The largest country in the world, Russia spans eleven time zones and two continents. Within this enormous land mass lie rivers, plains, mountains, tundras, forests and the largest freshwater lake in the world. Siberia, which stretches from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, is a resource rich region. The country has the longest borders in the world touching upon 14 countries. Its extensive coastline also borders several bodies of water including the Pacific Ocean, the Arctic Ocean and the Black, Baltic and Caspian seas among others. Russia includes both the largest and deepest lake, Lake Baikal, as well as the longest river in Europe, the Volga. Such a diverse terrain also means that the country is host to hundreds of species of birds and mammals.
The majority of Russia's population lives in the Western part of the country. Russia is most associated with the great cities of Imperial Russia. St Petersburg is Russia's most European city, designed that way by Peter the Great to open a window onto the West. It is considered to be the cultural capital of the country and contains one of the world's foremost museums, the majestic Hermitage.