The 70s and the early 80s were a period of stability for the Soviet Union and for Leningrad. Though political freedoms were largely limited, most of the city's population enjoyed relative prosperity. When the government initiated the reforms known worldwide as Perestroika all stability of course disappeared. The population began experiencing economic hardship, while the reforms went on. In 1991, after a city-wide referendum, the city of Leningrad was renamed and got back its old name - St. Petersburg.

Now, in the second half of the 90s, St. Petersburg is still in a transition period, both economically and socially. While the city industry is still in recession, services and retail sales are gradually improving, though economically St. Petersburg is still far behind Moscow. On the social side, the younger generations are coping with the change quite well, but unemployment is high, employment prospects for those over 45 are dim and pensioners struggle desperately to make ends meet.

Pribaltiyskaya HotelAfter having lost the Olympic bid for 2004, the people of St. Petersburg still hope for the fast economic recovery and are prepared to welcome guests and open St. Petersburg's numerous treasures to the rest of the world. After all, St. Petersburg is the most beautiful city of the world and we ought to prove that (see the Virtual Tour). We love it, and we are convinced, you'll love it too.

So, welcome to St. Petersburg - a marvelous city on the Baltic Sea, which is ready to step into the 21st century and will be glad to unveil its treasures before you...

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