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27 May, 2014

Today is St Petersburg’s 311th birthday!

However, since it’s a Tuesday and everyone has to work, the birthday celebrations were held on Sunday.

Peter the Great founded St Petersburg in 1703, and since then it has been the “Window to Europe”, widely considered the European capital of Russia.

Such an important city deserves an incredible celebration and Sunday proved nothing less!

There was a concert on St Isaac’s Square, where 4,500 singers sang Russian and Soviet songs on the steps of the cathedral, ranging from young to old and amateur to professional. Last year, the same event set a Guinness World Record!

There was “Dancing Nevsky”, where people danced on the huge dance floor on Nevsky Prospect between Sadovaya Ulitsa and Naberezhnaya Reki Moiki – a total of 17,720 square metres! Over 4,000 dancers took part, starting at 5pm!

Of course, there were daytime events too, including the annual ice cream festival at Ploschad Ostrovskogo! The tradition of placing flowers at the monument to Peter the Great started at 10am and people were leaving flowers throughout the day when they weren’t enjoying Open Day at the theatres. From 11am to 5pm, all the theatres were open, allowing people to go backstage, and watch performances and rehearsals. The city also received a pretty big present, as the Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theatre opened its doors again after more than three years of renovations!

The day was finished with a gala concert of opera stars on Palace Square including world-famous ballet troupes and artists from the Opera de Paris. Entrance was completely free to the public.

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