Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia considered to include Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, in some definitions, some parts of western Jordan. The name was used by ancient Greek writers, it was used for the Roman province Syria Palaestina, the Byzantine Palaestina Prima, the Islamic provincial district of Jund Filastin; the region comprises most of the territory claimed for the biblical regions known as the Land of Israel, the Holy Land or Promised Land. It has been known as the southern portion of wider regional designations such as Canaan, ash-Sham, the Levant. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt and Arabia, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture and politics; the region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites and Judeans, Babylonians, ancient Greeks, the Jewish Hasmonean Kingdom, Parthians, Byzantines, the Arab Rashidun, Umayyad and Fatimid caliphates, Ayyubids, Mongols, the British, modern Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians.
The boundaries of the region have changed throughout history. Today, the region comprises the State of Israel and the Palestinian territories in which the State of Palestine was declared. Modern archaeology has identified 12 ancient inscriptions from Egyptian and Assyrian records recording cognates of Hebrew Pelesheth; the term "Peleset" is found in five inscriptions referring to a neighboring people or land starting from c. 1150 BCE during the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt. The first known mention is at the temple at Medinet Habu which refers to the Peleset among those who fought with Egypt in Ramesses III's reign, the last known is 300 years on Padiiset's Statue. Seven known Assyrian inscriptions refer to the region of "Palashtu" or "Pilistu", beginning with Adad-nirari III in the Nimrud Slab in c. 800 BCE through to a treaty made by Esarhaddon more than a century later. Neither the Egyptian nor the Assyrian sources provided clear regional boundaries for the term; the first clear use of the term Palestine to refer to the entire area between Phoenicia and Egypt was in 5th century BCE Ancient Greece, when Herodotus wrote of a "district of Syria, called Palaistinê" in The Histories, which included the Judean mountains and the Jordan Rift Valley.
A century Aristotle used a similar definition for the region in Meteorology, in which he included the Dead Sea. Greek writers such as Polemon and Pausanias used the term to refer to the same region, followed by Roman writers such as Ovid, Pomponius Mela, Pliny the Elder, Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch as well as Roman Judean writers Philo of Alexandria and Josephus; the term was first used to denote an official province in c. 135 CE, when the Roman authorities, following the suppression of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, combined Iudaea Province with Galilee and the Paralia to form "Syria Palaestina". There is circumstantial evidence linking Hadrian with the name change, but the precise date is not certain and the assertion of some scholars that the name change was intended "to complete the dissociation with Judaea" is disputed; the term is accepted to be a translation of the Biblical name Peleshet. The term and its derivates are used more than 250 times in Masoretic-derived versions of the Hebrew Bible, of which 10 uses are in the Torah, with undefined boundaries, 200 of the remaining references are in the Book of Judges and the Books of Samuel.
The term is used in the Septuagint, which used a transliteration Land of Phylistieim different from the contemporary Greek place name Palaistínē. The Septuagint instead used the term "allophuloi" throughout the Books of Judges and Samuel, such that the term "Philistines" has been interpreted to mean "non-Israelites of the Promised Land" when used in the context of Samson and David, Rabbinic sources explain that these peoples were different from the Philistines of the Book of Genesis. During the Byzantine period, the region of Palestine within Syria Palaestina was subdivided into Palaestina Prima and Secunda, an area of land including the Negev and Sinai became Palaestina Salutaris. Following the Muslim conquest, place names that were in use by the Byzantine administration continued to be used in Arabic; the use of the name "Palestine" became common in Early Modern English, was used in English and Arabic during the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem and was revived as an official place name with the British Mandate for Palestine.
Some other terms that have been used to refer to all or part of this land include Canaan, Land of Israel, the Promised Land, Greater Syria, the Holy Land, Iudaea Province, Coele-Syria, "Israel HaShlema", Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Retenu, Southern Syria, Southern Levant and Syria Palaestina. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt and Arabia, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture and politics; the region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Israelites, Babylonians, Ancient Greeks, Parthians, Sasa
A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may be described as such by others. A poet may be a writer of poetry, or may perform their art to an audience; the work of a poet is one of communication, either expressing ideas in a literal sense, such as writing about a specific event or place, or metaphorically. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, have produced works that vary in different cultures and periods. Throughout each civilization and language, poets have used various styles that have changed through the course of literary history, resulting in a history of poets as diverse as the literature they have produced. In Ancient Rome, professional poets were sponsored by patrons, wealthy supporters including nobility and military officials. For instance, Gaius Cilnius Maecenas, friend to Caesar Augustus, was an important patron for the Augustan poets, including both Horace and Virgil. Poets held an important position in pre-Islamic Arabic society with the poet or sha'ir filling the role of historian and propagandist.
Words in praise of the tribe and lampoons denigrating other tribes seem to have been some of the most popular forms of early poetry. The sha'ir represented an individual tribe's prestige and importance in the Arabian peninsula, mock battles in poetry or zajal would stand in lieu of real wars.'Ukaz, a market town not far from Mecca, would play host to a regular poetry festival where the craft of the sha'irs would be exhibited. In the High Middle Ages, troubadors were an important class of poets and came from a variety of backgrounds, they lived and travelled in many different places and were looked upon as actors or musicians as much as poets. They were under patronage, but many travelled extensively; the Renaissance period saw a continuation of patronage of poets by royalty. Many poets, had other sources of income, including Italians like Dante Aligheri, Giovanni Boccaccio and Petrarch's works in a pharmacist's guild and William Shakespeare's work in the theater. In the Romantic period and onwards, many poets were independent writers who made their living through their work supplemented by income from other occupations or from family.
This included poets such as Robert Burns. Poets such as Virgil in the Aeneid and John Milton in Paradise Lost invoked the aid of a Muse. Poets of earlier times were well read and educated people while others were to a large extent self-educated. A few poets such as John Gower and John Milton were able to write poetry in more than one language; some Portuguese poets, as Francisco de Sá de Miranda, wrote not only in Portuguese but in Spanish. Jan Kochanowski wrote in Polish and in Latin, France Prešeren and Karel Hynek Mácha wrote some poems in German, although they were poets of Slovenian and Czech respectively. Adam Mickiewicz, the greatest poet of Polish language, wrote a Latin ode for emperor Napoleon III. Another example is a Polish poet; when he moved to Great Britain, he ceased to write poetry in Polish, but started writing novel in English. He translated poetry from English and into English. Many universities offer degrees in creative writing though these only came into existence in the 20th century.
While these courses are not necessary for a career as a poet, they can be helpful as training, for giving the student several years of time focused on their writing. List of poets Bard Lyricist Reginald Gibbons, The Poet's Work: 29 poets on the origins and practice of their art. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226290546 at Google Books Poets' Graves
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher, cultural critic, poet and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on Western philosophy and modern intellectual history. He began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy, he became the youngest to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel in 1869 at the age of 24. Nietzsche resigned in 1879 due to health problems. In 1889 at age 44, he suffered a collapse and afterward, a complete loss of his mental faculties, he lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897 and with his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. Nietzsche died in 1900. Nietzsche's body of work touched a wide range of topics, including art, history, tragedy and science, his writing spans philosophical polemics, cultural criticism and fiction while displaying a fondness for aphorism and irony. His early inspiration was drawn from figures such as Arthur Schopenhauer, Richard Wagner and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Prominent elements of his philosophy include his radical critique of truth in favor of perspectivism. He developed influential concepts such as the Übermensch and the doctrine of eternal return. In his work, he became preoccupied with the creative powers of the individual to overcome social and moral contexts in pursuit of new values and aesthetic health. After his death, his sister Elisabeth became the curator and editor of Nietzsche's manuscripts, reworking his unpublished writings to fit her own German nationalist ideology while contradicting or obfuscating Nietzsche's stated opinions, which were explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism. Through her published editions, Nietzsche's work became associated with Nazism. Nietzsche's thought enjoyed renewed popularity in the 1960s and his ideas have since had a profound impact on 20th and early-21st century thinkers across philosophy—especially in schools of continental philosophy such as existentialism and post-structuralism—as well as art, psychology and popular culture.
Born on 15 October 1844, Nietzsche grew up in the small town of Röcken, near Leipzig, in the Prussian Province of Saxony. He was named after King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, who turned 49 on the day of Nietzsche's birth. Nietzsche's Carl Ludwig Nietzsche, a Lutheran pastor and former teacher, they had two other children: a daughter, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, born in 1846. Nietzsche's father died from a brain ailment in 1849; the family moved to Naumburg, where they lived with Nietzsche's maternal grandmother and his father's two unmarried sisters. After the death of Nietzsche's grandmother in 1856, the family moved into their own house, now Nietzsche-Haus, a museum and Nietzsche study centre. Nietzsche attended a boys' school and a private school, where he became friends with Gustav Krug, Rudolf Wagner and Wilhelm Pinder, all of whom came from respected families. In 1854, he began to attend Domgymnasium in Naumburg; because his father had worked for the state the now-fatherless Nietzsche was offered a scholarship to study at the internationally recognized Schulpforta.
He transferred and studied there from 1858 to 1864, becoming friends with Paul Deussen and Carl von Gersdorff. He found time to work on poems and musical compositions. Nietzsche led a music and literature club, during his summers in Naumburg. At Schulpforta, Nietzsche received an important grounding in languages—Greek, Latin and French—so as to be able to read important primary sources, his end-of-semester exams in March 1864 showed a 1 in German. While at Pforta, Nietzsche had a penchant for pursuing subjects, he became acquainted with the work of the almost-unknown poet Friedrich Hölderlin, calling him "my favorite poet" and composing an essay in which he said that the mad poet raised consciousness to "the most sublime ideality." The teacher who corrected the essay gave it a good mark but commented that Nietzsche should concern himself in the future with healthier, more lucid, more "German" writers. Additionally, he became acquainted with Ernst Ortlepp, an eccentric and drunken poet, found dead in a ditch weeks after meeting the young Nietzsche but who may have introduced Nietzsche to the music and writing of Rich
Alexander Alexandrovich Blok was a Russian lyrical poet. Blok was born into an intellectual family, his father was a law professor in Warsaw, his maternal grandfather the rector of Saint Petersburg State University. After his parents' separation, Blok lived with aristocratic relatives at the manor Shakhmatovo near Moscow, where he discovered the philosophy of Vladimir Solovyov, the verse of then-obscure 19th-century poets, Fyodor Tyutchev and Afanasy Fet; these influences would affect his early publications collected in the book Ante Lucem. In 1903 he married the actress Lyubov Dmitrievna Mendeleeva, daughter of the renowned chemist Dmitri Mendeleev, she would involve him in a complicated love-hate relationship with his fellow Symbolist Andrei Bely. To Lyuba he dedicated a cycle of poetry that made him famous, Stikhi o prekrasnoi Dame. Blok enthusiastically greeted the 1905 Russian Revolution. During the last period of his life, Blok emphasised political themes, pondering the messianic destiny of his country.
In 1906 he wrote an encomium to Mikhail Bakunin. Influenced by Solovyov's doctrines, he had vague apocalyptic apprehensions and vacillated between hope and despair. "I feel that a great event was coming, but what it was was not revealed to me", he wrote in his diary during the summer of 1917. Quite unexpectedly for most of his admirers, he accepted the October Revolution as the final resolution of these apocalyptic yearnings. In May 1917 Blok was appointed as a stenographer for the Extraordinary Commission to investigate illegal actions ex officio Ministers or to transcribe the interrogations of those who knew Grigori Rasputin. According to Orlando Figes he was only present at the interrogation. By 1921 Blok had become disillusioned with the Russian Revolution, he did not write any poetry for three years. He complained to Maksim Gorky that his "faith in the wisdom of humanity" had ended, explained to his friend Korney Chukovsky why he could not write poetry any more: "All sounds have stopped. Can't you hear that there are no longer any sounds?"
Within a few days Blok became sick. His doctors requested that he be sent abroad for medical treatment, but he was not allowed to leave the country. Gorky pleaded for a visa. On 29 May 1921, he wrote to Anatoly Lunacharsky: "Blok is Russia's finest poet. If you forbid him to go abroad, he dies and your comrades will be guilty of his death". A resolution on departure for Blok was signed by members of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee on 23 July 1921, but on 29 July Gorky asked permission for Blok's wife to accompany him, since Blok's health had deteriorated sharply. Permission for L. D. Blok to leave Russia was signed by Molotov on 1 August 1921, but Gorky was notified only on 6 August; the permission was delivered on 10 August, after Blok had died. Several months earlier, Blok had delivered a celebrated lecture on Alexander Pushkin, the memory of whom he believed to be capable of uniting White and Soviet Russian factions; the idealized mystical images presented in his first book helped establish Blok as a major poet of the Russian Symbolism style.
Blok's early verse is musical, but he sought to introduce daring rhythmic patterns and uneven beats into his poetry. Poetical inspiration was natural for him producing unforgettable, otherworldly images out of the most banal surroundings and trivial events, his mature poems are based on the conflict between the Platonic theory of ideal beauty and the disappointing reality of foul industrialism. The description of St Petersburg he crafted for his next collection of poems, The City, was both impressionistic and eerie. Subsequent collections and the Mask of Snow, helped augment Blok's reputation, he was compared with Alexander Pushkin, is considered the most important poet of the Silver Age of Russian Poetry. During the 1910s, Blok was admired by literary colleagues, his influence on younger poets was unsurpassed. Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetaeva, Boris Pasternak, Vladimir Nabokov wrote important verse tributes to Blok. Blok expressed his opinions about the revolution by the enigmatic poem "The Twelve".
The long poem exhibits "mood-creating sounds, polyphonic rhythms, harsh, slangy language". It describes the march of twelve Bolshevik soldiers through the streets of revolutionary Petrograd, with a fierce winter blizzard raging around them. "The Twelve" alienated Blok from many of his intellectual readers, while the Bolsheviks scorned his former mysticism and asceticism. Searching for modern language and new images, Blok used unusual sources for the poetry of Symbolism: urban folklore and ditties, he was inspired by the popular chansonnier Mikhail Savoyarov, whose concerts during the years 1915–1920 were visited by Blok. Academician Viktor Shklovsky noted, that the poem is written in criminal language and in ironic style, similar to Savoyarov’s couplets, by which Blok imitated the slang of 1918 Petrograd. Blok considered his poetical output as composed of three volumes; the first volume is composed of his early poems about the Fair Lady. The second volume comments upon the impossibility of attaining the ideal.
The third volume, featuring his poems from pre-revolutionary years, is more lively. For Blok's poet
Humboldt University of Berlin
Humboldt University of Berlin is a university in the central borough of Mitte in Berlin, Germany. It was established by Frederick William III on the initiative of Wilhelm von Humboldt, Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Ernst Daniel Schleiermacher as the University of Berlin in 1809, opened in 1810, making it the oldest of Berlin's four universities. From 1810 until its closure in 1945, it was named Friedrich Wilhelm University. During the Cold War the university found itself in East Berlin and was de facto split in two when the Free University of Berlin opened in West Berlin; the university received its current name in honour of Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt in 1949. The university is divided into nine faculties, including its medical school shared with the Free University of Berlin, has a student enrollment of around 32,000 students, offers degree programmes in some 189 disciplines from undergraduate to postdoctorate level, its main campus is located on the Unter den Linden boulevard in central Berlin.
The university is known worldwide for pioneering the Humboldtian model of higher education, which has influenced other European and Western universities, the university has been called "the mother of all modern universities."As of 2017, the university has been associated with 55 Nobel Prize winners, is considered one of the best universities in Europe as well as one of the most prestigious universities in the world for arts and humanities. It was regarded as the world's preeminent university for the natural sciences during the 19th and early 20th century, is linked to major breakthroughs in physics and other sciences by its professors such as Albert Einstein. Former faculty and notable alumni include eminent philosophers, artists, politicians, mathematicians and Heads of State; the University of Berlin was established on 16 August 1809, on the initiative of the liberal Prussian educational politician Wilhelm von Humboldt by King Friedrich Wilhelm III, during the period of the Prussian Reform Movement.
The university was located in a palace constructed from 1748-1766 for the late Prince Henry, the younger brother of Frederick the Great. After his widow and her ninety-member staff moved out, the first unofficial lectures were given in the building in the winter of 1809. Humboldt faced great resistance to his ideas, he submitted his resignation to the King in April 1810, was not present when the school opened that fall. The first students were admitted on 6 October 1810, the first semester started on 10 October 1810, with 256 students and 52 lecturers in faculties of law, medicine and philosophy under rector Theodor Schmalz; the university celebrates 15 October 1810 as the date of its opening. From 1828 to 1945, the school was named the Friedrich Wilhelm University, in honor of its founder. Ludwig Feuerbach one of the students, made a comment on the university in 1826: "There is no question here of drinking and plesant communal outings. Compared to this temple of work, the other universities appear like public houses."The university has been home to many of Germany's greatest thinkers of the past two centuries, among them the subjective idealist philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, the theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher, the absolute idealist philosopher G.
W. F. Hegel, the Romantic legal theorist Friedrich Carl von Savigny, the pessimist philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, the objective idealist philosopher Friedrich Schelling, cultural critic Walter Benjamin, famous physicists Albert Einstein and Max Planck; the founders of Marxist theory Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels attended the university, as did poet Heinrich Heine, novelist Alfred Döblin, founder of structuralism Ferdinand de Saussure, German unifier Otto von Bismarck, Communist Party of Germany founder Karl Liebknecht, African American Pan Africanist W. E. B. Du Bois and European unifier Robert Schuman, as well as the influential surgeon Johann Friedrich Dieffenbach in the early half of the 1800s; the structure of German research-intensive universities served as a model for institutions like Johns Hopkins University. Further, it has been claimed that "the'Humboldtian' university became a model for the rest of Europe with its central principle being the union of teaching and research in the work of the individual scholar or scientist."
In addition to the strong anchoring of traditional subjects, such as science, philosophy, history and medicine, the university developed to encompass numerous new scientific disciplines. Alexander von Humboldt, brother of the founder William, promoted the new learning. With the construction of modern research facilities in the second half of the 19th Century teaching of the natural sciences began. Famous researchers, such as the chemist August Wilhelm Hofmann, the physicist Hermann von Helmholtz, the mathematicians Ernst Eduard Kummer, Leopold Kronecker, Karl Weierstrass, the physicians Johannes Peter Müller, Albrecht von Graefe, Rudolf Virchow and Robert Koch, contributed to Berlin University's scientific fame. During this period of enlargement, the university expanded to incorporate other separate colleges in Berlin. An example would be the Pépinière and the Collegium Medico-chirurgicum. In 1717, King Friedrich I had built a quarantine house for Plague at the city gates, which in 1727 was rechristened by the "soldier king" Friedrich
Symbolism was a late nineteenth-century art movement of French and Belgian origin in poetry and other arts. In literature, the style originates with the 1857 publication of Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal; the works of Edgar Allan Poe, which Baudelaire admired and translated into French, were a significant influence and the source of many stock tropes and images. The aesthetic was developed by Paul Verlaine during the 1860s and 1870s. In the 1880s, the aesthetic was articulated by a series of manifestos and attracted a generation of writers; the term "symbolist" was first applied by the critic Jean Moréas, who invented the term to distinguish the Symbolists from the related Decadents of literature and of art. Distinct from, but related to, the style of literature, symbolism in art is related to the gothic component of Romanticism and Impressionism; the term "symbolism" is derived from the word "symbol" which derives from the Latin symbolum, a symbol of faith, symbolus, a sign of recognition, in turn from classical Greek σύμβολον symbolon, an object cut in half constituting a sign of recognition when the carriers were able to reassemble the two halves.
In ancient Greece, the symbolon was a shard of pottery, inscribed and broken into two pieces which were given to the ambassadors from two allied city states as a record of the alliance. Symbolism was a reaction against naturalism and realism, anti-idealistic styles which were attempts to represent reality in its gritty particularity, to elevate the humble and the ordinary over the ideal. Symbolism was a reaction in favour of spirituality, the imagination, dreams; some writers, such as Joris-Karl Huysmans, began as naturalists before becoming symbolists. Certain of the characteristic subjects of the Decadents represent naturalist interest in sexuality and taboo topics, but in their case this was mixed with Byronic romanticism and the world-weariness characteristic of the fin de siècle period; the Symbolist poets have a more complex relationship with Parnassianism, a French literary style that preceded it. While being influenced by hermeticism, allowing freer versification, rejecting Parnassian clarity and objectivity, it retained Parnassianism's love of word play and concern for the musical qualities of verse.
The Symbolists continued to admire Théophile Gautier's motto of "art for art's sake", retained – and modified – Parnassianism's mood of ironic detachment. Many Symbolist poets, including Stéphane Mallarmé and Paul Verlaine, published early works in Le Parnasse contemporain, the poetry anthologies that gave Parnassianism its name, but Arthur Rimbaud publicly mocked prominent Parnassians and published scatological parodies of some of their main authors, including François Coppée – misattributed to Coppée himself – in L'Album zutique. One of Symbolism's most colourful promoters in Paris was art and literary critic Joséphin Péladan, who established the Salon de la Rose + Croix; the Salon hosted a series of six presentations of avant-garde art and music during the 1890s, to give a presentation space for artists embracing spiritualism and idealism in their work. A number of Symbolists were associated with the Salon. Symbolists believed that art should represent absolute truths that could only be described indirectly.
Thus, they wrote in a metaphorical and suggestive manner, endowing particular images or objects with symbolic meaning. Jean Moréas published the Symbolist Manifesto in Le Figaro on 18 September 1886; the Symbolist Manifesto names Charles Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Verlaine as the three leading poets of the movement. Moréas announced that symbolism was hostile to "plain meanings, false sentimentality and matter-of-fact description", that its goal instead was to "clothe the Ideal in a perceptible form" whose "goal was not in itself, but whose sole purpose was to express the Ideal." Ainsi, dans cet art, les tableaux de la nature, les actions des humains, tous les phénomènes concrets ne sauraient se manifester eux-mêmes. In a nutshell, as Mallarmé writes in a letter to his friend Cazalis,'to depict not the thing but the effect it produces'; the symbolist poets wished to liberate techniques of versification in order to allow greater room for "fluidity", as such were sympathetic with the trend toward free verse, as evident in the poems of Gustave Kahn and Ezra Pound.
Symbolist poems were attempts to evoke, rather than to describe. T. S. Eliot was influenced by the poets Jules Laforgue, Paul Valéry and Arthur Rimbaud who used the techniques of the Symbolist school, though it has been said that'Imagism' was the style to which both Pound and Eliot subscribed. Synesthesia was a prized experience. In Baudelaire's poem Correspondences mentions forêts de symboles – forests of symbols – Il est des parfums frais comme des chairs d'enfants,Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies,– Et d'autres, riches et triomphants,Ayant l'expansion des choses infinies,Comme l'ambre, le musc, le benjoin et l'encens,Qui chantent le
Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million. An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject. Situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, it was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May 1703. During the periods 1713–1728 and 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the capital of Imperial Russia. In 1918, the central government bodies moved to Moscow, about 625 km to the south-east. Saint Petersburg is one of the most modern cities of Russia, as well as its cultural capital; the Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. Many foreign consulates, international corporations and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg. An admirer of everything German, Peter the Great named the city, Sankt-Peterburg.
On 1 September 1914, after the outbreak of World War I, the Imperial government renamed the city Petrograd, meaning "Peter's city", in order to expunge the German name Sankt and Burg. On 26 January 1924, shortly after the death of Vladimir Lenin, it was renamed to Leningrad, meaning "Lenin's City". On 6 September 1991, Sankt-Peterburg, was returned. Today, in English the city is known as "Saint Petersburg". Local residents refer to the city by its shortened nickname, Piter; the city's traditional nicknames among Russians are the Window to Europe. Swedish colonists built Nyenskans, a fortress at the mouth of the Neva River in 1611, in what was called Ingermanland, inhabited by Finnic tribe of Ingrians; the small town of Nyen grew up around it. At the end of the 17th century, Peter the Great, interested in seafaring and maritime affairs, wanted Russia to gain a seaport in order to trade with the rest of Europe, he needed a better seaport than the country's main one at the time, on the White Sea in the far north and closed to shipping during the winter.
On 12 May 1703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured Nyenskans and soon replaced the fortress. On 27 May 1703, closer to the estuary 5 km inland from the gulf), on Zayachy Island, he laid down the Peter and Paul Fortress, which became the first brick and stone building of the new city; the city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia. Tens of thousands of serfs died building the city; the city became the centre of the Saint Petersburg Governorate. Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712, 9 years before the Treaty of Nystad of 1721 ended the war. During its first few years, the city developed around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress. However, Saint Petersburg soon started to be built out according to a plan. By 1716 the Swiss Italian Domenico Trezzini had elaborated a project whereby the city centre would be located on Vasilyevsky Island and shaped by a rectangular grid of canals; the project is evident in the layout of the streets.
In 1716, Peter the Great appointed Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond as the chief architect of Saint Petersburg. The style of Petrine Baroque, developed by Trezzini and other architects and exemplified by such buildings as the Menshikov Palace, Kunstkamera and Paul Cathedral, Twelve Collegia, became prominent in the city architecture of the early 18th century. In 1724 the Academy of Sciences and Academic Gymnasium were established in Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great. In 1725, Peter died at the age of fifty-two, his endeavours to modernize Russia had met with opposition from the Russian nobility—resulting in several attempts on his life and a treason case involving his son. In 1728, Peter II of Russia moved his seat back to Moscow, but four years in 1732, under Empress Anna of Russia, Saint Petersburg was again designated as the capital of the Russian Empire. It remained the seat of the Romanov dynasty and the Imperial Court of the Russian Tsars, as well as the seat of the Russian government, for another 186 years until the communist revolution of 1917.
In 1736–1737 the city suffered from catastrophic fires. To rebuild the damaged boroughs, a committee under Burkhard Christoph von Münnich commissioned a new plan in 1737; the city was divided into five boroughs, the city centre was moved to the Admiralty borough, situated on the east bank between the Neva and Fontanka. It developed along three radial streets, which meet at the Admiralty building and are now one street known as Nevsky Prospekt, Gorokhovaya Street and Voznesensky Prospekt. Baroque architecture became dominant in the city during the first sixty years, culminating in the Elizabethan Baroque, represented most notably by Italian Bartolomeo Rastrelli with such buildings as the Winter Palace. In the 1760s, Baroque architecture was succeeded by neoclassical architecture. Established in 1762, the Commission of Stone Buildings of Moscow and Saint Petersburg ruled that no structure in the