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
Chita, Zabaykalsky Krai
Chita is a city and the administrative center of Zabaykalsky Krai, located at the confluence of the Chita and Ingoda Rivers and on the Trans-Siberian Railway, 900 kilometers east of Irkutsk. Population: 324,444 . Pyotr Beketov's Cossacks founded Chita in 1653. After 1825, several of the Decembrists suffered exile to Chita. According to George Kennan, "Among the exiles in Chita were some of the brightest, most cultivated, most sympathetic men and women that we had met in Eastern Siberia."When Richard Maack visited the city in 1855, he saw a wooden town, with one wooden, church. He estimated Chita's population at under 1,000, but predicted that the city would soon experience fast growth, due to the upcoming annexation of the Amur valley by Russia. By 1885, Chita's population had reached 5,728, by 1897 it increased to 11,500. In 1945, the last Emperor of China, some of his associates were held prisoner in the city, in a former sanatorium for officers. Chita is the administrative center of Zabaykalsky Krai, within the framework of administrative divisions, it serves as the administrative center of Chitinsky District, to which it is subordinated.
As a municipal division, the city of Chita together with one rural locality in Chitinsky District is incorporated as Chita Urban Okrug. The city is subdivided into four administrative districts: Chernovsky, Ingodinsky and Zheleznodorozhny. Chernovsky Administrative District used to be a mining settlement, incorporated into Chita in 1941. Chernovskiye mines themselves are a geological nature monument of international status. Chita is served by Kadala Airport, situated 15 km to the west. Chita is home to several facilities of higher education: Transbaikal State University Chita State Academy of Medicine Chita Northwest air base is located nearby, as well as the 101st Communications Brigade and the 53rd Material Support Regiment. FC Chita is Chita's association football club. An indoor arena for speed skating is planned. Chita experiences a borderline subarctic climate/humid continental climate with cold dry winters and warm, wet summers. Chita is twinned with: Ulan-Ude, Russia. 1 января 2014 г. «Реестр административно-территориальных единиц и населённых пунктов Забайкальского края», в ред.
Распоряжения №209-р от 10 июня 2014 г... Законодательное Собрание Забайкальского края. Закон №316-ЗЗК от 18 декабря 2009 г. «О границах муниципальных районов и городских округов Забайкальского края», в ред. Закона №770-ЗЗК от 26 декабря 2012 г. «О внесении изменений в Закон Забайкальского края "О границах муниципальных районов и городских округов Забайкальского края"». Вступил в силу через десять дней после дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Забайкальский рабочий", №239–242, 21 декабря 2009 г.. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Chita". Encyclopædia Britannica. 6. Cambridge University Press. P. 247. Official website of Chita Account of Englishman's life in Chita, 2005-2006 Old Chita, website of local history
MusicBrainz is a project that aims to create an open data music database, similar to the freedb project. MusicBrainz was founded in response to the restrictions placed on the Compact Disc Database, a database for software applications to look up audio CD information on the Internet. MusicBrainz has expanded its goals to reach beyond a compact disc metadata storehouse to become a structured open online database for music. MusicBrainz captures information about artists, their recorded works, the relationships between them. Recorded works entries capture at a minimum the album title, track titles, the length of each track; these entries are maintained by volunteer editors. Recorded works can store information about the release date and country, the CD ID, cover art, acoustic fingerprint, free-form annotation text and other metadata; as of 21 September 2018, MusicBrainz contained information about 1.4 million artists, 2 million releases, 19 million recordings. End-users can use software that communicates with MusicBrainz to add metadata tags to their digital media files, such as FLAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis or AAC.
MusicBrainz allows contributors to upload cover art images of releases to the database. Internet Archive provides the bandwidth and legal protection for hosting the images, while MusicBrainz stores metadata and provides public access through the web and via an API for third parties to use; as with other contributions, the MusicBrainz community is in charge of maintaining and reviewing the data. Cover art is provided for items on sale at Amazon.com and some other online resources, but CAA is now preferred because it gives the community more control and flexibility for managing the images. Besides collecting metadata about music, MusicBrainz allows looking up recordings by their acoustic fingerprint. A separate application, such as MusicBrainz Picard, must be used for this. In 2000, MusicBrainz started using Relatable's patented TRM for acoustic fingerprint matching; this feature allowed the database to grow quickly. However, by 2005 TRM was showing scalability issues as the number of tracks in the database had reached into the millions.
This issue was resolved in May 2006 when MusicBrainz partnered with MusicIP, replacing TRM with MusicDNS. TRMs were phased out and replaced by MusicDNS in November 2008. In October 2009 MusicIP was acquired by AmpliFIND; some time after the acquisition, the MusicDNS service began having intermittent problems. Since the future of the free identification service was uncertain, a replacement for it was sought; the Chromaprint acoustic fingerprinting algorithm, the basis for AcoustID identification service, was started in February 2010 by a long-time MusicBrainz contributor Lukáš Lalinský. While AcoustID and Chromaprint are not MusicBrainz projects, they are tied with each other and both are open source. Chromaprint works by analyzing the first two minutes of a track, detecting the strength in each of 12 pitch classes, storing these 8 times per second. Additional post-processing is applied to compress this fingerprint while retaining patterns; the AcoustID search server searches from the database of fingerprints by similarity and returns the AcoustID identifier along with MusicBrainz recording identifiers if known.
Since 2003, MusicBrainz's core data are in the public domain, additional content, including moderation data, is placed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license. The relational database management system is PostgreSQL; the server software is covered by the GNU General Public License. The MusicBrainz client software library, libmusicbrainz, is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License, which allows use of the code by proprietary software products. In December 2004, the MusicBrainz project was turned over to the MetaBrainz Foundation, a non-profit group, by its creator Robert Kaye. On 20 January 2006, the first commercial venture to use MusicBrainz data was the Barcelona, Spain-based Linkara in their Linkara Música service. On 28 June 2007, BBC announced that it has licensed MusicBrainz's live data feed to augment their music Web pages; the BBC online music editors will join the MusicBrainz community to contribute their knowledge to the database. On 28 July 2008, the beta of the new BBC Music site was launched, which publishes a page for each MusicBrainz artist.
Amarok – KDE audio player Banshee – multi-platform audio player Beets – automatic CLI music tagger/organiser for Unix-like systems Clementine – multi-platform audio player CDex – Microsoft Windows CD ripper Demlo – a dynamic and extensible music manager using a CLI iEatBrainz – Mac OS X deprecated foo_musicbrainz component for foobar2000 – Music Library/Audio Player Jaikoz – Java mass tag editor Max – Mac OS X CD ripper and audio transcoder Mp3tag – Windows metadata editor and music organizer MusicBrainz Picard – cross-platform album-oriented tag editor MusicBrainz Tagger – deprecated Microsoft Windows tag editor puddletag – a tag editor for PyQt under the GPLv3 Rhythmbox music player – an audio player for Unix-like systems Sound Juicer – GNOME CD ripper Zortam Mp3 Media Studio – Windows music organizer and ID3 Tag Editor. Freedb clients can access MusicBrainz data through the freedb protocol by using the MusicBrainz to FreeDB gateway service, mb2freedb. List of online music databases Making Metadata: The Case of Mus
The Ural Mountains, or the Urals, are a mountain range that runs from north to south through western Russia, from the coast of the Arctic Ocean to the Ural River and northwestern Kazakhstan. The mountain range forms part of the conventional boundary between the continents of Europe and Asia. Vaygach Island and the islands of Novaya Zemlya form a further continuation of the chain to the north into the Arctic Ocean; the mountains lie within the Ural geographical region and overlap with the Ural Federal District and with the Ural economic region. They have rich resources, including metal ores and precious and semi-precious stones. Since the 18th century the mountains have contributed to the mineral sector of the Russian economy; as attested by Sigismund von Herberstein, in the 16th century Russians called the range by a variety of names derived from the Russian words for rock and belt. The modern Russian name for the Urals, first appearing in the 16th–17th century when the Russian conquest of Siberia was in its heroic phase, was applied to its southern parts and gained currency as the name of the entire range during the 18th century.
It might have been a borrowing from Ob-Ugric. From the 13th century, in Bashkortostan there has been a legend about a hero named Ural, he sacrificed his life for the sake of his people and they poured a stone pile over his grave, which turned into the Ural Mountains. Possibilities include Bashkir үр "elevation. N. Tatischev believes that this oronym is set to "belt" and associates it with the Turkic verb oralu- "gird". I. G. Dobrodomov suggests a transition from Aral to Ural explained on the basis of ancient Bulgar-Chuvash dialects. Geographer E. V. Hawks believes; the Evenk geographical term era "mountain" has been theorized. Finno-Ugrist scholars consider Ural deriving from the Ostyak word urr meaning "chain of mountains". Turkologists, on the other hand, have achieved majority support for their assertion that'ural' in Tatar means a belt, recall that an earlier name for the range was'stone belt'; as Middle-Eastern merchants traded with the Bashkirs and other people living on the western slopes of the Ural as far north as Great Perm, since at least the 10th century medieval mideastern geographers had been aware of the existence of the mountain range in its entirety, stretching as far as to the Arctic Ocean in the north.
The first Russian mention of the mountains to the east of the East European Plain is provided by the Primary Chronicle, when it describes the Novgorodian expedition to the upper reaches of the Pechora in 1096. During the next few centuries Novgorodians engaged in fur trading with the local population and collected tribute from Yugra and Great Perm expanding southwards; the rivers Chusovaya and Belaya were first mentioned in the chronicles of 1396 and 1468, respectively. In 1430 the town of Solikamsk was founded on the Kama at the foothills of the Ural, where salt was produced in open pans. Ivan III of Moscow captured Perm and Yugra from the declining Novgorod Republic in 1472. With the excursions of 1483 and 1499–1500 across the Ural Moscow managed to subjugate Yugra completely. Around that time early 16th century Polish geographer Maciej of Miechów in his influential Tractatus de duabus Sarmatiis argued that there were no mountains in Eastern Europe at all, challenging the point of view of some authors of Classical antiquity, popular during the Renaissance.
Only after Sigismund von Herberstein in his Notes on Muscovite Affairs had reported, following Russian sources, that there are mountains behind the Pechora and identified them with the Ripheans and Hyperboreans of ancient authors, did the existence of the Ural, or at least of its northern part, become established in the Western geography. The Middle and Southern Ural were still unavailable and unknown to the Russian or Western European geographers. In the 1550s, after the Tsardom of Russia had defeated the Khanate of Kazan and proceeded to annex the lands of the Bashkirs, the Russians reached the southern part of the mountain chain. In 1574 they founded Ufa; the upper reaches of the Kama and Chusovaya in the Middle Ural, still unexplored, as well as parts of Transuralia still held by the hostile Siberian Khanate, were granted to the Stroganovs by several decrees of the tsar in 1558–1574. The Stroganovs' land provided the staging ground for Yermak's incursion into Siberia. Yermak crossed the Ural from the Chusovaya to the Tagil around 1581.
In 1597 Babinov's road was built across the Ural from Solikamsk to the valley of the Tura, where the town of Verkhoturye was founded in 1598. Customs was established in Verkhoturye shortly thereafter and the road was made the only legal connection between European Russia and Siberia for a long time. In 1648 the town of Kungur was founded at the western foothills of the Middle Ural. During the 17th century the first deposits of iron and copper ores, mica and other minerals were discovered in the Ural. Iron and copper smelting works emerged, they multiplied quickly during the reign of Peter I of Russia. In 1720–1722 he commissioned Vasily Tatishchev to oversee and develop the mining and smelting works in the Ural. Tatishchev proposed a new copper smelting factory in Yegoshikha, which would become the core of the city of Perm and a new iron smelting factory on the Iset, which would become the largest in the
The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia, at the junction of the Himalayas with the Tian Shan, Kunlun, Hindu Kush and Hindu Raj ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains; the Pamir Mountains lie in the Gorno-Badakhshan province of Tajikistan. To the north, they join the Tian Shan mountains along the Alay Valley of Kyrgyzstan. To the south, they border the Hindu Kush mountains along Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor. To the east, they extend to the range that includes China's Kongur Tagh, in the "Eastern Pamirs", separated by the Yarkand valley from the Kunlun Mountains. Since Victorian times, they have been known as the "Roof of the World" a translation from Persian. In other languages they are called: Kyrgyz Памир тоолору, Pamir Tooloru, پامىر توولورۇ. Rešte Kuhhā-ye Pāmir. Rishta Köhhoyi Pomir; the name "Pamir" is used more in Modern Chinese and loaned as simplified Chinese: 帕米尔. According to Middleton and Thomas, "pamir" is a geological term. A pamir is a flat plateau or U-shaped valley surrounded by mountains.
It forms when a ice field melts leaving a rocky plain. A pamir lasts until erosion cuts down normal valleys; this type of terrain is found in the east and north of the Wakhan, the east and south of Gorno-Badakhshan, as opposed to the valleys and gorges of the west. Pamirs are used for summer pasture; the Great Pamir is around Lake Zorkul. The Little Pamir is east of this in the far east of Wakhan; the Taghdumbash Pamir is between the Wakhan west of the Karakoram Highway. The Alichur Pamir is around Yashil Kul on the Gunt River; the Sarez Pamir is around the town of Murghab. The Khargush Pamir is south of Lake Karakul. There are several others; the Pamir River is in the south-west of the Pamirs. The three highest mountains in the Pamirs core are 7,495 m. In the Eastern Pamirs, China's Kongur Tagh is the highest at 7,649 m. Among the significant peaks of the Pamir Mountains are the following: Remark: The summits of the Kongur and Muztagata Group are in some sources counted as part of the Kunlun, which would make Pik Ismoil Somoni the highest summit of the Pamir.
There are many glaciers in the Pamir Mountains, including the 77 km long Fedchenko Glacier, the longest in the former USSR and the longest glacier outside the polar regions. 12,500 km² of the Pamirs are glaciated. Glaciers in the Southern Pamirs are retreating rapidly. Ten percent of annual runoff is supposed to originate from retreating glaciers in the Southern Pamirs. In the North-Western Pamirs, glaciers have stable mass balances. Covered in snow throughout the year, the Pamirs have long and bitterly cold winters, short, cool summers. Annual precipitation is about 130 mm; the East-Pamir, in the centre of which the massifs of Mustagh Ata and Kongur Tagh are situated, shows from the western margin of the Tarim Basin an east-west extension of c. 200 km. Its north-south extension from King Ata Tagh up to the northwest Kunlun foothills amounts to c.170 km. Whilst the up to 21 km long current valley glaciers are restricted to mountain massifs exceeding 5600 m in height, during the last glacial period the glacier ice covered the high plateau with its set-up highland relief, continuing west of Mustagh Ata and Kongur.
From this glacier area an outlet glacier has flowed down to the north-east through the Gez valley up to c.1850 m asl and thus as far as to the margin of the Tarim basin. This outlet glacier received inflow from the Kaiayayilak glacier from the Kongur north flank. From the north-adjacent Kara Bak Tor massif, the Oytag valley glacier in the same exposition flowed down up to c. 1850 m asl. At glacial times the glacier snowline as altitude limit between glacier nourishing area and ablation zone, was about 820 to 1250 metres lower than it is today. Under the condition of comparable proportions of precipitation there results from this a glacial depression of temperature of at least 5 to 7.5 °C. Coal is mined in the west, though sheep herding in upper meadowlands is the primary source of income for the region; this section is based on the book by R. Middleton and H. Thomas The lapis lazuli found in Egyptian tombs is thought to come from the Pamir area in Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. About 138 BC Zhang Qian reached the Fergana Valley northwest of the Pamirs.
Ptolemy vaguely describes a trade route through the area. From about 600 AD, Buddhist pilgrims travelled on both sides of the Pamirs to reach India from China. In 747 a Tang army was on the Wakhan River. There are various Chinese reports. Marco Polo may have travelled along the Panj River. In 1602 Bento de Goes left a meager report on the Pamirs. In 1838 Lieutenant John Wood reached the headwaters of the Pamir River. From about 1868 to 1880, a number of Indians in the British service secretly explored the Panj area. In 1873 the British and Russians agreed to an Afgh
Leningrad Oblast is a federal subject of Russia. It was established on August 1, 1927, although it was not until 1946 that the oblast's borders had been settled in their present position; the oblast was named after the city of Leningrad. Unlike the city, the oblast retains the name of Leningrad; the oblast overlaps the historic region of Ingria and is bordered by Finland in the northwest and Estonia in the west, as well as five federal subjects of Russia: the Republic of Karelia in the northeast, Vologda Oblast in the east, Novgorod Oblast in the south, Pskov Oblast in the southwest, the federal city of Saint Petersburg in the west. The first governor of Leningrad Oblast was Vadim Gustov; the current governor, since 2012, is Aleksandr Drozdenko. The oblast has an area of 84,500 square kilometers and a population of 1,716,868; the most populous town of the oblast is Gatchina, with 88,659 inhabitants. Leningrad Oblast is industrialized. Leningrad Oblast is located around the Gulf of Finland and south of two great lakes of the European Part of Russia, Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega.
Its northeastern part, between the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga, occupies the Karelian Isthmus. Some islands in the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga belong to the oblast. Much of the area of the oblast belongs to the drainage basin of the Neva, the only outflow of Lake Ladoga. Whereas the Neva, which flows to the Gulf of Finland is short, its drainage basin is enormously big and includes Lake Onega and Lake Ilmen as well; the Svir and the Volkhov flow from Lake Onega and Lake Ilmen to lake Ladoga. Other major tributaries of Lake Ladoga include the Syas. Rivers in the western part of the oblast flow to the Gulf of Finland. Minor areas in the east of the oblast belong to the river basin of the Chagodoshcha, a tributary of the Mologa, of the Suda, both in the basin of the Volga. Thus, the divide between the basins of the Baltic and Caspian Seas crosses the oblast; the Karelian Isthmus is a rocky terrain. The biggest lakes on the Karelian Isthmus are Lake Vuoksa, Lake Sukhodolskoye, Lake Otradnoye.
The rest of the area of the oblast is flat. The exception is a chain of hills in the east of the oblast. Most of the area is covered by swamps. Leningrad Oblast contains two nature protected areas at the federal level, the Nizhnesvirsky Nature Reserve and Mshinskoye Boloto Zakaznik, both created to protect forest and swamp landscapes of northwestern Russia; the most taxonomically diverse vascular plant families are Asteraceae, Cyperaceae and Rosaceae. By far the most diverse genus is Carex; the diversity in genera Hieracium, Alchemilla, Potamogeton, Veronica, Juncus, Potentilla, Festuca, Poa, Campanula, Lathyrus, Geranium is considerable. The territory has no endemic plant taxa. Vascular plant species of Leningrad Oblast listed in the red data book of Russia are Botrychium simplex, Cephalanthera rubra, Cypripedium calceolus, Epipogium aphyllum, Lobelia dortmanna, Myrica gale, Ophrys insectifera, Orchis militaris, Pulsatilla pratensis, Pulsatilla vernalis; the territory of present-day Leningrad Oblast was populated shortly after the end of the Weichselian glaciation and now hosts numerous archaeological remnants.
The Volga trade route and trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks crossed the territory. Staraya Ladoga, the first capital of legendary Rurik, founded in the 8th-9th century, is situated in the east of the oblast, on the Volkhov River. In the 12th-15th century, the territory was divided between the Kingdom of Sweden and Novgorod Republic and populated by various Baltic Finns people such as Karelians and Votes, Vepsians, as well as Ilmen Slavs of Novgorod. During the Russo-Swedish Wars of the 15th-17th centuries, the border moved back and forth over the land; the central part of the territory is known as the historical region of Ingria and in the 17th century, after most of the present-day territory of Leningrad Oblast was captured by Sweden with the Treaty of Stolbovo of 1617, became subject to substantial Finnish Lutheran population influx from Finnish Karelia and Savonia. Having faced the religious pressure from Lutheran pastors and Swedish authorities, local Orthodox population of Russian and Finnic ancestry massively fled from Ingria to neighbour Russian provinces, so Ingrian Finns soon became the dominant ethnic group.
During the Great Northern War the territory of what is now Leningrad Oblast was returned from Sweden by Russia under Peter the Great, who founded Saint Petersburg amidst the land in 1703, which soon became the capital of the Russian Empire. In 1708, most of the territory was organized into Ingermanland Governorate under Governor General Alexander Menshikov, it was renamed Saint Petersburg Governorate in 1710 (the borders of that governorate, differed significantly from those of the present-day oblast and included much of the areas of
Bard (Soviet Union)
The term bard came to be used in the Soviet Union in the early 1960s, continues to be used in Russia today, to refer to singer-songwriters who wrote songs outside the Soviet establishment to folk singers of the American folk music revival. Because in bard music songwriters perform their own songs, the genre is commonly referred to as author song. Bard poetry differs from other poetry in being sung with simple guitar accompaniment as opposed to being spoken. Another difference is that it focuses more on meaning; this means that fewer stylistic devices are used, the poetry is in the form of a narrative. What separates bard poetry from other songs is that the music is far less important than the lyrics. A far more obvious difference is the commerce-free nature of the genre. Stylistically, the precursors to bard songs were Russian "city romances" known as urban romances, which touched upon common life and were popular throughout all layers of Russian society in the late 19th to early 20th centuries.
These romances were traditionally performed with a guitar accompaniment. Bard poetry may be classified into two main genres: tourist song and political song, although some other subgenres are recognized, such as outlaw song and pirate song; the term "bard" was used by fans of the tourist song genre, outside those circles, the term was perceived as derisive. However, there was a need for a term to distinguish this style of song from the traditional mainstream pop song, the term stuck. Many bards performed their songs for small groups of people using a Russian guitar, if would they be accompanied by other musicians or singers; those who became popular were able to hold modest concerts. Bards were permitted to record their music, given the political nature of many of their songs; as a result, bard tunes made their way around via the copying of amateur recordings made at concerts those songs that were of a political nature. During the Soviet Era of Stagnation and its intense forms such as alpinism, kayaking/canoeing, canyoning, became a form of escapism for young people, who felt that these activities were the only ways of life in which such values as courage, risk, trust and mutual support still mattered.
It is these types of virtues that tourist songs use for their subject matter. Many of the best tourist songs were composed by Yuri Vizbor who participated and sang about all the sports described above, Alexander Gorodnitsky who spent a great deal of time sailing around the world on ships and on scientific expeditions to the far North. A notable subgenre of the Tourist song was the Sea song; as with other tourist songs, the goal was to sing about people in hard conditions where true physical and emotional conflicts appear. Vladimir Vysotsky had several songs of this sort, since his style suited them perfectly. Many of Alexander Gorodnitsky's songs are about the sea since he had the opportunity to experience life at sea. While some songs were about sailors, others were about pirates. With the romanticism of songs like Brigantine by Pavel Kogan, pirate songs are still popular at author song concerts today; every bard has at least one song of this type. Tourist song was tolerated by the government, it existed under the moniker author song, i.e. songs sung by the authors themselves, as opposed to those sung by professional singers.
Another name for this genre was "amateur song". This term reflects the cultural phenomenon of the Soviet Union called "amateur performing arts," or khudozhestvennaya samodeyatelnost, it was a widespread heavily subsidized occupation of Soviet people in their spare time. Every major industrial enterprise and every kolkhoz had a Palace of Culture, or at least a House of Culture, for amateur performers to practice and perform. Many of them, as well as many universities, had Clubs of Amateur Song, which, in fact, were clubs of bard song and which stood quite apart from the mainstream Soviet "samodeyatelnost'". Grushinsky festival traces its origins to tourist song fan meetings, but now includes songs from all genres. Compare: Tramping song, a similar tradition in the Czech Republic. Songs of this kind expressed protest against the Soviet way of life; the genre varied from acutely political, "anti-Soviet" songs to witty satire in the best traditions of Aesop. Some of Bulat Okudzhava's songs touch on these themes.
Vladimir Vysotsky was perceived as a political song writer, although he was part of the mainstream culture. It was not so with Alexander Galich, forced to emigrate. Before emigration, he suffered from KGB persecution, as did Yuliy Kim. Others, like Evgeny Kliachkin and Aleksander Dolsky, maintained a balance between outright "anti-Soviet" and plain romantic material. "songs" from pro-Communist plays by Bertolt Brecht criticizing fascism and capitalist society, could be seen as protest songs, hence were popular among bards. These were called zo