Great Germans in St. Petersburg

Germans were the first wide-scale immigrants to arrive in St. Petersburg, many of them working as engineers, builders and craftsmen to help Peter the Great create his new city. In effect, the original bourgeoisie of St. Petersburg were predominantly German. Not far behind them came numerous German scientists in all disciplines from economics to botany, invited to the new Russian capital to help establish the Academy of Sciences.

Catherine the Great, herself German by birth, continued to employ German scientists, particularly in the natural sciences, and men such as Johann Buxbaum, Johann Georgi and Peter Simon Pallas did much of the groundwork to map Russia's rich and varied natural world.