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    Peter First The Great

    Today, 9th of June, we, the Bulgarians, connect with the Devetunov coup in 1923. Some of us know more about it, others less, others - almost nothing, but we can all read the history books. On June 9th, another anniversary is celebrated - from the birth of Peter the Great, King and Emperor of Russia, the founder of St. Petersburg. Once, more than 20 years ago, I and my peers could easily (financially) go to the then Soviet Union, look at the Tretyakov gallery in Moscow, enjoy the Swan Lake at the Bolshoi Theater, Arbat. In Leningrad - look at the Hermitage, the Winter Palace or the bridges of Neva. Today our children can not do so. That's why I offer those who have forgotten, like me, and others who can not do it, a little story and a virtual walk. I hope it's interesting ...

    Peter the Great

    Born in Moscow, Russia, on June 9, 1672, Peter the Great is a Russian king in the late 17th century who is best known for his vast reforms in an attempt to create a great nation from Russia. He set up a strong navy, reorganized his army to Western standards, opened secular schools, exercised greater control over the reactionary Orthodox Church, and introduced a new administrative-territorial division of the country. Piotr Aleksejevič was born on June 9th one thousand and sixty-seventy in Moscow, Russia.
    Peter the Great is the 14th child of King Alexei from his second wife, Natalia Kirilovna Narishkina. He co-directs with his brother Ivan V from 1682, but when Ivan died in 1696, Peter was officially declared the sovereign of all of Russia. Peter inherits a nation which is medium-developed compared to the culturally prosperous European countries. As the Renaissance and the Reformation swept across Europe, Russia rejected Westernization and remained isolated from modernization. During his reign Peter undertook extensive reforms in an attempt to restore Russia as a great nation.
    Peter overcame the opposition from the country's medieval aristocracy and began a series of changes that affect all spheres of life in Russia. Robert's radical changes focused on the development of science, and he appointed several experts to educate the people about technological advances. He concentrated on the development of trade and industry and turned the population into a bourgeoisie. Reflecting on Western culture, he modernized the Russian alphabet, introduced the Julian calendar and created the first Russian newspaper.
    Peter was a far-sighted and skilled diplomat who abolished the archaic form of the Russian government and appointed a viable Senate to regulate all branches of the administration and to conduct innovative achievements in Russia's foreign policy. Peter acquired territories in Estonia, Latvia and Finland, and through several wars with Turkey to the south, he secured access to the Black Sea. In 1709, he defeated the Swedish army.
    In 1712 Peter established St. Petersburg on the banks of the Neva River and moved the capital from Moscow there. Shortly thereafter, St. Petersburg was considered Russia's "window to Europe".
    Under Peter's rule, Russia is becoming a major European nation. Although he has proved to be an effective leader, Peter is also known as cruel and tyrannical. The high taxes, which often accompanied his various reforms, led to riots among the citizens who were immediately repressed by him as a ruler. Peter was a tall, handsome man.
    He is married twice, and has 11 children, many of whom have died in infancy. The eldest son of his first marriage, Alexei, was convicted of treason by his father and secretly executed in 1718.


    Peter the Great dies on February 8, 1725, without designating an heir. It is buried in the cathedral of St. St. Peter and Paul, which is located in St. Petersburg.

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