Saint Petersburg (later named Petrograd in 1914 and Leningrad in 1924) was a city located within the Russian Empire.
St. Petersburg was founded in 1703 by the third Romanov Tsar, Peter the Great, who wanted to Westernize and reform Russia. He designed to the city to be modeled on the great cities he'd seen in Europe during his tours there earlier in life. Peter called his new city his "Window on the West", and made it the new capital of the Russian Empire, much to the enmity of the conservative elite who still lived in Moscow. The city was given a more menacing nickname by the poor souls who were forced to build it: "the City of Bones". This was appropriate, as work crews died in their thousands from disease, starvation, and cold.
The city was expanded during the 18th and 19th centuries. When the 20th century turned, it was renamed Petrograd since St. Petersburg sounded too German. After the fall of the Russian Empire, it was renamed Leningrad, after Vladimir Lenin. The city would hold this name until the fall of the Soviet Union.