Saint Petersburg is the north capital of Russia. It is known as one of the biggest and most beautiful cities of the country. People often call St Petersburg the Venice of the North, because it has as many canals as Venice. St Petersburg is also the former capital of Russia. It has then moved to Moscow. Millions of people every year visit this city. It happens because of the city’s rich history, amazing architecture and numerous places of interest. The most famous place which everybody wishes to see is the Hermitage. It’s a huge museum, which houses more than 3 million art items, and is situated in the building of Winter Palace. The first person who started collecting paintings and sculptures of famous European artists was the Empress Catherine II. Another big and often visited museum in St Petersburg is the Russian Museum. It holds the biggest collection of Russian art, including paintings, sculptures, items of applied and folk arts. The main architectural sights of St Petersburg are the Savior on the Blood Church, St. Isaac's and Kazan Cathedrals, Alexander Nevsky Monastery, Peter and Paul Fortress and many others. Many buildings in the city were put up by Peter the Great’s order, who was one of the best rulers of the country. Some attractive sights can be found in the suburbs, such as Peterhof, Pavlovsk, Tsarskoe selo. All these places have once served as the official residences for Russian tsars. And, it goes without saying that there are many magnificent palaces to be seen, such as the Great Yekaterininsky Palace, the Aleksandrovsky Palace, the Bolshoi Palace and some others. Tsarskoe selo was also the place where famous Russian writer, Pushkin, grew up.