sura. The Volga and its tributaries form the Volga river system, which flows through an area of about 1,350,000 square kilometres in the most populated part of Russia; the Volga Delta has a length of about 160 kilometres and includes as many as 500 channels and smaller rivers. The largest estuary in Europe, it is the only place in Russia where pelicans and lotuses may be found; the Volga freezes for most of its length for three months each year. The Volga drains most of Western Russia.
Its many large reservoirs provide hydroelectric power. The Moscow Canal, the Volga–Don Canal, the Volga–Baltic Waterway form navigable waterways connecting Moscow to the White Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. High levels of chemical pollution have adversely affected its habitats; the fertile river valley provides large quantities of wheat, has many mineral riches. A substantial petroleum industry centers on the Volga valley. Other resources include natural gas and potash; the Volga Delta and the nearby Caspian Sea offer superb fishing grounds. Astrakhan, at the delta, is the center of the caviar industry. A number of large hydroelectric reservoirs were constructed on the Volga during the Soviet era, they are: Volgograd Reservoir Saratov Reservoir Kuybyshev Reservoir – the largest in Europe by surface Cheboksary Reservoir Gorky Reservoir Rybinsk Reservoir Uglich Reservoir Ivankovo Reservoir Volgograd Nizhny Novgorod Kazan Samara Saratov Tolyatti Yaroslavl Astrakhan Ulyanovsk Cheboksary Tver The area downstream of the Volga believed to have been a cradle of the Proto-Indo-European civilization, was settled by Slavs and other Turkic peoples in the first millennium AD, replacing the Scythians.
The ancient scholar Ptolemy of Alexandria mentions the lower Volga in his Geography. He calls it the Rha, the Scythian name for the river. Ptolemy believed the Don and the Volga shared the same upper branch, which flowed from the Hyperborean Mountains; the Russian ethnicity in Western Russia and around the Volga river evolved among other tribes, out of the East Slavic tribe of the Buzhans. Several localities in Russia are connected to the Buzhans, like for example Sredniy Buzhan in the Orenburg Oblast and the Buzan river in the Astrakhan Oblast. Buzhan is a village in Nishapur, Iran. Subsequently, the river basin played an important role in the movements of peoples from Asia to Europe. A powerful polity of Volga Bulgaria once flourished where the Kama jo
Painting is the practice of applying paint, color or other medium to a solid surface. The medium is applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives and airbrushes, can be used; the final work is called a painting. Painting is an important form in the visual arts, bringing in elements such as drawing, composition, narration, or abstraction. Paintings can be naturalistic and representational, abstract, symbolistic, emotive, or political in nature. A portion of the history of painting in both Eastern and Western art is dominated by religious art. Examples of this kind of painting range from artwork depicting mythological figures on pottery, to Biblical scenes Sistine Chapel ceiling, to scenes from the life of Buddha or other images of Eastern religious origin. In art, the term painting describes the result of the action; the support for paintings includes such surfaces as walls, canvas, glass, pottery, leaf and concrete, the painting may incorporate multiple other materials including sand, paper, gold leaf, as well as objects.
Color, made up of hue and value, dispersed over a surface is the essence of painting, just as pitch and rhythm are the essence of music. Color is subjective, but has observable psychological effects, although these can differ from one culture to the next. Black is associated with mourning in the West; some painters, theoreticians and scientists, including Goethe and Newton, have written their own color theory. Moreover, the use of language is only an abstraction for a color equivalent; the word "red", for example, can cover a wide range of variations from the pure red of the visible spectrum of light. There is not a formalized register of different colors in the way that there is agreement on different notes in music, such as F or C♯. For a painter, color is not divided into basic and derived colors. Painters deal with pigments, so "blue" for a painter can be any of the blues: phthalocyanine blue, Prussian blue, Cobalt blue, so on. Psychological and symbolical meanings of color are not speaking, means of painting.
Colors only add to the potential, derived context of meanings, because of this, the perception of a painting is subjective. The analogy with music is quite clear—sound in music is analogous to "light" in painting, "shades" to dynamics, "coloration" is to painting as the specific timbre of musical instruments is to music; these elements do not form a melody of themselves. Modern artists have extended the practice of painting to include, as one example, which began with Cubism and is not painting in the strict sense; some modern painters incorporate different materials such as sand, straw or wood for their texture. Examples of this are the works of Anselm Kiefer. There is a growing community of artists who use computers to "paint" color onto a digital "canvas" using programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, many others; these images can be printed onto traditional canvas. Jean Metzinger's mosaic-like Divisionist technique had its parallel in literature. I make a kind of chromatic versification and for syllables I use strokes which, variable in quantity, cannot differ in dimension without modifying the rhythm of a pictorial phraseology destined to translate the diverse emotions aroused by nature.
Rhythm, for artists such as Piet Mondrian, is important in painting as it is in music. If one defines rhythm as "a pause incorporated into a sequence" there can be rhythm in paintings; these pauses allow creative force to intervene and add new creations—form, coloration. The distribution of form, or any kind of information is of crucial importance in the given work of art, it directly affects the aesthetic value of that work; this is because the aesthetic value is functionality dependent, i.e. the freedom of perception is perceived as beauty. Free flow of energy, in art as well as in other forms of "techne", directly contributes to the aesthetic value. Music was important to the birth of abstract art, since music is abstract by nature—it does not try to represent the exterior world, but expresses in an immediate way the inner feelings of the soul. Wassily Kandinsky used musical terms to identify his works. Kandinsky theorized that "music is the ultimate teacher," and subsequently embarked upon the first seven of his ten Compositions.
Hearing tones and chords as he painted, Kandinsky theorized that, yellow is the color of middle C on a brassy trumpet. In 1871 the young Kandinsky learned to play the cello. Kandinsky's stage design for a performance of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" illustrates his "synaesthetic" concept of a universal correspondence of forms and musical sounds. Music d
Saratov is a city and the administrative center of Saratov Oblast, a major port on the Volga River located upstream of Volgograd. Population: 837,900 ; the name Saratov may be derived from the Turkish words Saryk Atov, which mean "Hawks' Island". Another version of the name origin is Sary Tau, meaning "Yellow Mountain" in the Tatar language. In the Kazakh language, the city is known as Сарытау/Sarytaý. Uvek, a city of the Golden Horde, stood near the site of the modern city of Saratov from the mid-13th century until its destruction by Tamerlane in 1395. While the exact date of the foundation of modern Saratov is unknown, all plausible theories date it to ca. 1590, during the reign of Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich, who constructed several settlements along the Volga River in order to secure the southeastern boundary of his state. Town status was granted to it in 1708. By the 1800s, Saratov had grown to become an important shipping port on the Volga; the Ryazan-Ural Railroad reached Saratov in 1870. In 1896, the line continued its eastward expansion.
A unique train-ferry, owned by the Ryazan-Ural railroad, provided the connection across the river between the two parts of the railroad for 39 years, before the construction of a railway bridge in 1935. During January 1915, with World War I dominating the Russian national agenda, Saratov became the destination for deportation convoys of ethnic Germans, Hungarians and Slavs whose presence closer to the western front was perceived as a potential security risk to the state. During World War II, Saratov was a station on the North-South Volzhskaya Rokada, a specially designated military railroad supplying troops and supplies to Stalingrad in 1942-1943 the city was bombed by German aircraft the main target was the Kirov oil refinery bombarded seriously damaging the installation and destroying 80% of its plant and temporarily interrupting its work; the Luftwaffe was able to destroy all the fuel stock at bases in Saratov and eliminate the oil plant in the city.. Until the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Soviet authorities designated Saratov a "closed city"—strictly off-limits to all foreigners due to its military importance as the site of a vital facility manufacturing military aircraft.
The city of Saratov played an important role in the history of the Volga Germans. Until 1941, the town of Pokrovsk, located just across the Volga from Saratov, served as the capital of the Volga German Republic; the ethnic German population of the region numbered 800,000 in the early 20th century, with some people whose families had been there for generations. Beginning with Catherine the Great's 1763 Manifesto promising land, freedom from military conscription and religious freedom, the Russian Emperors invited German immigration in the 18th and 19th centuries to encourage agricultural development; the Volga German community came to include industrialists, scientists and architects, including those who built Saratov's universities and conservatories. After the beginning of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Soviet government forcibly expelled the Volga Germans to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Others were expelled to western Europe after World War II ended in 1945. Beginning in the 1980s, a large portion of the surviving members of the ethnic Germans emigrated from the Soviet Union to Germany.
Reminders of the once prominent place of Germans in the city remain, with the Roman Catholic St. Klemens Cathedral on Nemetskaya Ulitsa the most notable; the building designed by Mikhail N. Grudistov was converted into the children's cinema "Pioneer" during the Soviet period. A new cathedral was built in 2000 elsewhere in the city: the Cathedral of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Saratov. Saratov is the administrative center of the oblast and, within the framework of administrative divisions, it serves as the administrative center of Saratovsky District though it is not a part of it; as an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as the city of oblast significance of Saratov—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, the city of oblast significance of Saratov is incorporated as Saratov Urban Okrug. Saratov has a moderately continental climate with warm and dry summers and an abundance of sunny days; the warmest month is July with daily mean temperature near +23 °C.
Summers are dry in Saratov. Daytime temperatures of +30 °C or higher are commonplace, up to +40.9 °C during a heat wave in 2010. Snow and ice are dominant during the winter season. Days well above freezing and nights below −25 °C both occur in the winter. Saratov Oblast is industrialized, due in part to the richness in natural and industrial resources of the area; the oblast is one of the more important and largest cultural and scientific centers in Russia. Saratov possesses six institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, twenty-one research institutes, nineteen project institutes, as well as the Saratov State University, the Saratov State Socio-Economic University, the Saratov State Technical University, many scientific and technological laboratories attached to some of the city's large industrial enterprises. Saratov is served by the Saratov Tsentralny Airport; the air
The Russian Navy is the naval arm of the Russian Armed Forces. It has existed in various forms since 1696, the present iteration of, formed in January 1992 when it succeeded the Navy of the Commonwealth of Independent States; the first iteration of the Russian Navy was established by Peter the Great in October 1696. Ascribed to him is the oft quoted statement: "A ruler that has but an army has one hand, but he who has a navy has both." The symbols of the Russian Navy, the St. Andrew's ensign, most of its traditions were established by Peter I. Neither Jane's Fighting Ships nor the International Institute for Strategic Studies list any standard ship prefixes for the vessels of the Russian Navy; the U. S. government sometimes uses the exonymous prefix "RFS". However, the Russian Navy itself does not use this convention; the Russian Navy possesses the vast majority of the former Soviet naval forces, comprises the Northern Fleet, the Russian Pacific Fleet, the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Russian Baltic Fleet, the Russian Caspian Flotilla, Naval Aviation, the Coastal Troops.
A rearmament program approved in 2007 placed the development of the navy on an equal footing with the strategic nuclear forces for the first time in Soviet and Russian history. This program, covering the period until 2015, expected to see the replacement of 45 percent of the inventory of the Russian Navy. Out of 4.9 trillion rubles allocated for military rearmament, 25 percent will go into building new ships. "We are building as many ships as we did in Soviet times," First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said during a visit to Severodvinsk in July 2007, "The problem now is not lack of money, but how to optimize production so that the navy can get new ships three, not five, years after laying them down."The Russian Navy suffered since the dissolution of the Soviet Union due to insufficient maintenance, lack of funding and subsequent effects on the training of personnel and timely replacement of equipment. Another setback is attributed to Russia's domestic shipbuilding industry, reported to have been in decline as to their capabilities of constructing contemporary hardware efficiently.
Some analysts say that because of this Russia's naval capabilities have been facing a slow but certain "irreversible collapse". Some analysts say that the recent rise in gas and oil prices has enabled a sort of renaissance of the Russian Navy due to increased available funds, which may allow Russia to begin "developing the capacity to modernize". In August 2014, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russian naval capabilities would be bolstered with new weapons and equipment within the next six years in response to NATO deployments in eastern Europe and recent developments in Ukraine; the origins of the Russian navy may be traced to the period between the 6th century. The first Slavic flotillas consisted of small sailing ships and rowboats, seaworthy and able to navigate in riverbeds. During the 9th through 12th centuries, there were flotillas in the Kievan Rus' consisting of hundreds of vessels with one, two, or three masts. Riverine vessels in 9th century Kievan Rus guarded trade routes to Constantinople.
The citizens of Novgorod are known to have conducted military campaigns in the Baltic Sea —although contemporary Scandinavian sources state that the fleet was from Karelia or Estonia. Lad'ya was a typical boat used by the army of Novgorod. There were smaller sailboats and rowboats, such as ushkuys for sailing in rivers and skerries, nosads, used for cargo transportation. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Cossacks conducted military campaigns against the Crimean Khanate and Ottoman Empire, using sailboats and rowboats; the Don Cossacks called. These boats were capable of transporting up to 80 men; the Cossack flotillas numbered 80 to 100 boats. The centralized Russian state had been fighting for its own access to the Baltic Sea, Black Sea and Sea of Azov since the 17th Century. By the end of that century, the Russians had accumulated some valuable experience in using riverboats together with land forces. Under Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich, the construction of the first three-masted ship to be built within Russia was finished in 1636.
She was built in Balakhna by Danish shipbuilders from Holstein with a European design. She was christened the Frederick. In 1667–69, the Russians tried to build naval ships in a village of Dedinovo on the shores of the Oka River for the purpose of defending the trade routes along the Volga River, which led to the Caspian Sea. In 1668, they built a 26-gun ship, the Oryol, a yacht, a boat with a mast and bowsprit, a few rowboats. During much of the seventeenth century Russian merchants and Cossacks, using koch boats, sailed across the White Sea, explored the rivers Lena and Indigirka, founded settlements in the region of the upper Amur. Unquestionably the most celebrated Russian explorer was Semyon Dezhnev, who, in 1648, sailed the entire length of present-day Russia along the Arctic coast. Rounding the Chukotsk Peninsula, Dezhnev passed through the Bering Sea and sailed into the
Veliky Novgorod known as Novgorod the Great, or Novgorod Veliky, or just Novgorod, is one of the oldest and most important historic cities in Russia, which serves as the administrative center of Novgorod Oblast. It is situated on the M10 federal highway connecting Saint Petersburg; the city lies along the Volkhov River just downstream from its outflow from Lake Ilmen. UNESCO recognized Novgorod as a World Heritage Site in 1992. Population: 218,717 . At its peak during the 14th century, the city was the capital of the Novgorod Republic and one of Europe's largest cities; the Sofia First Chronicle makes initial mention of it in 859, while the Novgorod First Chronicle first mentions it in 862, when it was purportedly a major Baltics-to-Byzantium station on the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks. The Charter of Veliky Novgorod recognizes 859 as the year. Novgorod is traditionally considered to be the cradle of Russian statehood. Archaeological excavations in the middle to late 20th century, have found cultural layers dating back only to the late 10th century, the time of the Christianization of Rus' and a century after it was founded, suggesting that the chronicle entries mentioning Novgorod in the 850s or 860s are interpolations.
Archaeological dating is easy and accurate to within 15–25 years, as the streets were paved with wood, most of the houses made of wood, allowing tree ring dating. The Varangian name of the city Holmgård or Holmgard is mentioned in Norse Sagas as existing at a yet earlier stage, but the correlation of this reference with the actual city is uncertain. Holmgård referred to the stronghold, now only 2 km to the south of the center of the present-day city, Rurikovo Gorodische. Archaeological data suggests that the Gorodishche, the residence of the Knyaz, dates from the mid-9th century, whereas the town itself dates only from the end of the 10th century. First mention of this Nordic or Germanic etymology to the name of the city of Novgorod occurs in the 10th-century policy manual De Administrando Imperio by Byzantine emperor Constantine VII. Predating the chronology of the legend of Rurik, an earlier record for the Scandinavian settlement of the region is found in the Annales Bertiniani where a Rus' delegation is mentioned as having visited Constantinople in 838 and, intending to return to the Rus' Khaganate via the Baltic Sea, were questioned by Frankish Emperor Louis the Pious at Ingelheim am Rhein, where they said that although their origin was Swedish, they had settled in Northern Rus' under a leader whom they designated as chacanus.
In 882, Rurik's successor, Oleg of Novgorod, conquered Kiev and founded the state of Kievan Rus'. Novgorod's size as well as its political and cultural influence made it the second most important city in Kievan Rus'. According to a custom, the elder son and heir of the ruling Kievan monarch was sent to rule Novgorod as a minor; when the ruling monarch had no such son, Novgorod was governed by posadniks, such as the legendary Gostomysl, Dobrynya and Ostromir. Of all their princes, Novgorodians most cherished the memory of Yaroslav the Wise, who sat as Prince of Novgorod from 1010 to 1019, while his father, Vladimir the Great, was a prince in Kiev. Yaroslav promulgated the first written code of laws among the Eastern Slavs and is said to have granted the city a number of freedoms or privileges, which they referred to in centuries as precedents in their relations with other princes, his son, sponsored construction of the great St. Sophia Cathedral, more translated as the Cathedral of Holy Wisdom, which stands to this day.
In Norse sagas the city is mentioned as the capital of Gardariki. Four Viking kings—Olaf I of Norway, Olaf II of Norway, Magnus I of Norway, Harald Hardrada—sought refuge in Novgorod from enemies at home. No more than a few decades after the 1030 death and subsequent canonization of Olaf II of Norway, the city's community had erected in his memory Saint Olaf's Church in Novgorod; the Gotland town of Visby functioned as the leading trading center in the Baltic before the Hansa League. At Novgorod in 1080, Visby merchants established a trading post. In the first half of the 13th century, merchants from northern Germany established their own trading station in Novgorod, known as Peterhof. At about the same time, in 1229, German merchants at Novgorod were granted certain privileges, which made their position more secure. In 1136, the Novgorodians dismissed their prince Vsevolod Mstislavich; the year is seen as the traditional beginning of the Novgorod Republic. The city was able to invite and dismiss a number of princes over the next two centuries, but the princely office was never abolished and powerful princes, such as Alexander Nevsky, could assert their will in the city regardless of what Novgorodians said.
The city state controlled most of Europe's northeast, from lands east of today's Est
The Russian Empire known as Imperial Russia or Russia, was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917. The third largest empire in world history, at its greatest extent stretching over three continents, Europe and North America, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires; the rise of the Russian Empire coincided with the decline of neighboring rival powers: the Golden Horde, the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire. It played a major role in 1812–1814 in defeating Napoleon's ambitions to control Europe and expanded to the west and south; the House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, its matrilineal branch of patrilineal German descent the House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov ruled from 1762. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Russian Empire extended from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea in the south, from the Baltic Sea on the west to the Pacific Ocean, into Alaska and Northern California in America on the east.
With 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics and religion. There were numerous dissident elements. Economically, the empire had a predominantly agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs, Russian peasants; the economy industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways and factories. The land was ruled by a nobility from the 10th through the 17th centuries, subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III laid the groundwork for the empire that emerged, he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, laid the foundations of the Russian state. Emperor Peter the Great fought numerous wars and expanded an huge empire into a major European power, he moved the capital from Moscow to the new model city of St. Petersburg, led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political mores with a modern, Europe-oriented, rationalist system.
Empress Catherine the Great presided over a golden age. Emperor Alexander II promoted numerous reforms, most the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861, his policy in Eastern Europe involved protecting the Orthodox Christians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. That connection by 1914 led to Russia's entry into the First World War on the side of France, the United Kingdom, Serbia, against the German and Ottoman empires; the Russian Empire functioned as an absolute monarchy on principles of Orthodoxy and Nationality until the Revolution of 1905 and became a de jure constitutional monarchy. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917 as a result of massive failures in its participation in the First World War. Though the Empire was only proclaimed by Tsar Peter I following the Treaty of Nystad, some historians would argue that it was born either when Ivan III of Russia conquered Veliky Novgorod in 1478, or when Ivan the Terrible conquered the Khanate of Kazan in 1552. According to another point of view, the term Tsardom, used after the coronation of Ivan IV in 1547, was a contemporary Russian word for empire.
Much of Russia's expansion occurred in the 17th century, culminating in the first Russian colonization of the Pacific in the mid-17th century, the Russo-Polish War that incorporated left-bank Ukraine, the Russian conquest of Siberia. Poland was divided in the 1790 -- 1815 era, with much of the population going to Russia. Most of the 19th-century growth came from adding territory in Asia, south of Siberia. Peter I the Great played a major role in introducing Russia to the European state system. While the vast land had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those of agriculture in the West, compelling nearly the entire population to farm. Only a small percentage lived in towns; the class of kholops, close in status to slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation. Russian agricultural kholops were formally converted into serfs earlier in 1679. Peter's first military efforts were directed against the Ottoman Turks.
His attention turned to the North. Peter still lacked a secure northern seaport, except at Archangel on the White Sea, where the harbor was frozen for nine months a year. Access to the Baltic was blocked by Sweden. Peter's ambitions for a "window to the sea" led him to make a secret alliance in 1699 with Saxony, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Denmark against Sweden, resulting in the Great Northern War; the war ended in 1721. Peter acquired four provinces situated east of the Gulf of Finland; the coveted access to the sea was now secured. There he built Russia's new capital, Saint Petersburg, to replace Moscow, which had long been Russia's cultural center. In 1722, he tur
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev