Beautifully engraved Certificate from the famous Tramways et Entreprises Electriques de la Banlieue de St. Petersbourg issued in 1912. This historic document has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegoric woman with electricity and electric trains in the background . This item is hand signed by the company's administrators and is over 93 years old.
St. Petersburg: History
St.Petersburg was founded on the 16th of May 1703. That day the six-bastion fortress was ceremonially laid on the Zayachy Island in the broadest part of the Neva estuary. The laying of the Fortress became a culmination in the succession of events that lasted several centuries. The Finnish Gulf, the Ladoga Lake, the Onega Lake and the surrounding regi-on became the arena of fight between Novgorod, and later the centralized Rus-sian State and the neighboring states, especially Sweden.
In 1710 the Capital of Russia was transferred to St. Petersburg from Moscow, while in 1712 the Tsar Family and households together with the major Governmental Bodies moved to St.Petersburg. On the 27th of July 1714 Russia fleet headed by Peter the Great scored the decisive victory at Gangut cape in the Baltic Sea that made Russia an equal partner among the European states and determined the outcome of the Northern War.
Peter the Great conceived the idea of a regularly planned city with well-defined layout developed to clear designs. Domenico Tresini was the first architect who made the General Layout of the city center. His designs were used for construction of the Summer Palace of Peter the Great, the Building of the Twelve Boards, and the laying of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery, that appeared to be of the prime importance for the city development and the ideology. It was Peter the Great's intention to move the Relics of Saint Alexander Nevsky from Vladimir City to this monastery to make a memorial that would always remind of the glory of Russian troops.
Jean Batist Leblon was the architect who developed the General Layout of St.Peters-burg. During that period such buildings as the Menshikov Palace, and the Kunstamera were constructed; the outstanding sculptor and architect B.F. Rastrelli worked in the city. The combined efforts of these architects lead to the specific style of St.Petersburg baroque.
A tragic pause in the city development followed the death of Peter the Great (January 28 1725). The opponents of Peter the Great's reforms brought the Capital back to Moscow and the City of Peter began to decay. In 1730 Empress Ann ascended the throne and the status of Russian Capital came back to St.Petersburg again. The Empress tried to be seen as the follower of Peter's ideas. During her reign the city was carefully divided into five part, the center being moved to the Admiralty Island. Three thoroughfares that stemmed from the Admiralty were completed - Nevsky Prospect, Median Prospect (now Gorokhovaya street), and Voznesensky Prospect.
During the reign of Nicolay II (1894-1917) Russia waged a number of wars that happened to be extremely hard for the Country. The war with Japan lead to the defeat of Russian fleet at Tsushima Island and to the loss of the Port Arthur (in China). In 1914 the First World War I broke out. Under the influence of anti-German vein St.Petersburg was renamed into Petrograd in 1914. This war (1914-18) appeared to be fatal for the Russia autocracy. The October Coup inspired by the Bolsheviks headed by V. Lenin on November 6-7 1917 lead to the change of the political system in Russia. The Civil War and the mess in economy followed these events. All private properties were nationalized. In twentieth of XX century thousands of workers from industrial outskirts moved to central apartments, breaking the functional structure of the central residential houses. During these years the Bolsheviks sold out to foreign countries a lot of national treasures, sacred objects that belonged to church, that had been created and cherished for many centuries.
In 1917-1923 the Mars Square in St. Petersburg was transformed into a garden laid out to the drawing of I. Fomin. The granite monument to the revolutionaries was erected there to the design of L. Rudnev. V. Lenin died in 1924. The Bolsheviks renamed the city into Leningrad "to immortalize Lenin's name". In thirtieth and fortieth such districts as Avtovo, Moskovsky Avenue, and Malaya Okhta were developed.
The Great Patriotic War with Nazi Germany became the hardest ordeal for the whole country and in particular for St.Petersburg. According to the plan of Hitler, Leningrad was supposed to be totally demolished. The Blockade of Leningrad was the most tragic period for the city during the World War II. It lasted from September 08 1941 till January 27 1944, about 900 days and nights. Fighting for Leningrad the Soviet troops managed to keep the enemy back from the city at quite a short distance setting an example of real heroism. Two million eight hundred and eighty seven civilians left is the blocked city. The Military Council of the Leningrad Front established the production of ammunition died of hunger, while seventeen thousand more were killed by bombs and shell splinters. The me-morial ensembles were created in sixtieth at Piskarevskoye and Sera-phi-movskye cemeteries, were the victim of the Blockade had been buried. The monuments of history and culture and the suburban palace complexes were ruined or devastated. The restoration works started right after the war. These works were most successfully performed in fiftieth and sixtieth.
In sixtieth - eightieth the city was developed along the arch of the Finnish Gulf coast, as well as to the Northwest and South. The memorial ensemble of the Victory Square was established that time. The "Oktyabrsky" concert hall, the "Yubileiny" Palace of Sport, the "Moskva" hotel, the "Pulkovskaya" hotel, the "Pulkovo" airport, and the Sport and Concert Hall are the biggest buildings that appeared during this period. In 1979 St. Petersburg began to erect the flood protection dam and associated facilities. Throughout its history St.Petersburg always faced the menace of flood. The dam starts from the Gorskaya station on the northern coast of the Finnish Gulf, crosses the Kotlin Island, and reaches the Bronka station on the southern coast. The dam is 25.4 kilometers long and 8 meters high. After commissioning of the dam and associated facilities, the floods will no more threaten the city.
The ninetieth of XX century are marked the drastic changes in the governmental structures and economical policy. In 1991 the name of Saint Peter was returned to the city. The high speed St.Petersburg-Moscow railroad project was started in 1991. In 1994 St.Petersburg became the place of the Good Will Games. The projects for revamping of the City Sea Port and the Airport have been initiated. The growth of business, political and cultural activity is quite obvious. Being one of the major European centers the city has the honor to be referred to as the Northern Capital of Russia.