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BRIDGES IN SAINT PETERSBURG

Alexander Nevsky Bridge is the final point of main city's line - Nevsky Prospect. It may be said that it is the end of an old Petersburg.

 

On the other shore of Neva there are located Stalin era districts, and after them there are residential districts of the city. If you are going right ahead, you'll eventually reach Vsevolojsk.

 

Until 2004, when the Big Obukhovsky Bridge was built, the Alexander Nevsky Bridge was the longest bridge across the Neva River in Saint Petersburg. Its length is 905.7 meters, and it is 35 meters wide. The bridge was built from 1960 to 1965. Designed by the group of architects - A. Zhuk, S. Mayofis and Y. Sinitsa - the bridge has complemented the look of adjacent buildings in surrounding area. The project was led by a team of engineers of the "Lengiprotransmost" institute. Proof-testing was done by means of a column of army tanks. On November 5, 1965 the bridge was open for traffic.

 

The new image of the bridge was formed after installing the system of illumination in 2003. Today the Alexander Nevsky Bridge creates one of the most beautiful night views of St.Petersburg.

Anichkov Bridge is one of the architectural highlights of Nevsky Prospekt, and essential viewing for any visitor to St. Petersburg, both for the spectacular views of the surrounding palaces from the vantage point of its humped back, and for the famous sculptures - the Horse Tamers - that crown its four corners.

 

Carrying Nevsky Prospekt across the Fontanka River, the first Anichkov Bridge was a wooden structure erected as early as 1716. Its name honors the engineer of that first bridge, Mikhail Anichkov. In the 1780s, a series of almost identical stone bascule bridges were built across the Fontanka, and Anichkov Bridge was one of them - Lomonosov Bridge is the most famous to have survived intact. There are numerous historic pictures of Anichkov Bridge in this period, and the bridge was a popular attraction thanks to its central location.

 

By the 1840s, however, Anichkov Bridge, with its four towers housing the raising mechanism, was unable to cope with the ever-increasing volumes of traffic along Nevsky Prospekt, and the decision was taken broaden the bridge, making it a similar width to the avenue itself. The result was the modern bridge, although it had to be fundamentally reconstructed in 1906-1908 due to structural flaws in the arches.

 

A simple but elegant structure, Anichkov Bridge consists of three arched spans faced with pink granite, and measures 54.6 meters. To decorate the bridge, cast-iron railings were installed to a design by Karl Friedrich Schinkel for Berlin's Palace Bridge. They have ornate symmetrical designs featuring mermaids and fantastical seahorses.

 

The most striking decorations on Anichkov Bridge, however, are the Horse Tamers by Pyotr Klodt, who also sculpted the equestrian statue of Nicholas I on St. Isaac's Square, and the quadriga above the portico of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. These beautiful bronze cast proved so popular that copies of the sets at the eastern end of the bridge, installed in 1841, were sent as Imperial gifts to Frederick William IV of Prussia and to the City of Naples within a decade. The sculptures at the western end were erected in 1850. During the Siege of Leningrad, the sculptures were removed and buried in the grounds of the Anichkov Palace nearby. Thus, unlike the bridge, they survived the war intact. All damage was repaired, however, and the statues were restored to their rightful place on 1 May 1945, a week before victory was declared.

This pedestrian bridge across the Griboyedov Canal, which is only 1.85 meters wide, was designed in 1825-1826 by engineer V. Tretter. Famous sculptor Pavel Sokolov crafted the cast-iron figures of fantastic mythological griffins, which gave this bridge recognition. Bankovsky Bridge is one of the six chain suspension bridges constructed in Saint Petersburg at the beginning of the 19th century. The design is very similar to Panteleimonovsky and Egyptian bridges on the Fontanka River, though Bankovsky Bridge is a pedestrian one.

 

Bankovsky Bridge represents some of the highest artistic and architectural qualities of the early 19th century bridge building. The bridge's name comes from the neighboring building, which formerly housed the State Bank (now the Academy of Finance and Economics). In ancient mythology, griffins, or winged lions, were perceived as the guardians of treasure. So these unique sculptures ingeniously and mysteriously seem to guard one's passageway onto the footbridge and the gate of the historic State Bank Building. Griffins' wings and some of decoration details are gilded. These statues now are considered to be one of the most significant symbols of Saint Petersburg.

 

Another important architectural element of Bankovsky Bridge is its molded decorative fencing. Though its design differs very much from the Quarenghi-designed stone fence of the neighboring Finance and Economics Academy, altogether they form a harmonious and interesting artistic ensemble.

In 1901 the government of St. Petersburg was concerned about a necessity of construction of a new bridge on the place where Okhta River flows into the Neva. As a result of international contest in which engineers from the US, Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, Spain and Holland took part and after a special commission viewed dozens of plans, the plan of engineer G. Krivoshein and architect V. Apishkov was finally accepted.

 

Their revolutionary design was based on construction of three separate spans. The middle one is a draw span, designed to draw up quickly, allowing sea vessels to pass through. It takes only 30 seconds to pull Bolsheokhtinsky Bridge apart under the power of an innovative electrical mechanical system. The two outer spans are outlined by massive 136-meter long arched girder contours that sharply contrast with surrounding buildings. Romanesque style granite towers border the center span. The gigantic girders of the bridge rise to an exceptional height of 22.6 meters.

 

In fact, the design of the bridge is reminiscent of several railroad bridges, which span across the countryside far from the city. Impressive granite towers capped off with lamps and designed in the image of lighthouses at each end of he elevating span are two other important features of the unique bridge. Rising above the girders these towers create an especially powerful impression. They are reminiscent of the style of middle-aged castles and awkwardly contract with the industrial style girders of the bridge. On the both sides of the river in front of the bridge there are granite staircases. The bridge is illuminated with huge lamps. The first and only bridge of its kind in the "Northern" capital of Russia, it was opened for traffic on October  1911.

Famous Blue Bridge over the Moyka River is the widest bridge in the world. It is 97.3 meters in width. The bridge, standing in front of the Mariinsky Palace (where a city council is housed) is an important part of the St. Isaac's square architectural ensemble.

 

This unique bridge was built in the early 19th century. One of its most distinguished features is that it spans the historic Moika River with the same width as neighboring St. Isaac's square and is almost three times as wide as it is long. Blue Bridge was constructed in 1818 by architect V. Geste. Its construction was a part of architectural project of replacing the aging wooden bridges across the Moika River with single span iron arched bridges.

 

Today's Blue Bridge was built following this design instead of earlier wooden bridge painted in blue color. In 1843, owning to the construction of the Mariinsky Palace and replanning of St. Isaac's Square under the project of engineer E. Adam, it was widened in the direction of Red Bridge and Antonenko Pereulok to its present day width. The simplistically designed Blue Bridge is decorated with iron railings of the same design as the unique iron barriers that adorn the banks of the Moika River. Together with embankments and a square the bridge forms a harmonious and unique architectural ensemble.

 

The name of the bridge comes from the 19th century tradition of color-coding the bridges across the Moika River. It is one of four "colored" bridges, which have survived till today. Other remaining bridges are Red Bridge, Green Bridge and Orange Bridge.

The Egyptian Bridge was the first metal bridge in the history of Russian architecture and town engineering. The cast-iron sphinx sculptures, which sit gracefully on granite pedestals and adorn the bridge's entryways, easily make the bridge one of the most enchanting in the city. These captivating cast-iron sphinxes are all that remained from the original chain bridge that tragically collapsed into the Fontanka River in 1905. Fortunately, the bank supports and four magnificent sphinxes were salvaged and then used in construction of later Egyptian Bridge, which was completed in 1955 after almost half a century of planning.

 

At least 17 different plans were reviewed until a plan by architects V. Vasilkovsky and P. Areshev was accepted. The bridge was officially re-opened in 1955. The new Egyptian Bridge is single-spanned with double-jointed frame and metal welded cross section. It spans the Fontanka River at a slight angle. The bridge boasts railings decorated with quaint rosettes and brackets. The rosettes also adorn the cast-iron obelisks with lamps standing at the entrances to the bridge. The stylish frame above the bridge's arch rises just above the river.

 

Along with making the stronger and more durable, Vasilkovsky and Areshev also aspired to adore the sturdy framework with beautiful and enchanting Egyptian themes. The magnificent cast iron sphinxes designed by famous sculptor P. Sokolov sit on granite pedestals near each corner of the bridge providing even more justification for calling Saint Petersburg the open-air museum of bridges.

Formerly known as the Nicholas Bridge, Lieutenant Shmidt Bridge boasts some of the city's most beautiful railings, which are adorned with images of ornate sea horses, as well as unique decorative pavilions and lamps. Moreover, the bridge offers fine panoramic views of the city's historic and picturesque Admiralty and University Embankments. The gently rising spans of the bridge create a striking silhouette, and as a result the bridge is often referred to as the "priceless necklace of the Neva."

 
The bridge is 24 meters wide and 331 meters long. It has a total of eight spans, the middle two of which can be raised mechanically to let river traffic pass through. The bridge is named after Lieutenant Pyotr Schmidt of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, who was shot for organizing an uprising at the port of Sevastopol in 1905. A memorial plaque in his honor hangs on the wall of the pavilion near the center of the bridge.

 
The remains of the former bridge were used economically. Its cast-iron arches, which date back to the 1840s, were used to build a bridge over the Volga River in the city of Tver. The antique lanterns now decorate Mars Field in St. Petersburg. And the beautiful cast-iron railings were salvaged now adorn the sides of Lieutenant Schmidt Bridge.

Lions Bridge is considered one of the most famous bridges in St. Petersburg. Suspended pedestrian bridge decorated with sculptures of lions, attracts many tourists.

 

The bridge was built over the Griboyedov Canal near Podiacheskaia Street. The bridge was designed by prominent engineers V. Tretter and V.Christianovitz who participated in the creation of another famous pedestrian Bank bridge. P.P.Sokolov, is person who was made sculptures of griffins for Bank bridge, created sculptural decoration of the Lion bridge. 

 

Inside of statues of lions are situated supporting mechanisms which hold the chain of a suspension bridge. V. Trettera developed an original pattern of the iron railings of the bridge, which subsequently used in the design of Ioannovsky bridge leading to the Peter and Paul fortress. Despite of the technical complexity of the project, the bridge was built in a short time. The festive opening ceremony took place in July 1826. For the first time citizens called the bridge "The Bridge on the Four Lions” and only later the bridge got its present name. Bridge width is 2.5 meters, and its length is about 27 meters.

 

In 1838, a small copy of the bridge (length 17.3 m, width 2 m) was built by Borsig company on the territory of the Berlin Tiergarten. It was built by German architect L. F. Hesse. Bridge "Levenbryukke" (Loewenbruecke Hesse) became the first suspension bridge in Berlin. Unlike the original bridge in St. Petersburg, superstructure and bridge railings of Lion bridge in Berlin are still wooden.

 

If standing between two lions you will reach them with your fingertips, your wish will come true. 

Named after the great Russian scientist and poet Mikhail Lomonosov, whose advances in chemistry, mathematics, linguistics, natural science, physics, mineralogy, history, art, literature and others  made him a kind of one-man Russian Enlightenment during the reigns of Empresses Elizabeth and Catherine the Great, this beautiful stone bridge crosses the Fontanka River about 300m south of Nevsky Prospekt. Dating from the late 18th century, and with its original design still intact, Lomonosov Bridge is well worth a short detour.

 

Originally called Chernyshev Bridge in honour of Count Grigory Chernyshev, one of Peter the Great's most prominent generals, whose estates were located nearby, the bridge was erected in 1785-87 and replaced a wooden bridge which had previously stood at the site. It was one of seven stone moveable bridges of similar design crossing the Fontanka River, built simultaneously with the river's granite embankments. Only Lomonosov Bridge and Staro-Kalinkin Bridge have survived more or less intact.

 

Measuring 57.1 meters, the bridge consists of two broad, arched side-spans, and a shorter central span that was originally of wood, but replaced with steel in 1913. Although Lomonosov Bridge no longer rises to allow passing traffic, it has retained its four charming Doric pavilions, which once housed the drawbridge mechanism. It is these that give the bridge its distinctive outline and particular charm.

 

In 1915, granite obelisks with elegant cast-iron streetlamps were added to the bridge, and in 1948, the bridge was given its current name.

In 1727, a pontoon bridge was constructed near the place where The Bronze Horseman monument stands. After the construction of Nikolayevsky Bridge (the Lieutenant Schmidt Bridge) the pontoon was moved to the Winter Palace. In 1901, the competition of permanent bridge projects was announced. After reviewing 27 different proposals, a committee awarded the project to famous Russian engineer A. Pshenitskiy. The architectural decoration by the order of Art Academy was commissioned to architect R. Meltzer. Construction of the new Palace Bridge began in 1912.

 

The Palace Bridge was officially opened to traffic in 1916 though in that time its decorations including the pavilions and lamps were not complete. The construction was carried out in the time of World War I, and this is the main reason why the bridge hasn't got the proper architectural design and decoration. But Pshenitskiy and Meltzer have succeeded in right proportions and forms so the bridge harmonically combines with architectural ensembles of Palace and University embankments and is considered to be a great monument of the early 20th century Russian architectural art. In 1939, the temporary wooden barriers were replaced with metal railings created by architect L. Noskov and sculptor I. Krestovskiy.

 

The bridge is 250 meters long and 28 meters wide. Its design is actually quite simple. The drawbridge is composed of five separate spans with two of the middle spans opening up at relatively wide angles to allow sea vessels to pass underneath. Nowadays this bridge suffers from large amount of traffic. More than 24,000 cars cross the bridge each day, making the Palace Bridge the busiest bridge in the Northern capital of Russia. Nevertheless, today the Palace Bridge is probably the most famous one due to the spectacular view it creates while drawing up at famous White nights and in the early morning hours. The silhouette of two raised bridge platforms with the thin golden spire of St. Peter and Paul Cathedral rising in the background is one of the landmark views of the city and is really worth seeing.

The Troitsky (Trinity) Bridge was opened in 1903 as part of the celebrations of St. Petersburg's 200th anniversary. It was the third permanent bridge, after Blagoveshchenskiy Bridge and Liteiniy Bridge, to be laid across the River Neva, running form just north of the Field of Mars on the left bank of the river to the Petrograd Side next to the Peter and Paul Fortress. Measuring 582 meters, it is the second longest bridge in the city, one of the busiest, and also one of the most beautiful thanks to its spectacularly ornate Art Nouveau design.

 

There was a clear need for a permanent bridge in this area from the early 19th century, but it was not until 1892 that a tender was announced for designs. The competition attracted international attention, and the initial winner was the company of Gustave Eiffel, the engineer of Paris's most famous landmark, who had won his early fame designing state-of-the-art railway bridges. Although Eiffel was awarded the princely prize of 6,000 roubles, his design was subsequently ignored in favour of another French company, the Batignolles Building Company.

 

It was another five years before construction began, with the first stone laid on 12 August 1897, at a ceremony attended by Nicholas II and Felix Faure, the incumbent President of France. The lengthy building process was accompanied by rumours of financial scandal, but the bridge was nonetheless completed on time, and Nicholas II was again present to witness the first official raising of the bridge in the late spring of 1903.

 

The new bridge was worth the wait. It has a total of nine spans - three stone spans closest to the right bank, five fixed steel spans and one bascule steel span adjacent to the left bank. The original opening system featured two symmetrical wings, but was replaced in 1967 by a single 43-meter rising wing. The bridge's elegant, low outline is complemented by a wealth of decoration, including beautiful tripod streetlamps, curving cast-iron railings and granite obelisks topped with two-headed Imperial eagles, which in its opulence recalls Paris's Pont Alexandre III.

 

The bridge's name refers to the Trinity Cathedral, which once stood by the river on the Petrograd Side. The name was changed to Bridge of Equality in 1918, and the Cathedral was destroyed soon after. In 1934, the bridge was renamed to honor Sergei Kirov, revolutionary and Bolshevik leader of Petrograd. The original name was only restored in 1999.

 

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