Saint Petersburg was founded in 1703 by Russian Tsar Peter the Great. Soon after the beginning of construction the city on the banks of Neva became a new capital of the Russian Empire, the Imperial Court and government bodies moved there. Peter the Great dreamt of a city that would be admired, therefore all conditions for free art were created for leading European architects and artists. With the next emperors a tradition to invite famous architects from France, Italy, Germany and other countries remained. At the present time the city center is in the UNESCO World Heritage list.