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Russia Engages the World, 1453-1825
1453 Through the Reign of Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584) The Time of Troubles to the First Romanovs (1598-1682) Peter the Great and His Legacy (1682-1762) The Age of Catherine the Great (1762-1801) The Reign of Emperor Alexander I (1801-1825)


Explore this Section:

Russia's Changing Borders, 1689, 1725, and 1796
Engagement Symbol
Russian Conquests, 1734: A German Depiction
Moscow as the Center of the Russian World
Engagement Symbol St. Petersburg, 1718: An Early German Depiction
The Dutch Depict Russia’s Northern Rivals
Mapping the Safavid Empire

Russia's Globalization:
A Key

Events marked Russia Symbol are specific to Muscovy/Russia's internal development.
Those marked World Symbol are important world historical or cultural events.
Engagement Symbol indicates specific points of sociocultural or military engagement between Muscovy/Russia and foreign powers or individuals.



   St. Petersburg, 1718: An Early German Depiction

   Photographic Services & Permissions
  Johann Baptist Homann (1663–1724)
Topographische Vorstellung der neuen russischen Haupt-Residenz und See-Stadt St. Petersburg [Topographic Presentation of the New Russian Royal Residence and Seaport of St. Petersburg]
Nuremberg: Johann Baptist Homann, [1718]
NYPL, Map Division

This is one of the first published maps of St. Petersburg. The hexagonal Peter-Paul fortress is depicted at the center; the similarly fortified Admiralty is across and downriver from it. Vasilevskii Island (left), only just being settled at the time, shows the plan for its “regular” development drawn up for Peter the Great by the Swiss-Italian Domenico Trezzini (ca. 1670–1734), the first architect of St. Petersburg.

The tsar was involved in every aspect of the building of St. Petersburg. His demand for rapid construction under harsh conditions contributed to the deaths of thousands of laborers.