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Today St. Petersburg turns 311

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Today marks the most important day in the city’s life – its birthday. St. Petersburg turns 311. The main festivities have already taken place – during the last weekend, our citizens sang, danced and ate ice-cream

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Solemn ceremonies were held today. Flowers were laid to the Bronze Horseman monument. And Petropavlovskaya fortress’ cannon fired shots to mark the city’s birthday. Nikolay Rastvortsev with more details.

Nikolay Rastvortsev, reporter: “The city celebrated its 311th birthday amid typical weather conditions. But small rain and cloudy sky did not spoil the festive mood. The morning kicked off with the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Bronze Horseman monument”

The whole of St. Petersburg’s political elite came to the Senatskaya square. At 10 AM sharp the first delegates walked the red carpet to the monument of the city’s founder – judges of the Constitutional Court, president’s envoy Vladimir Bulavin, the city’s governor Georgiy Poltavchenko and members of the city’s government. In a few minutes the foundation of the granite rock was overwhelmed with carnations. The ceremony was rounded off by a march of the Honorary Guard.

Closer to mid-day festivities moved to the Petropavlovskaya fortress. Many noted – a typical mid-day artillery shot from its cannon sounded somewhat special today.

It is here – at the small Zayachiy island – that St. Petersburg was born. The legend of the Northern Capital’s foundation was remembered here – at the first bastion of the fortress.

Nikolay Burov, director of the “Isaakievskiy Cathedral” museum: “Some time ago Tzar Peter Alexeevich raised his eyes to the sky and saw the eagle, which became the symbol of the city’s birth. The eagle waved its wing. The eagle means a lot to Russia – even a one-headed eagle, even more so – a dual-headed one”

Today’s mid-day cannon shot, by the way, became yet another signal for the launch of fountains in the Letniy garden. There are eight of those now in the oldest park ensemble.

Prominent people of art were honored in the name of the city’s birthday. A diploma and a medal were given to Sergey Stadler, David Goloshekin, Vasiliy Barkhatov. The flamboyant theatre director staged his 1st ever opera play at the Mikhailovskiy Theater – “The Flying Dutchman” with Richard Wagner’s music. He was as modest as ever upon receiving the award

Vasiliy Barkhatov, director: “I wont produce better plays or write better books after this. I’ll confidently continue writing poor books and staging poor plays – just like I had been doing before this award”

Scientists were honored too. The country’s first Academy of Sciences was also created by Peter the 1st. 60 men received governmental awards –for innovative progress in intensive therapy of newborns, for technology of chemical water purification, for inclusive education of handicapped people and many other projects

Georgiy Poltavchenko, governor of St. Petersburg: “One of our main goals is to reach 30-35% threshold in innovative production by the year 2030. Im sure that together we can make this ambitious plan happen”

During one of the congratulation speeches, an easy formula of preserving St. Petersburg for future generations was born. Its necessary to love the city within you, not you within the city

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