By August 1703 the new settlers have already encountered the infamous St. Petersburg floods.
The area was considered unhealthy for a town, but it had tremendous strategic importance, so
Peter the Great continued constructing the city despite all the losses and extra expenditures.
For its first few years the St. Petersburg of Peter the Great was a small town around the fortress,
but by 1712 it was big enough to become the new Russian capital.
Peter The Great
The first years of St. Petersburg's history saw an amazing transition from a swampy scarcely populated
land to a fine European capital.
The first structure to be built in the new city was St. Peter's and Paul's fortress.
Designed to protect the area from the attacks of the Swedish army and navy,
the fort was not involved in the actual fighting. However, the area was well-protected militarily,
as the Admiralty complex was also fortified. The Admiralty was a center of St. Petersburg's various activities.
The most powerful ships of Russia's Baltic Fleet were built there, which led
to a series of naval victories in the course of the Northern War. Many of the street and district
names in St. Petersburg still remind us of Peter the Great's war preparations (Liteiny - "Foundry Yard",
Smolny - "Tar Yard", which has produced tar for shipbuilding, etc.).