While Peter the Great had ruled Russia for about thirty years, during the next fifteen years after Peter I's death, Russia had seen three different rulers. However, the future two successors after Peter the Great, her widow Empress Catherine I, and his grandson Peter II had ruled Russia for a short time. Still, Empress Anna, who succeed the crown from Peter II, survived ten years on the throne. In this post, you can learn about St. Petersburg's history from 1725 to 1740, when these three rulers changed the fate and history of St. Petersburg.
Between Peter the Great's reign and Anna Ioannovna's reign, two other people have ruled Russia for a short time. The first one was Peter the Great's widow, Catherine I, who had only ruled Russia for two years from 1725 to 1727. Although she was the Empress of Russia for those two years, she didn't engage in affairs of state, and Russia was run by The Senate and Colleges and the orders that Peter left for his government before he died. Catherine I's reign began with Peter I's opulent state funeral. The first thing she did as the Empress was to order a wax figure to be made of Peter the Great, which is currently found in the Hermitage Theater building, in the restored Peter the Great's Winter Palace. However, if you want to visit Peter the Great's Winter Palace, which is within the Hermitage Theater building, you need permission before beginning your tour to St. Petersburg. Catherine I had two estates in St. Petersburg; one was an estate and hunting grounds to the south of Petersburg, which later turned to the Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) by her daughter, the future Empress Elizabeth, and one was a palace and park named Ekateringof, which is no longer exist. Due to her short reign, nothing special happened in Catherine I's era besides the projects brought to fruiting that had been earlier conceived by Peter the Great. However, one of the highlights of her reign was the first floating bridge that appeared on the Neva River. Although there are no individual monuments to Catherine I, you can find her figure in a sculptural group entitled "The Tsar's Walk" on Strelna. Today, there is no trace of her reign in St. Petersburg that tourists would visit during their tour to Russia, but knowing her history would make it easier to understand St. Petersburg's history for people who are interested in this subject.
After Catherine I's death, Peter II, Peter the Great's grandson, became the emperor. Although it was only three years, Peter II's reign was the worst era for St. Petersburg since its establishment. When Peter II and his entire court went to Moscow for Peter II's coronation ceremony, he got excited for all the hunting opportunities in Moscow's vicinity and didn't return to St. Petersburg; thus, the capital of Russia was once again transferred to Moscow. While St. Petersburg was still young -only 25 years old- the absence of the royal family and the entire imperial court left the city in disrepair. Many construction projects were stalled. If Peter II's reign was longer than three years, we could have lost St. Petersburg as one of the main tourist destinations of Russia tour today. However, Peter II untimely death, and Empress Anna becoming the new Empress had saved the city. Although Peter II's reign was short, and he didn't live in St. Petersburg at all, there's one building in St. Petersburg that left tourists to visit during their tour to Russia. The Peter II's Palace in Menshikov's estate is the home of the philological and oriental departments of the St. Petersburg State University. Still, since the famous Domenico Trezzini designed it, it remained as one of the city's architectural attractions during the tour to St. Petersburg.
Although Empress Anna's personality wasn't great, and she didn't do well in the foreign affair, no one can deny her positive influence on St. Petersburg during the ten years of her reign. At first, she returned the capital to the north from Moscow. She also returned the monarchy's high status by rejecting all the conditions that nobles had required from her when they offered her the crown. During Anna's reign, the St. Petersburg Construction Committee was established, which significantly impacted planning and the layout of several districts and regions in St. Petersburg. Although many palaces and cathedrals were constructed during her reign, not many of them have survived today, including her wooden mansion near the Summer Garden, which was demolished to make room to extend Catherine I's former palace in Ekateringof. Anna's palace, which was designed by Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, was where the Empress spent her time from May to September. During Anna's reign, Russia had participated in two major wars, one was the War of the Polish Succession, though Russia's involvement with the conflict was quickly over. The second one was the Russo-Turkish War, which lasted from 1735 to 1739. The war with the Turks, which last for four and a half years, cost Russia a hundred thousand men and millions of rubles, which caused high stress on Russia's people. On her deathbed, Empress Anna claimed her grandnephew, Ivan VI, as the crown's successor in an attempt to ensure the line of her father as Russia's ruler. However, the two months old Ivan Vi's reign only last a year.
There aren't many monuments to Anna Ioannovna in St. Petersburg, but you can find one statue in the State Russian Museum. This statue was created a year after her passing, and Bartolomeo Carlo Rastrelli was the artist who designed it. Among the structures that survived from the Empress Anna's reign, we can only mention The Church of St. Simeon and Anna. This church was first built as a wooden church in celebrating Empress Anna's birthday. However, when she became the Empress, she replaced the wooden building with a stone one, and Mikhail Zemtsov, one of the home-grown Russian architects, had designed it. You can still visit this church, one of the few examples of Zemtsov's work that survived in St. Petersburg during your travel to Russia. If you want to learn about St. Petersburg's history in Peter the Great's era, you can check our weblog. We also encourage you to visit our weblog if you want to learn about the top attractions of St. Petersburg, the best places to visit, and prime shopping centers.