ST. PETERSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY -
The "Twelve Colleges" Building
This red-and-white building stretches for 400 meters and actually consists of 12 buildings standing side by side. It was built between 1722 and 1742 on Vasilevsky Island and was intended for Russia's 12 government bodies (Peter the Great's Senat, Synod, and ten ministries, or kollegii). In 1835 the then-vacant building was given to St Petersburg University and now serves as its main building. St. Petersburg University was founded in 1819, and received international recognition thanks to chemist Dmitry Mendeleev (inventor of the Periodic Table ), physicist Alexander Popov (who invented the radio simultaneously with Marconi) and many other major scholars, including 8 Nobel Prize winners. Today the university has over 20,000 students, 2,000 professors, 210 departments and a library with 4 million volumes.
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