The Bridges of St. Petersburg
The Russian word for bridge is "most" (мост), which rhymes more with "tossed" than "boast."
St. Petersburg, Russia is known as the "Venice of the North" for very good reason and the city's many rivers and canals are decorated with some of the most beautiful bridges in the world. In fact, St. Petersburg is also sometimes known as the "City of 300 Bridges," though there are actually 342.
Some of these bridges can create quite an inconvenience for travellers if you're not careful. They are raised at night (a spectacle well worth staying up for) when the Neva River isn't frozen over to let ships pass through and if you get stuck on one side of the bridge, well, you may have a long wait if you need to get to the other. Generally, they stay up for about three hours, from about 2 AM to about 5 AM (though a few go down for about half an hour in the middle), and during that period your only other alternative is a long, complicated and expensive taxi ride. If that. The metro closes around midnight and doesn't reopen until 5.
In general, however, they are a beautiful treat. During the four months I lived in St. Petersburg I visited my favorite bridge, the Anichkov, more days than not, even going out of my way in sub-zero weather for the opportunity, and it was always a delight to stumble across a new one.
The Bank Bridge
A perpetual favorite with tourists, the golden griffons of the Bank Bridge are located near the Kazan Cathedral, on Griboyedev Canal. It is a narrow footbridge created by Pavel Sokolov, who also created the lions of the Lion Bridge and the sphinxes adorning the Egyptian Bridge.
The Anichkov Bridge
Horse lover that I am, the four magnificent Horse Tamers adorning the Anichkov bridge along Nevsky Prospekt made it my favorite.
Legend has it that the sculptor, Pyotr Klodt, replaced the genitals on one of the four stallions with the face of his wife's lover and there really is a face there, though it took me most of my four months to spot it. (I was self-conscious about standing there in the middle of the sidewalk and craning my neck at the oversize genitals of a bunch of stone horses, so sue me.)
During the terrible siege of Leningrad in World War II, the statues were buried in the grounds of the nearby Anichkov Palace to protect them, and they fortunately survived intact.The bridge itself was seriously damaged by shelling, but has been restored.
The Lomonosov Bridge
One of the oldest bridges in the city that still survives intact, the Lomonosov was built in the 1780's, during the reign of Catherine the Great. It crosses the Fontanka River near Nevsky Prospekt. The handsome Doric pavilions once housed a drawbridge mechanism that raised the bridge like the larger bridges across the Neva, but it is no longer raised due to its age.
- Directory of bridges in St. Petersburg, Russia
A photographic directory of historic bridges in St. Petersburg, Russia. Historic and architectural information on bridges in central St. Petersburg.
- List of bridges in Saint Petersburg - Wikipedia
A hyperlinked list of the bridges of St. Petersburg
- "Wandering Camera" - Notes about St.Petersburg
A huge collection of photos of Petersburg and its surrounds, taken over the course of several years. Includes many images of the bridges.
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