In Russian literature and informal documents the "Saint" (Санкт-) is usually omitted, leaving Petersburg (Петербург, Peterburg). In common parlance Russians may drop "-burg" (-бург) as well, leaving only Peter (Питер, pronounced as "Piter").
Saint Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 [O.S. 16 May] 1703. From 1713 through 1728 and from 1732 it was the capital of the country until 1918 when the central government bodies moved from Petrograd to Moscow. It is Russia's second largest city after Moscow with 4.6 million inhabitants. Saint Petersburg is a major European cultural centre, and an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea.
Saint Petersburg is often described as the most Western city of Russia. Among cities of the world with over one million people, Saint Petersburg is the northernmost. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is also home to The Hermitage, the largest art museum in the world. A large number of foreign consulates, international corporations, banks and other businesses are located in Saint Petersburg.