Peter the Great (1682-1725) accelerated the worldly trends of the seventeenth century and made the power
of the state absolute. His reign fundamentally changed Russian life and transformed Muscovite Russia into the Russian Empire, a major European power.
Early in his reign, Peter traveled across northern Europe to learn the skills that Russia needed to grow and prosper, and to recruit foreigners to bring these skills to Russia. Peter concentrated on increasing scientific, technical, and linguistic knowledge having direct military or diplomatic value. Peters early focus on administrative reforms and military campaigns consolidated Russias position in Europe, and his changes paved the way for the assimilation of Western ideas and art during subsequent reigns.
See the Winter Palace