|“||What grace, what grace! And evenings on Nevsky Prospect - people, noise, crowds, laughter, children with ice cream, pretty girls ... music playing ... in summer especially.||„|
— Mikhail Porfirevich, Metro 2033 Novel
St. Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербург), colloquially known as Piter (Russian: Питер), is the second largest city of the Russian Federation with approximately 5,000,000 inhabitants. St. Petersburg lays in the Northwestern part of Russia bordered by the Baltic Sea, the Ladoga Lake, Ingria and Karelia. It is not far from the Finnish border. It was founded in 1702 by Peter the Great and was the long time capital of Russia during the reign of the Tsars.
During the events of the apocalypse there was a chance that St. Petersburg may have been destroyed. Some residents of the Moscow Metro can remember back to the days before the war, when St. Petersburg once was a nice place to spend the summer holidays. The metro system of St. Petersburg has roughly 60 stations and a total length of 110 km. The average depth of the stations is 50-75 meters. The deepest station the "Admiralteiskaya (Адмиралтейская)" even has a depth of 102 m. There are currently 5 lines but 7 were planned before the war. The metro stations were meant to become public palaces and are arguably even more extraordinarily decorated than most of the stations in the Moscow metro system.
The metro of St. Petersburg has iron gates which seal the tunnels and open when a train arrives. There are different stories and beliefs as to why the tunnels were sealed with such gates. There are rumours about an engineer who was tasked with the construction of the metro system, who once found the ragged bones of some of his fellow tunnel constructors. He further pointed out that it was kept as a secret to not frighten the people. To avoid further incidents the tunnels were sealed with the iron gates. It is hard to say what the radiation might have caused there when the humans were prey in those tunnels even before the apocalypse. It is revealed in other books and rumored in Metro Last Light that there are indeed survivors in the metro of St. Petersburg. In Metro: Last Light, a radio operator at the Church base reveals that someone flew to St. Petersburg on a small plane and let the inhabitants there know about the small world beneath Moscow. Subsequently, they tried to contact Moscow survivors and were able to reach the said operator.
In the Universe of Metro 2033 book Piter, it is stated that after the War of 2013, known as the "Catastrophe" to the denizens of St. Petersburg, most of the Petersburg Metro fell under the draconian rule of "Saddam the Great" who - despite of being a seemingly ruthless dictator - allowed most of the metro population to live in relative peace, however in an attempt to control their numbers, which paradoxically were demographically rising, Saddam ordered the castration of young boys, with the station of Elizarovskaya serving as a "test". This prompted a rebellion against Saddam and eventually caused his murder (apparently at the hands of the mothers of said boys). After his death however, conflicts began in the metro leading to a drastic population reduction; some even say that, after Saddam's dead, the population was reduced to between three to five times less than the amount it was during his dictatorship.
By 2033, St. Petersburg is composed of multiple independent stations and a number of alliances. The major factions of the St. Petersburg metro are: the Primorskiy Alyans (or the Seaside Alliance, composed of stations: Vasileostrovskaya, Admiralteyskaya, Nevsky Prospekt, Gostiny Dvor, Mayakovskaya and originally the now flooded Primorskaya); the Vegan Empire, which controls the stations of Obukhovo, Proletarskaya, Lomonosovskaya, Elizarovskaya, and Ploshchad Alexandra Nevskogo I - the empire is known for its peculiar eating habits, its cruelty, and using human remains as fertilizer; Ploshchad Vosstaniya, a monarchy under Ahmed the Second (who has Tatar ancestry), which is inhabited primarily by Bordyurshchiks (speakers of the Moscow dialect); the market stations of Sadovaya, Spasskaya and Sennaya Ploshchad (which are the economic centres of the metro), the engineer station of Tekhnologichesky Institut (the scientific center of the metro); lastly, the electronic power station of Elektrosila (which supplies much of the St. Petersburg Metro's electricity).
Other factions of the St. Petersburg Metro include: Ploshchad Lenina, which is composed mainly of medics; Prospekt Prosvesheniya, controlled by the Cult of Blindmen (a seemingly Christian-Doomsday cult that secretly kidnaps people to turn them blind, who apparently believe that the coming of "the Beast" is near); Ozerki, which is composed mainly of Muslim Uzbeks; Pionerskaya, where the "Angels" (men who were castrated as boys under Saddam's rule) live and have turned the station in a unique great theatre of Lyric Opera; Chyornaya Rechka, a "transit station" that is actually inhabited by Roma people and is the circus centre of the metro; Petrogradskaya, that apparently is a humid and silent station inhabited by dendrophiles - the plants' worshippers who are apparently even stranger than the Vegans; Gorkovskaya - renamed "New Venice" - that has been flooded, but its citizens managed to build a city on the water (this is the primary inspiration for Last Light's Venice); Baltiyskaya, which is composed mainly of former St. Petersburg policemen; Narvskaya, where mostly former pilots live and is ruled by a paranoid dictator; Kirovsky Zavod - run by criminals and the mafia; Zvyozdnaya, led by a communist government, that has the ambitious plan of digging a tunnel all the way to Moscow; Ulitsa Dybenko, which became the mushroom-hallucinogen drug centre of the metro (even renamed "Happy Village" for its unusual characteristic); and Bukharestskaya and Mezhdunarodnaya, dubbed the "Metro Cemetery" since near the incomplete station of Prospekt Slavy, the inhabitants of the metro were able to construct a crematory that they used to dispose of most of the metro's corpses.