Tall of stature and with an intellect to match, Tsar Peter the Great is a giant of Russian history. His OE in the Netherlands and England in the late 17th century gave him access to some of the latest shipbuilding technology. His sojourn cut short by the need to restore order back home, Peter asserted his authority and then opened Russia's 'Window to the West'. St Petersburg was founded as the new gateway to the Baltic Sea. Peter had a dark side to his character, but his legacy is there for all to see in his new capital of St Petersburg.