Historically, the price of admission to St. Petersburg was once a stone. When Czar (did you know that Czar is Russian for Caesar?) Peter the Great decided to build a new capital for Russia, he first used wood as the building material. But his goal was to fashion a city of lasting grandeur, and stone was preferred for endurance. Therefore, the Czar handed down two imperial decrees: first, he forbade building with stone anywhere in Russia except in St. Petersburg, so that all stonemasons had to come to the new city if they wished to work in their craft; second, he put out the whimsical but direct order that no one could enter the city unless the person brought a stone for admittance.
Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.