Home » Culture and History

St. Petersburg and Melbourne: The Most Northern and Southern Million-Metropoles

20. December 2012 by Masha 0 Comments

It was the strong cultural and artistic connections that caused St. Petersburg, Russia and Melbourne, Australia to partner up as sister cities in 1989. Fun fact: both cities are the most northern and most southern cities in the world with more than one million residents!


The sister city relationship aims to continuously develop the cultural connections while enhancing the profiles of the two cities.


While St. Petersburg was known as Leningrad when the cities first synced up, the union was the first of its kind between a Russian and an Australian city. St. Petersburg reverted to its original name in 1991. Its famous landmark spire of the Peter and Paul Fortress is used on its sister city logo. 


The color scheme echoes the twilight of St. Petersburg during the White Lights, the time of year from May to July when the sun barely sets and only sinks below the horizon for a few brief hours. 


Another fun fact: the cost of living in St. Petersburg is 45% cheaper than in Melbourne!


Could you imagine driving from Melbourne to St. Petersburg to visit your Russian girlfriend? This past August, three drivers from the Challenge4 Team completed the 23,000 km (14,291 mile) drive in a Volkswagen Touareg setting a new world record time of 17 days, 18 hours, and 49 minutes.


They delivered a letter and a gift from the Lord Mayor of Melbourne to the Governor of St. Petersburg in the tradition of the dispatch rider of the Czar. The only time the vehicle was at a standstill was when it was refueling or when it was being transported across water.


Check out the route!