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Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712, 9 years before the Treaty of Nystad of 1721 ended the war; he referred to Saint Petersburg as the capital (or seat of government) as early as 1704.
During its first few years, the city developed around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress.
Swedish colonists built Nyenskans, a fortress at the mouth of the Neva River in 1611, in what was then called Ingermanland, which was inhabited by Finnic tribe of Ingrians. At the end of the 17th century, Peter the Great, who was very interested in seafaring and maritime affairs, wanted Russia to gain a seaport in order to trade with Europe. 1] 1703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured Nyenskans and soon replaced the fortress.
He needed a better seaport than the country's main one at the time, Arkhangelsk, which was on the White Sea in the far north and closed to shipping during the winter. Later, the city became the centre of the Saint Petersburg Governorate.
In September and October 1917, German troops invaded the West Estonian archipelago and threatened Petrograd with bombardment and invasion.
However, Saint Petersburg soon started to be built out according to a plan.